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FPA most pet friendly Aust/NZ chain

May 28, 2006
FPA most pet friendly  Aust/NZ chain

Former Family Parks of Australia CEO, the late Noel Guthrie, said he had never had to ask a dog to leave a FPA caravan park and he was confident that he more than likely would not have to.

In 2006 Noel told GoSeeAustraliathat Family Parks of Australia was the most pet friendly caravan park chain in Australia with 102 of its 161 caravan parks pet friendly.

Tasmania leads the Family Parks of Australia most pet friendly caravan parks on percentage, he said. Of the FPA member parks in the island state eight of 13 are pet friendly.

And the Family Parks of New Zealand arm of the chain follows the FPA Australia attitude too with 18 of 29 caravan parks prepared to take pets at the managers discretion. FPNZ forged links with FPA 15 months ago and the relationship is a big success.

Noel Guthrie said Australias most pet friendly family caravan park chain has evolved quickly from the initial 52 caravan parks which formed FPA in 2000.

He said that acceptance of pets in FPA parks was at the managers discretion, but as most were smaller breeds and all of them travel with their owners in caravans or motorhomes he had never had a complaint about a dog.

The dogs we see are part of the family, he said. They are friendly, well mannered, loved and properly controlled and cared for by their responsible owners, Noel Guthrie said.

Designated Friendly beach at Flinders Victoria for people and dogs
Designated Friendly beach at
Flinders Victoria for people and dogs

We find being pet friendly is a service valued by those who stay with us and Family Parks of Australia caravan park managers who take dogs get more business all year, he said.

But aggressive animals with owners who will not control and clean up after their pets are not welcomed by FPA caravan park managers, Noel Guthrie said.

Caravan parks as a general rule either have the room in the park or close by to allow owners to exercise their pets properly, he said.

Suitable arrangements can be often be made for pets through the caravan parks if owners want to visit a National Park or another attraction which does not permit pets.

Dr Harry Cooper helps with pet tips on the Tas stand at the Vic Supershow
Dr Harry Cooper helps with
pet tips on the Tas stand
at the Vic Supershow

GoSeeAustralia notes that while many caravan parks throughout Australia are pet friendly it is always advisable to discuss pets and their needs with the manager before arriving at a caravan park.

This prevents misunderstandings and a potentially bad experience for the pet.
Caravan park pet policies vary at the managers discretion. This is particularly relevant at peak periods like Christmas, Easter and school holidays.

Owners must accept responsibility for their dog. Obedient dogs can be controlled by voice, but owners must use a lead when required. Caravan parks that welcome pets expect guests to attend to their pets toilet needs and clean up after them.

And the word from FPNZ is see the North and South Island
And the word from FPNZ is see
the North and South Island

Pet friendly caravan parks throughout Australia respond to owners who are thoughtful about the temperament and size of their pets and recognise that many people, often children, are afraid of dogs. This means dogs are not allowed in public areas like swimming pools.

TV vet Dr Harry Cooper says if your loved bird is travelling too then cover the cage. Fear and objects flashing past can leave your pet a physical and psychological wreck. Arriving at at caravan park with a parrot which will not stop screeching is not Harrys idea of a happy holiday.

With small birds, particularly small yellow birds dont hang them outside in their cage. You are just running the high risk of providing a savory snack for the local kookaburras and other native predatory birds, Harry says.

FPA and FPNZ stand at the VIC caravan camping show
FPA and FPNZ stand at the
VIC caravan camping show

Snakes, lizards and fish, are no great problem if there is a quick daily check made. In the cool months small feeds or fairly long periods without feeding will not upset the natural order of things.

When travelling with dogs stop every two hours and exercise them. It will be good for you too and help you arrive safely. Make sure you have fresh water; it is best if it comes from the home supply and can be carried in sealed plastic containers.

Do not feed your animal on the day you leave and restrain them in the vehicle. If there is too much enthusiasm from the pet while it is in the vehicle it should be restrained on the floor behind the front passenger seat. Make sure all shots are up to date and off you go.

FPA members help with advice at the Vic Supershow
FPA members help with
advice at the Vic Supershow

For owners travelling with dogs here are some basics:

  • Discuss your pet and its needs with the caravan park before you arrive.
  • Train your dog in elementary obedience and good manners.
  • Do not allow your dog to wander outside of your own site area.
  • Keep your dogs vaccinations up to date and make sure your dog is flea free.
  • Stop your dog barking, it offends.
  • If the dog must be on a leash, make sure it is.
  • Stop your dog wandering or scavenging.
  • Dont let your dog foul pavements, lawns, gardens, beaches, parks and camping areas.
  • Clean up after your dog.
  • You dog should wear its council registration and an additional ID with your name and phone number plus the address and phone number of a friend at home.
  • Dogs should not be allowed to stick their heads through car windows. As your pet will be in a strange environment micro chipping is recommended as permanent identification.
  • On a hot summer day a dog in a closed car can die in six minutes, the Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals warns.

GSAs Aggie and husband Nick travel with friends
GSAs Aggie and husband
Nick travel with friends

Kerry Rob and Ty are an established travelling team
Kerry Rob and Ty are
an established travelling team

<li>Never leave pets or children in an enclosed vehicle in warm weather. It is amazing how quickly heat can build up, even on overcast days.</li>
<li>If your dog is in the car park make sure your vehicle is in the shade and windows are open enough to ensure a strong airflow. Never leave your pet for long periods.</li>
<li>Never tie dogs near trailer edges or windows hanging is a reality. Tie your dog up well clear of vehicles and make sure there is a continual supply of fresh water and shade.</li>
<li>Travelling dogs need regular walks. Dont let your pet wander around the vehicle. Apart from distracting the driver they can injure themselves and others if there is sudden braking or an accident. Dog seat belts are a sound investment in security and safety. Take clean, flea free bedding for your pet.</li>

How to Find GoSeeAustralia's Pet Friendly Caravan Parks -

Tony and Helen from Tassie ask GoSeeAustralia
Myself, my wife and our Jack Russell Terrier will be traveling later this year in our caravan. Would it be at all possible to obtain a list of pet friendly parks?
We will be traveling up through central Victoria, NSW (bypassing Sydney) to Brisbane . Returning NSW Vic coast (bypassing Sydney) to Melbourne.
Kind Regards.
Tony Helen

Ok Tony and Helen,
Go to Go SeeAustralia Advanced Search.
It is on the GoSeeAustralia Home Page on the left.
Click it.
It will open.
Click the Caravan Parks option and you will see a green dot come up.
Now in the state drop down box click the down arrow and click Victoria.
Click the Pet Friendly Box option.
Click Search.
You have all the Victorian caravan parks on GoSeeAustralia who have signed off with GoSeeAustralia as having a Pet Friendly Policy.
You will see there are 10 pages of Pet Friendly Parks.
For NSW (10 pages again) and Qld (7 pages) follow the same process for each state.
Always call ahead and discuss Jacks needs.
I owned a Jack Russell for 14 years.
Since she died I have not been able to take on another dog of my own.
I guess that means I am almost a loyal as she was.
Let me know if we can help further.

Editor's Note, also see: