ByUnsealed 4X4October 3, 2017

5 things you need to remember when taking your best mate with you + 9 dog friendly campsites


Being a dog owner has its rewards; they become part of your family and they need to experience life with you and that includes travelling. However it can be restricting as to the locations you can explore (such as National Parks for example), but there are ways around the problem. You need to think outside the box and research other places you can visit – there are plenty out there and once you start looking you’ll start to realise that your list of destinations just doubled.


1 Keep them comfy

First of all you need to ensure your 4WD is suitable for your dog – is there enough room? Is it secure and comfortable enough while driving off-road? You need to have a plan in place for how you’re going to secure the dog at night and during the day if need be. If it’s at all possible, the best thing is to start your dog young, to get it used to travelling in a vehicle – long distances and short distances. Some dogs aren’t happy to be in a vehicle as they can become very nervous and it puts a strain on everyone in the cab if you cannot get your furry family member to settle down. So training them early has its advantages. It’s your full responsibility to take care of your dog whilst camping and on the road, picking up after it and having it on a lead a lot of the time. Most of the dog-friendly locations allow ‘off leash’ areas; however you will find that, mostly around the campsites, dogs are to be secured and monitored for their safety and yours… not to mention the native wildlife that also needs to be protected.


2 Access to shelter

Dogs can’t cope with heat as well as we do; they struggle to cool themselves. Make sure that your dog has access to a sheltered spot and make water easily accessible at all times. Most importantly, a non-negotiable is to never leave your dog alone in a vehicle at all (not even with a window open). Overheating occurs rapidly and can be fatal.


3 Packing food

The size of your pooch will determine how much food you need to take with you. If you have a small dog, the food is easy to pack and store; however if you have a big dog or more than one, then obviously the amount of food increases… so if you can have a plastic box in the camping gear that just houses all the tins of food and the biscuits, it makes it easy to see how much is left by looking through the side of the box (and it’s easy and quick to find).


4 Watching out for nasties

Another thing to be aware of is ticks. If you’re going to be visiting a cattle property, you can be sure there are going to be ticks there – so make sure your dog’s tick protection is up to date. Another way to make sure these nasty little buggers don’t catch a ride is to bathe your dog in Tick Wash before you leave, and again when you get home.


5 State forests

Dogs are welcome in State Forests, which is a bonus; however your dog must be restrained and monitored the entire time to ensure you don’t receive a fine from the Rangers. Even while in and around camp, your dog must be secured. Using a long lead that gives access to everyone in camp gives the dog a sense of freedom to roam. Most of the time, campsites within State Forests are close together and you need to be mindful of other campers in close proximity that may not have dogs; and it’s their prerogative to enjoy their camping trip just as much as you… so try and keep any noise to a minimum.


Where to take your pooch

There are many spots that allow dogs, and here are a few:

South East Queensland Campsites

North Stradbroke Island – Main Beach

  • 30 minutes from Brisbane to the Ferry at Cleveland
  • $145 per 4WD + $45 Vehicle Permit for 12 months
  • No amenities


Swan Gully 4WD Park

  • 30 minutes from Brisbane to the Ferry at Cleveland
  • $145 per 4WD + $45 Vehicle Permit for 12 months
  • No amenities


Janowen Hills 4WD Park

  • $9.50 pp/pn + $25 per vehicle per day
  • 3 hours west of Brisbane
  • Showers and toilets
  • Campsites all along the creek
  • Bins provided


Inskip Point

  • 3 hours north of Brisbane
  • $6.15 pp/pn or $24.60 per family per night
  • Facilitated beach campsites


LandCruiser Mountain Park

  • 2 hours north of Brisbane
  • $45 per night per vehicle for 24-hour stay
  • Heaps of tracks rated differently to accommodate all driving experience levels


The Springs 4WD Park

  • 3 hours west of Brisbane just outside Warwick
  • $65 one night camping + 2 days 4WDing
  • Showers and toilets
  • Flat campsites
  • Great 4X4 tracks
  • Beer o’clock Hill


Northern NSW Campsites

Toonumbar Dam – Bells Bay Area

  • $10 per site + $2 per person per night
  • 33km from Kyogle
  • First in best dressed with the campsites
  • Take a kayak – great spot for a paddle!


The Gorge, Clarence River

  • Approx 1 hour north-west of Grafton
  • $20 per night per carload
  • Firewood supplied and daily rubbish removal
  • Awesome spot for bass fishing
  • Fantastic views
  • Take a tinnie or a kayak


Levuka 4WD Park

  • 2.5 hours from Brisbane
  • $60 two-day weekend for 2 adults
  • Toilets and showers