Dogs – our furry companions, our sidekicks, our best friends. There is no denying that pets very quickly become part of the family and I think it’s safe to say we love their company.
Thankfully, the Sunshine Coast has stepped up and is showing its dog-friendly side with an array of eateries, accommodation options, dog parks, beaches, hikes and more all saying a big yes to the good boys and girls of the canine world.
And it makes sense too. The Coast is an adventure playground for humans and pups alike. Plus, the warm weather, sunny days of summer and a smorgasbord of fun to be had both in and outdoors are inviting us dog owners to get out and about with our four-legged friends.
So salt has rounded up a few dog-friendly options for a day out or even a staycation in our own backyard that will get the tails wagging.
Sit, stay, eat!
It doesn’t matter which suburb you head to, you should be able to find a place that offers up some coffee, treats and, of course, a puppuccino on the side. Try Poets Cafe or Wild Rocket at Misty’s in Montville, White Picket Fence or One Block Back in Caloundra, or Murrays on Sixth Maroochydore. Then there’s Boiling Pot Brewing Co in Noosaville if you’re after an afternoon local brew and want to take your four-legged mate.
One of our personal faves is The Velo Project in Mooloolaba. This cafe dishes up sustainable meals using local produce and has become something of a destination eatery for pooch-loving peeps.
Out the front, or the back, you can enjoy a delicious meal while your sidekick nibbles on dog-friendly donut biscuits or some peanut butter and bacon ice-cream made by Brisbane-based Hugo’s Ice Creamery. Treats all round.
Let’s go to the beach
Name a better combination than a beach, clear ocean and a dog digging its nose into the soft white sand. Thankfully, the Coast is lined with stunning beaches and many of them allow your furry friend to be off leash during certain hours. Some even let them take a dip with you leash free anytime.
You can’t go past Moffat Beach on a Sunday morning before 8am – there are paw prints everywhere and dogs splashing about in the ocean. Or you can keep your pooch on a lead and wander along the shore any time, up around the rocks and watch the surfers play in the waves as your dog follows suit in the white wash.
Currimundi Beach, a one-kilometre stretch of sand between entries 60 and 62, is off leash 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Pawfect.
Head further north and make a stop at Noosa Dog Beach. Just a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of Hastings Street is Noosa Woods, part of the Noosa Spit reserve. It is a slice of heaven for pet owners. Think prime picnic spot meets incredible views and calm water to cool off after your walk.
Speaking of walks…
Who wants to go for a walk?
Even the mention of the ‘W’ word is enough to get tails wagging, but let’s not limit these outings to the local park or a meander around the block. The Sunshine Coast has a whole heap of pathways and hikes that are pup friendly. Just remember to steer clear of the National Parks and take a lead.
Point Cartwright Reserve is one such place. Humans can look out over spectacular ocean views as they take a walk through the bush on paved pathways to the lighthouse from Pacific Boulevard carpark. The reserve also doubles as the fantastic after-hours Buddina dog park. If you’re feeling super energetic, you can pop your pup on a lead and stroll to the Kawana Surf Club and back, which is about a five-kilometre scenic round trip.
A little further south is the famous Caloundra foreshore and you can walk the trail from Bulcock Beach all the way to the off-leash section at Shelly Beach before jumping in for a dip.
Head north, wave the beaches goodbye and take a stroll along one of the many walking tracks at EJ Foote Sanctuary in Buderim. Entry to the sanctuary is free, dogs are permitted if on a lead and you clean up after them. You can pick from a number of tracks marked easy, medium or hard for the bigger dogs and their energetic humans.
Time for bed
After a big day of adventures, there is no need for your pet to miss out on the evening fun.
Spicers Tamarind in Maleny and Spicers Clovelly in Montville are now offering Pooch Packages so your pet can indulge in a little five-star luxury stay with you. Both properties have dedicated pet-friendly rooms (the French Cottage at Clovelly and Orchard Villa at Tamarind) with plush dog beds, doggie leads, bowls, blankies and a long-lasting bone. The only catch, fur kids must be under 25 kilograms, use their ‘inside voice’ during their getaway, and always toilet outside.
If you’re less about the glam and more about the great outdoors, Kenilworth Camping is more than happy to welcome your furry friend to its working dairy farm, as long as the pets don’t go off on their own special adventure. Situated along five kilometres of the great Mary River on 580 acres in Kenilworth, the whole family can pitch a tent, set up a camp fire and enjoy the beauty of the property.
Dog-friendly Airbnbs are all the rage these days too. So if you want a house stay, take a look online because there are a number of Sunshine Coast homes happy to have you, and your dog, for a little staycation.