Tips and Tricks For Travelling With Pets

By: Carla Francis, Photography by: Carla Francis

Here are a few tips if travelling with your furry (or feathered) BFF, as discovered along the coastal route from Sydney to Palm Cove

Tips and Tricks For Travelling With Pets
On the road, feline fine.


Tips and Tricks For Travelling With Pets

Presented by Caravan World

If you’re anything like me, then leaving your furry friends behind is not an option when you travel. Although the number of pet-friendly caravan parks has steadily increased over the years, a 'pets on application' policy still exits — which means that your holiday can be defined by where your best friend is welcome.

A pitfall of travelling with pets is that the label 'pet-friendly' doesn't always mean that all kinds of pets are automatically welcome. This can lead to undue stress if you turn up with a bird and are told that actually, only dogs are permitted. Some properties are merely 'dog-tolerant'.

For my 10-year school reunion in Palm Cove, I made the decision to drive north in a campervan as I didn’t want to fly my two cats: my rescue cat Lulu, aged seven, and Shinsei, a two-year-old Egyptian Mao.

Pet playpen Gympie.jpg

Instead, I wanted to take the scenic route. After doing some research, I mapped out a journey from Sydney to Cairns and trying to break our trip into manageable chunks. This was to include enough toilet breaks for both two and four-footed travellers, however, my options were narrowed again by a lack of pet-friendly options.

Not to be outdone by draconian pet laws or distance, I embarked on my journey after ensuring most of the parks I’d chosen were not too far off the beaten track — or major motorways.

Five years ago, I’d completed the same journey, so I was keen to find out if things had got any better in terms of pet-inclusive places. I was happy to see many parks declaring, 'Pets OK' as I sped past them on the Bruce Highway.

 Ballina Beach Village camp dog.jpg

7 Tips for Successful Pet Travel

  • Plan ahead and book in advance – the more popular parks can get booked up
  • Invest in a pet playpen
  • Comply with each park’s pet policy 
  • Make sure your pet’s flea and tick treatments and vaccinations are up to date 
  • Pets should be microchipped and wear ID tags in case they go missing
  • Always have poo bags and wet wipes available
  • If your pet is a nervous traveller, invest in a good calming spray



  • Getting there: Driving from Sydney to Palm Cove is 2438km — almost the equal of driving from London to Istanbul.
  • NRMA Port Macquarie Breakwall Holiday Park. Visit or call 1800 636 452
  • Ballina Beach Village. Visit or call (02) 6686 3347.
  • Gympie Caravan Park. Visit or call (07) 5483 6800.
  • Kangaroo Country Caravan Park. Visit or call (07) 49w 21 1799.
  • Wangaratta Caravan Park. Call (07) 4785 1152.
  • August Moon Caravan Park. Visit or call (07) 4063 2211.
  • NRMA Palm Cove Holiday Park. Visit or call (07) 4055 3824.


Caravan World Travelling With Pets