By Eleanor Scott
August 11, 2020 | 4 minute read
Let's be honest ... no one wants to leave their much-loved pooch at home when they head away for the weekend. To make sure you don't have to, here are six dog friendly outings - from cafes and wine bars in Bright to picturesque off-leash walks in the Mornington Peninsula and pup-focused winery tours in the Dandenong Ranges. Perfect to base your next trip around. After all - they deserve a getaway too!
* At the time of writing, activities and places mentioned in this guide are at varying stages of recovery from COVID-19. Please check government and business websites for specific details on opening times and any restrictions before you travel.
Sunsets on Phillip Island
If you know where to go, Phillip Island has enough great sunset spots that you and your four-legged friend can watch the sky light up with a beautiful mix of oranges, pinks and reds from a different vantage point every day of the week. One of the best spots to witness this glorious display is located on the island’s most western point at Point Grant, otherwise known as the Nobbies.
You and your pooch can bound along a wooden boardwalk overlooking the rugged coastline, check out the seal colony and stare in awe at the huge blowhole before catching the sun’s final descent. You might even spot a penguin or two.
Markets and picnics in Daylesford
Every Sunday morning from 8.00am to mid-afternoon, the Railway Station on Raglan Street in Daylesford is taken over by the Sunday Market. It’s a charmingly small affair, but whether you love poring over second-hand nick-knacks or tasting your way through mouth-watering food and drink stalls, there’s something for every taste.
Dogs on-leash are welcome, so drop by early to avoid the crowds and pick up a delicious array of fresh fruits, local cheeses and yummy treats before heading over to Lake Daylesford for a picnic with your pooch. Once both your bellies are full, take a stroll through the picturesque parklands and while away the day.
Winery Tours with Gourmet Pawprints
Treats at Ginger Baker Wine Bar & Cafe, Bright
If you and your pooch are dying for a treat, head over to Ginger Baker Wine Bar & Café in Bright. Overlooking the Ovens River, their shady outdoor area is surrounded by lush oak and elm trees, so there’s plenty of space for your dog to rest while you tuck into a tasty brunch of ricotta hotcakes or smashed avocado. But it’s not just you who’ll have your appetite sated.
The team at Ginger Baker are big fans of dogs and have put all-natural dog biscuits on the menu to make sure your four-legged friend leaves just as satisfied as you will.
Winery Tours with Gourmet Pawprints
Your pooch deserves a great winery tour experience just as much as you do – at least that’s what Gourmet Pawprints think. Founded in 2013, the dog-friendly winery tour business offers food and wine tastings across the Yarra Valley, the Dandenong Ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Daylesford.
No matter where you choose to go, you’ll have a grand old’ time sipping and nibbling tasty goodies alongside your furry bestie. Even the transport is taken care of, with a bus equipped with doggy seat belts and blankets so you and your doggo are as comfortable as possible.
Walks in Lakes Entrance
It’s no secret that dogs make fabulous walking buddies. However, sometimes finding a great place for both you and your furry friend to stretch your legs isn’t easy. Luckily we know the perfect spot: Lakes Entrance. Featuring the famous Ninety Mile Beach as well as the largest network of inland waterways in the Southern Hemisphere, there are endless places for you and your doggo to sniff out and explore.
Spanning 4.6km, the Entrance Trail is particularly nice and gives you the option of traversing along either the beach or the leafy bushland and lake.
Flinders Cable Station, Mornington Peninsula
If you’re a fan of ocean views and off-leash beaches, you can’t go past the Flinders Cable Station Walk in Mornington Peninsula. You and your pooch will love the climb to the Western Port Bay lookout. It can get fairly steep, but the sprawling panoramic view is worth it – plus there are several information boards about Flinders' historical monuments to distract you along the way.
Afterwards, you can make your way back down to the beach to explore the rock pools or, in the warmer months, take a refreshing dip.
We think you should know
The Weekender's travel guides are independently written by real travellers.
We do not receive any money from, or have a sponsorship arrangement with,
any of the entities listed in or referred to in this article.