Exploring the pet friendly Mid North Coast NSW turned out to be pretty easy and a lot of fun for both us humans and our fur-babies.

The town of Dorrigo

On the Australia Day weekend, I got my fur-babies in the car and we travelled along Waterfall Way to find our first stop at the quaint little town of Dorrigo. Generally a quieter stop, Australia Day saw a band entertaining the locals and travellers alike with wagyu beef burgers, lamb pies and other delights on offer in the main street. A few of the shops that were open that day allowed my fur-babies inside, but it is always safe to check with the owners before you enter.

In and around Bellingen

After enjoying some of the local produce and taking in the sights it was time to continue down the Dorrigo Mountain to Bellingen. Stepping out of the car, one almost feels a sense of magic surrounding you, with an unusual mix of alternative lifestyles, wealthy residents and a strong focus on organically produced local food. Bellingen is the home of award-winning gelato from The Bellingen Gelato Bar and offers a beautiful outside area where you and your fur-babies can relax and enjoy a well-earned break.

Bonville Lodge, a Coffs Harbour delight

Soon after our ice-cream stop, we were off to Coffs Harbour once again. We booked into Bonville Lodge, a pet-friendly bed & breakfast, hosted by the lovely Ron and Cathy. This is my favourite place to stay with the fur-babies as there is plenty of room for them to run around outside, complemented by comfortable and quiet accommodation in a lodge. There is a choice of two types of accommodation, the second one faces the street, accommodates more than 2 people and is further away from the grassy area.

The gate to the property is always open so it is imperative that owners supervise their fur-babies when outside. Owners need to be aware that it is located in a residential street, and the need to minimise any barking and ensure you clean up after your fur-babies. There is a large area near the lodge where owners can allow their dogs to run and play. Located approximately 14 km south of Coffs Harbour on the Pacific Highway and close to Sawtell, Bonville Lodge is very well situated.

After travelling for most of the day, the trio were rather tired. It was time to grab a quick takeaway before heading back to the B&B. Being Australia Day, not all places were open but we found Banana Coast Seafood takeaway open located near the Jetty and it was delicious!

A favourite – Maggie’s Dog Cafe

On Saturday morning we headed to Maggie’s Dog Cafe, Shop and Salon at Moonee Beach. We visited Moonee Beach last time and it’s fast becoming a very pet-friendly beachside suburb allowing pets to go most places. The trio enjoyed the Paw Blonde at the cafe as a refreshing beverage accompanied by home-made turmeric biscuits. There is a play area set up at Maggie’s divided into areas for smaller and larger dogs. The trio always enjoy their visit there!

Dog friendly beach fun

Park Beach was our next stop, it is one of Coffs Harbour’s well-known attractions and offers a great dog-friendly beach. This beach is very popular with locals and visitors alike. As you enter the beach there are doggy bags available, owners are expected to clean up after their fur-babies whilst on the beach so it is a good time to grab a few bags if you need them. Running through the waves, meeting new friends was a great way to exhaust the trio. At the main entrance of Park Beach are a few showers where you and your fur-babies can rinse off the sand before heading back. It is always handy to travel with a few towels for your fur-babies to help dry them off before jumping back into the car.

Summer safety tips

Travelling to coastal areas is always exciting but owners need to be aware of dangers such as ticks as mentioned in my previous article, but in the hot weather it is also very important to look after our fur-babies paws on the hot pavement and sand, and ensure any exposed skin is protected with non-toxic sunscreen, not to mention plenty of water and shade from the hot sun.   It’s worth checking out Lara’s Summer Safety Tips  for some extra advice on keeping them safe on a summery holiday.

Until next time, stay safe and keep cool!


Kim-Trieste Hastings resides in regional NSW and is passionate about regional economic development. In her spare time, Kim-Trieste enjoys travelling our beautiful areas with her partner and her 3 fur-babies.