Sunday, 15 December 2013

And Doggie comes too!

Saturday Critters 
We’re ALL going on a summer holiday! 
But are we mad to take a dog along too?

Hooray school's out, it’s summer. 
Time to pack up and drive off into the sunset... 
We’re off to explore some of the lesser known parts of Victoria. 
We have our seventeen year old son at the wheel, 
with only fifteen hours driving experience, AND the crazy poodle.

On account of the car being full, Mutt has scored an upgrade to First Class. Used to travelling in the rear on an old cushion, he finds himself on the back seat with his bed! We have a special dog seat belt to ensure he is safe on the roads!

Mutt sits there very smugly in his element. He knows there was much debate about whether to take him and risk, in the words of DH, sleeping in ‘grotty doggy places.’ 

But things have changed, tourism has woken up to the fact that people who love their pets, want to holiday them with. Google shows a surprisingly good selection of pet friendly accommodation to be found...

Given that our Crazy Poodle has to look at his best for his hols, and we’re not about to share endless hours holed up next to a grubby, smelly dog, we’re off to the dog wash before we leave. $10 AUD for a ten minute bargain wash, condition, flea rinse and a blow dry. 

We follow up with a home flea treatment and a worming tablet, am I acting like an over protective parent ? Well, we don’t want to come back from holidays with more than we bargained for!

First stop is two nights at Ferntree Cottage, Tarra Valley rainforest, Gippsland which offers dog friendly accommodation, a fully fenced back yard, and a garden beside a river which is a dogs paradise, and we think it’s pretty cool as well.

Exploring the gardens at Ferntree Cottage

The next morning we visit Best Friend Holiday Retreat Park, Tarra Valley which is a themed dog friendly park close by with options from fully fenced camp sites to cabins both simple and deluxe. Snoopy’s cabin was a step too far for my DH, who if you remember was firmly in the ‘leave the dog at home’ camp. We are greeted by a warm welcome for a look-see for future trips. 

The cabins are clean and appealing and the holiday park has many fenced dog enclosures for off-lead fun, including one doggie playground. Mutt is decidedly unimpressed with the tunnels and jumps, but races around happily wagging his tail, and does take a drink when offered...

There is a free dog hydrobath for a quick wash after the beach, and even doggy day care. A luxury day kennel with a fenced run, and indoor area with a sofa and TV great if you want to visit the National Parks which are not open to dogs. We take a walk along Poodle Drive searching for koalas and watching the myriad of bird life. 

Woodside Beach - an off leash paradise for any fly obsessed crazy poodle!
Then it’s off to the dog friendly beach at Woodside, which is at the start of ninety mile beach and off leash all year round. There would be hours of fun to be had at this endless beach. Mutt is happy. He loves nothing better than searching out and chasing flies, as this is a big year for flies over here, this is never ending fun!

It’s back in the car and the crazy poodle exhausted happily sleeps.

We take the dog everywhere, luckily the weather is warm enough to eat outside. It’s always delightful when the cafes and restaurants make a special effort for our four legged friend. 

Take Vibez Cafe (575 Esplanade, Lakes Entrance) who bring fresh water and a dog biscuit in a bowl. The proprietor explains, 'look after the dogs and it’s a sure way to get their owners back time and time again'. Apparently, the dogs remember the dog biscuit, and drag their owners in!

Clever marketing - give the dog a biscuit and a warm welcome!
We stay at two further holiday parks - Harbour Lights in Mallacoota (an absolute bargain at $70 AUD per night) with a one bed cabin, new bathroom and full kitchen and Stratford On The River Tourist Park $105 AUD for a small cabin with again a new bathroom . All welcome dogs in the cabin.

It was a great trip and yes, taking the dog with us, involved some extra planning but we’re very happy the Crazy Poodle came too! 

Sorry I'm a tad late posting this week, 
we have been without phone and Internet connection for most of our trip.
Thank you to Eileen for hosting, do pop over and see the other posts at Saturday Critters.

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