By Rebecca Francis
September 11, 2020 | 5 minute read
Looking for a great weekend away but don’t want to leave your best friend behind? Don’t worry, the Fleurieu Peninsula offers a range of pet friendly experiences – from beaches and trails to cafes and cellar doors. Your four-legged family member will love checking out these dog-friendly spots, as much as you!
* 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.
Dog friendly beaches
The Onkaparinga region has a number of beaches that are off-leash 24 hours a day, seven days a week! Being the closest to Adelaide, O’Sullivans Beach is often the most popular. The dog friendly section starts south of Selway Terrace and goes all the way down to the north side of Heather Street, stretching for around 1km – heaps of space for you and your pup to explore!
Sellicks beach offers a stunning view of the pristine South Australian coastline and is where the Mount Lofty Ranges meets the sea. The steep cliffs give way to a white stretch of sand which is perfect for your pooch to run on. Dogs are allowed to roam from the northern side of Robert Street down to ‘Cactus Canyon’, the southern boundary at any time. Cars are allowed on the beach below the Esplanade so keep an eye on your furry friend at all times.
Your pooch will be delighted with this stretch of golden sand on the southern coast, from Goolwa through to Middleton beach. There are no restrictions, except where there are active Hooded Plover breeding areas, so let your fur child run wild any time of the day and any day of the year. The beach stretches from Treleaven Place to Tongan Way.
Fishery Beach in Cape Jervis is a quaint little beach that allows dogs off-leash at all times of the year. It is a popular fishing beach and was home to a whaling station in the 1840s. Kangaroo Island can be seen from the shore on a clear day. It’s a quiet beach which is often only visited by the locals, so if you’re after some peace and quiet with your pup then this is ideal.
Dog friendly trails
Harbourmasters Walking Trail, Port Elliott
A popular dog friendly walk down south is the history rich Harbourmasters Walk, a short but delightful path that runs from Horseshoe Bay to Knights beach in Port Elliot. The trail begins at the ruins of the Harbour Master’s Cottage and is a 1.9km circuit hike that offers stunning panoramic views, and should definitely be on the list of things to do in Port Elliot.
Victor Harbor Heritage Trail
This walk has a bit of everything and is perfect for the whole family, including your fur friends. It’s a 6km long one way flat and well maintained path along the coast offering stunning views, the chance to see dolphins and whales swimming off shore and gain an understanding of the European and Aboriginal history through the interpretive signage along the way.
Linking Encounter Bay with the heritage towns of Victor Harbor, Middleton and Goolwa is the Encounter Bikeway, which is an on-road and shared trail that’s popular for dog walkers. It’s a 30km flat hike so if your pooch is after a big walk then this is it! There’s plenty to see as you follow the spectacular coastline and even some dog friendly cafes, such as Cafe Bavaria, to stop into along the way.
Wetlands Loop Trail
A 4.5km circuit, this easy boardwalk trail is perfect for stretching your legs with your furry loved ones. A flat terrain that twists and turns through Onkaparinga River National Park, your pup will love leading you through the intriguing and complex life of the wetland. Take your time and check out the fascinating flora and fauna of the area, as well as some bird spotting.
Mount Jagged Wines
Dog friendly cafesMount Jagged Wines
This cellar door oozing character is a treat for adults and pooches alike! Sip on a Cab Sauv by the roaring log fire and dine on local produce platters while you overlook the vines outside. Dogs are more than welcome to come inside, but must remain on a leash, and there’s plenty of room for them to run and play outside, with water and snacks on hand for when they need a break.
Appleseed Cafe, Strathalbyn
Located in the picturesque township of Strathalbyn, lies Appleseed Cafe. Your pet pal is more than welcome to join you for a delicious breakfast or tasty lunch in the great outdoor dining area. The cafe is nestled amongst numerous historic buildings and antique shops, and once you’ve re-energised, why not take your pup for a quick stroll along the nearby river.
The Boulevard Cafe on the Lake, Victor Harbor
This picturesque cafe is a great little spot for a caffeine refuel with your pooch whilst you admire the waterfront views. Popular with the locals, the cafe is known for its passion for local produce and friendly staff. Dogs are allowed at outside tables, and doggy snacks and dogachino’s are readily available.
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