by Jodi Panayotov
Every dog may have its day but the question is, where do you take them on their day? Around Brisbane we've found seven doggie day trips that are guaranteed to keep both the four-legged and their two-legged companions happy.
Sea-loving dogs who also like to feel the sand between their paws can take the low-tide on-leash amble from Wellington Point out to the tiny mangrove covered King Island, which, incredibly was home to a family for a brief time in the early 1900's. There's plenty of opportunity to sniff out crabs and cool off in the calm waters and afterwards, the quaint local The Wishing Well Café is the most dog-welcoming eatery on the bay. Otherwise grab some takeaway from the Rock'n'Roll Café by the ferry pier and eat it in the park.
Note that this is a weekday only trek as the sandbar to King Island is off-limits to dogs on weekends.
Flanked by a scenic walking path that takes in the Gayundah ship wreck, the swimming lagoon of Settlement Cove and a host of picturesque little coves, the Redcliffe peninsula is also home to Moreton Bay's largest dog park, the extraordinary 5ha Kroll Gardens, featuring walking paths, a 'fetch' oval and groves of trees. While the main stretch of shops along Redcliffe Parade are not ideal for pooch parking, the tiny village of Scarborough a kilometre north has some excellent cafes where dogs are welcomed alongside footpath dining.
Probably the dog-friendliest island of them all, Bribie has kilometres of off leash dog beaches - Woorim Beach and Red Beach - which, although a bit wild in places (and narrow at high tide) are a decent walk for owners and offer bountiful play, swim, dig and mingle opportunities for dogs.
When the novelty of bounding around the surf beaches wears off, there's a fabulous walking path for an on-leash stroll on the calm water side at Bongaree that meanders along the waterfront through playgrounds, barbecue and picnic spots, past jetties and through a bird hide boardwalk. The Blue Anchorage beachfront café is a top spot for lunch and there are pandanus trees out front to anchor dogs to.
The salt water inlet Stumers Creek divides the dog off leash area north of Coolum's patrolled beach in two, creating a fantastic water playground for dogs and children alike. Dogs bound endlessly into and across the shallow flowing creek, whose surrounds are totally protected and beyond, where the surf is, the beach on both sides is wide and unspoilt. While there are no eateries nearby, the Coolum shopping strip is a two minute drive south or, better still Peregian Village a five minute drive north. In the green square in its heart the fantastic Baked Poets Café spills out onto the grass and there are plenty of shady trees adjacent for dogs to be tethered.
As far as surf beaches go this one (between Gothic Pde and Buderim St) is hard to beat, with a massive stretch of white sand, crashing surf and plenty of head space for all. Bring a picnic, go for a stroll and do everything that a day at the beach entails without hassle. And if a hankering for seafood occurs, a five minute drive south is The Fishmonger's Wife, one of the best fish'n'chip shops on the Sunshine Coast.
Start or finish this one with a meander through Southport Broadwater Parklands, the splendid master planned waterfront park that has everything from aquativity zones, playgrounds for all ages and bike tracks to barbecue and picnic areas, cafes and an amphitheatre.
Meanwhile over at The Spit there are two ways for dogs and owners to get wet – in the sprawling cove fronting the broadwater or the secluded surf beach at the tip of the spit beyond the sand dunes.
Again there's no need to go too far for sustenance – Peter's at the back of Seafood Nara Resort is the go-to spot for all seafood needs as the hundreds who descend there on weekends can testify. Take it away and find a shady spot in Main Beach's ample surrounding parkland.
And when the sun goes down:
The Drive-In – OK this is a strictly night time jaunt but where else can you take a pooch to watch a double feature or, better still a dawn to dusk movie marathon? Yatala Drive-In welcomes movie-goers and their dogs (on leashes) to their wonderfully retro set-up alongside cow paddocks off the M1. The retro metal speakers are still there and the besser block kiosk with the sloping roof still sells 1960's fare – hotdogs, hamburgers, popcorn and choc tops – though it's BYO dog food and water bowl. Better still dogs have no entry charge.
© Must Do Brisbane