They’re our fur children, our companions for their lifetime. They’re our precious pets and where we go, they go. Thank goodness, the popular idea of travelling with pets is becoming an increasingly accepted norm here in Australia with more accommodation and attractions now catering for four-legged travellers.
The diverse and well known attractions of Your Margaret River Region, just three hours south of Perth, Western Australia, are irresistible to pet owners. While great tracts of this desirable destination are National Parks and therefore dogs -with the exception of approved assistance dogs – are generally not welcome, visitors can identify parks with places where dogs on a leash may be taken by checking the ‘Dogs Allowed’ box on the Parkfinder page of the DPaW website.
Alternatively, if you can bear to be parted from your precious pet for a few hours in the knowledge that they will be secure, there is some excellent pet-friendly accommodation available, even some with dog runs to accommodate your pooch. And, happily, many of Your Margaret River Region’s foremost wineries and attractions also will welcome your pet – with understandable provisos.
For recreational vehicle travellers in caravans and campervans, holiday parks in the region are highly aware of the need to provide pet-friendly site options and do so, although usually with the exception of long weekends and school holidays.
When Travelling Oskar and I visited, we found it very easy to navigate to dog friendly places. Most accommodation and wineries do ask that you call in advance and they will want to know your breed of dog. In another life, Oskar was an affable 32kg German wire-haired pointer. Today his namesake, Travelling Oskar, carries easily in a backpack and also gets on well with all breeds!
There are dog walking beaches throughout Your Margaret River Region – however do check the signs before letting Fido off the leash!
The following are just some ideas from the region’s many pet friendly attractions, wineries and accommodation. Like us, you’ll be welcomed warmly!
(Image: Monty and Max at Cape Naturaliste Vineyard)
You’re very welcome to bring your fur children here and even a picnic to have with them on the terrace.
Wineries and Breweries – Top Picks
Cape Naturaliste Vineyard – Yallingup
Monty the Jack Russell and Max the rescue dog (pictured top) are well known to this vineyard’s regulars, and kindly offered free Smackos to Travelling Oskar when we visited. He even ended up on the Polaroid picture board where all the doggie visitors go! You’re very welcome to bring your fur children here and even a picnic to have with them on the terrace – with some great Cape Naturaliste wine, of course.More about Cape Naturaliste Vineyard
There’s oodles of room outside on the tables under the market umbrellas and in the sunshine to enjoy a bevvy with your doglet (and they often have a dog in residence that’s a cuddly handsome puppy too!) The food is great at this lovely modern brewery and the service is fast and welcoming.More about Cheeky Monkey
The dogs here – Dusty and Molly – earn their living as meet and greet hostesses! We enjoyed a casual and relaxed atmosphere here and it was easy to see how welcome dogs are throughout the wine tasting event and indeed our very pleasant stay. The owner Ian Tassell introduced me to the Wine Dogs book series – lovely to see Your Margaret River Region’s vineyard hounds represented on its pages!More about Tassell Park Wines
Also recommended: Lenton Brae Estate (when Travelling Oskar met Betty, the English Pointer here, they liked each other on first sight!) House of Cards, Howling Wolves Wines (Oskar said it was like re-joining the pack) Hay Shed Hill (Becky the resident Labradoodle could tell some tales!) and the delightfully named Swallows Welcome, where Fruitycake, the hairy Jack Russell who loves dogs and people, will try and get in your car and leave with you!
Market management has thoughtfully catered for dogs with a pet area with signage and water for dogs.
Dining Options – Top Picks
Generally, restaurants and cafes here like elsewhere in Australia will accommodate responsible owners and their pets in outdoor or patio areas. The locals have their favourites, and if you keep your eyes open you will see residents and their pooches out and about. Going where the locals go is always a good idea! We loved the positive ‘dog policy’ on prominent display at Clancy’s Fish Pub at Dunsborough where dogs have their own side entrance to the outdoor terrace.More about Clancys Fish Pub
The Studio Bistro – Yallingup
Wanting a hit of art and culture to go with our food, we stopped at the Studio Gallery & Bistro at Yallingup. Being relatively new to this part of the world, I am always really interested in connecting to my new ‘place’ by the pathways that excellent local art provides and this was a delightful eye opening experience for me. The bistro is consistently popular here and was fully booked out – no surprise at all when checking out the menu and the meals coming out! There’s a wide patio and garden suitable for dogs and your dog is welcome here.More about The Studio Bistro
Remember when entering eateries to keep your canines leashed at all times and, while some do provide water bowls, responsible owners usually have their own.
