Dogs. Are. The. Best. End of story.
Okay, not quite. While it’s obvious we love them, and want to take them everywhere, we know it’s not always possible. Especially when camping.
You see dogs can’t go into most NSW National Parks. Its sounds rough, but it comes down to the protection of natural fauna (even the smell of a dog can damage a habitat), so we understand… we guess.
There are, however, a few spots in NSW where you and your doggo can camp, swim and lament the fact that there are a seemingly finite number of dog memes. Huzzah!
The below hotspots allow dogs but make sure to call ahead and get more specific deets, ‘kay?
Mystery Bay Campground
South Coast of NSW
There is no other way to cut it, Mystery Bay Campground is pretty. Just over five hours from Sydney, this ocean-side campsite is perfect for the fam—and pup—who love a dip. Beach fishing is nearby and you can surf at the Bay itself or a beach nearby. Mystery Bay also has beautiful rocky coves and cliff heads, which your pooch mightn’t appreciate, but by golly your Insta followers will.
Coachwood Camping Area
Chichester State Forest
This one goes out to anyone whoever saw The Blue Lagoon and thought, ‘sounds great’. The Coachwood Camping Area, three and a half hours north west of Sydney, is remote and for the most part, accessible only by 4WD (2WD can work sometimes, but it can be difficult). The site sits on the Telegherry River and offers a rainforest setting with lagoon for paddling, doggy or otherwise. Got kids? Coachwood is a big hit for young’uns due to the river and all the activities it provides.
Karuah River, Barrington Tops National Park
These guys fully understand the term, ‘fur babies’. They know you love your dog and that there’s no such thing as too many hugs, kisses and photos of them. Appropriately, all 750 acres of their camping area is available to doggos on or off leash. The nearby Barrington Bar and Grill even has a ‘Hound’s Breath Café’ menu just for pets. It includes a ‘Pup a Chino’. We’re not crying, you are. Aside from shedding a tear over the ‘Pup A Chino’, you can enjoy walking trails and cool, mountain pools. Most sites aren’t powered but there are hot showers and coin-operated laundry if you can’t grab a powered spot. Not into tents? Cabins are also available and are pet friendly. Seriously, these guys are the best.
Turon River, Blue Mountains
If there’s one thing we like, it’s a retreat. Especially retreats described as a ‘bush hideaway’. Coming in at a cool 6,000 acres, Turon Gates aren’t just pet-friendly, it’s like they built the place with pets in mind. Bless them. Whether you opt for a cabin or glamping, you and Fido will wake to mountain views, rolling rivers and all the outdoor activities you could dream of. Try your hand at mountain biking (BYO), canoeing, gold panning and more.
P.s. Pets are allowed off-lead, so long as they are kept under control, so ensure they know ‘sit’, ‘stop’ and ‘what are you eating?!’.
Wollondilly River Station
At Wollondilly River Station any pet is welcome. Literally any. Got a goat? Bring ‘em. Dogs are permitted off-leash too, provided they’re under control at all times. Three or so hours from Sydney, this back-to-basics campground is for the experienced camper; there’s no power, no on-site shop and no lights for the loo (bring a torch). That being said, there’s bushwalking, swimming and starry night skies a-plenty. The best bit? No peak and off-peak pricing. It’s a flat fee all year ‘round.
Goolawah Regional Park
Just north of Port Macquarie, Delicate Campground is what’s known as a ‘remote-visit’. There’ll be no hand holding here, you need to bring everything with you (including a general okayness with an outside toilet situ). With plenty of TP and full esky at your side, you and man’s best friend can enjoy the best of this beachside site. Those long walks (the Big Hill Rainforest walking track is close by) with your pet will completely erase any ill will accrued since you accidentally stepped on them. We think.
Prefer glamping? These are our favourite spots.
Image credit: via Unsplash