Petra Olive Oil Estate – Yallingup
Petra Olive Oil Estate has 1200 trees on 30 acres of gently sloping land, 3 picturesque dams (complete with kangaroos!) and a backdrop of Yallingup ocean views. We visited their shed door, tasting room and farm shop and discovered that they have luxury dog friendly accommodation in 5 stunning chalets. Petra produces their own lovely Extra Virgin Olive Oils, gourmet vinegars & delicatessen products as well as a gorgeous range of EVOO cosmetics. You can pop in for a tasting or two and then head out with your furry friend to their outdoor seating situated in a stunning tranquil setting around the olive grove and dams for an antipasto picnic lunch, morning or afternoon tea ($3 coffees!). You can BYO wine or bubbles with a $3 corkage and even keep your glass – what a way to spend an afternoon with your fur baby!More about Petra Olive Oil Estate
Ten luxury suites, climate controlled, piped music, custom meals – I’m describing Margaret River Pet Retreat: the place where pooches come for a holiday while you are having yours! And for visitors to Margaret River Region, the retreat offers doggie day care so you can tour with peace of mind knowing that your precious pup is safe and happy. All guests must have current vaccinations and flea treatment. The Pet Retreat’s thoughtful owners also include pet pick up and drop off between 8.30am and 10.00am or 3.30pm – 5.00pm, and the 100 acre property is situated just off Bussell Highway between Margaret River and Busselton. Your doglet may never want to leave such luxury!More about Margaret River Pet Retreat
There’s a sturdy dog run with a comfy, good sized kennel beside each chalet, which means you can confidently leave your pet knowing that they are safe and secure.
Chalets/Cottages – Top Picks
Travelling Oskar and I found it extremely comfortable and welcoming at SheOak Chalet! There’s a sturdy dog run with a comfy, good sized kennel beside each chalet, which means you can confidently leave your pet knowing that they are safe and secure. Inside the chalets, the décor is fresh and modern, and I appreciated the big things (like the wood fire!) and the little things (nice toiletries in the bathroom). Dogs cost extra $11 per night, and max. 2 dogs per chalet. These chalets are surrounded by acres of bushland and the wildlife is amazing, so be aware and keep dogs leashed.More about Caves Road Chalets
Families will adore this farmstay (think of everything from alpacas to peacocks!) so put the kids and the dogs in the car and come on in. Chances are Roxi, the loveable cuddly Kelpie, will greet you like she did us. Guests can choose from seven very comfortable 2 and 3 bedroom cottages, each with a surrounding secure fenced area just ideal for your fur children who can stay here at no extra charge! Welcoming hosts Lisa and Vinnie also have Brumby Cottage, a 3 bedroom house set on five acres of picturesque farmland and another very dog friendly accommodation option.More about Margaret River Hideaway
This delightful place is so pet-accommodating you can even have a dog-friendly wedding here – and it’s happened! Four private self-contained cottages have enclosed contained verandahs for your dogs. As well, Silversprings has a terrific events venue onsite, the EcoTent, suitable for all kinds of occasions and they even grow and make their own wine label on the property – including a sparkling white great for wedding toasts! Pets stay here for free, and arriving is like being welcomed to a family farm.More about Silversprings Cottages
Beachside Prevelly Villas
This superb pet-friendly beach house accommodation is located on the region’s magnificent coastline, with some villas offering ocean views. There are easy walks to nearby pristine dog beaches as well as a cycle pathway leading to the beach cafe overlooking the bay. Large and small dogs are welcome with no extra fees. Families welcome too!More about Beachside Prevelly Villas
Hotels/Motels – Top Picks
Quality Inn Margaret River – Margaret River
It’s nice to see a property under a brand such as Quality Inn accommodating pets, and dogs aren’t all they have catered for – fish and birds have featured too! This Quality Inn is well located on the fringe of the township of Margaret River, and $15 per day for your dog is all you’ll pay. Not all styles of rooms are included in the pet-friendly inventory, so ask when making your reservation. Dogs are also welcome on the restaurant patio here (and the food is very good!).
There’s quality accommodation for doglets at this Inn!More about Quality Inn Margaret River
Caravan and Holiday Parks – Top Picks
With a similar pet policy to many others– a bond applies, responsible pet ownership including pets on a leash when on site, numbers of dogs limited to two – this park is well located at the top of Caves Road. Best of all, the park is close to other pet friendly venues like the Yallingup Maze and the Caves House Hotel (your dog is welcome in the lovely beer garden!)
Oskar just had to stop and smell the flowers here!More about Caves Caravan Park
This holiday park has both sites and ensuite cabins where you can stay with your dog, and note that a bond and a $25 pet fee applies. Dog owners MUST contact the park in advance of arrival to apply to have their dog allowed at the park; some breeds will not be accepted. They are unable to cater for accommodating pets during school holidays, long weekends and special event dates.
A big holiday park that welcomes dogs – great!More about BIG 4 Beachlands
Houses – Top Picks
Having an entire house to yourself for your holiday here is ideal. Owners do reasonably expect responsible pet ownership from clients, including phoning ahead to advise the number of pets, breed etc. Not all have an enclosed area, so be sure to ask or check websites.
Your local visitor centres have fact sheets on pet friendly accommodation categorized under B&Bs, villas, cottages, hotels, resorts, apartments, houses and caravan parks. They also provide fact sheets on pet friendly wineries, pet friendly services (vets and kennels) and approved dog exercise areas – including beaches – between Busselton and Augusta.