Editor's Note: Carla Francis wrote this article for GoSee as an animal owner who wants to share their experiences of finding genuine pet friendly accommodation close to Sydney. She travelled to and stayed in all accommodation featured with her pet cat Gershwin.
By Carla Francis
When choosing a pet friendly holiday it is a good idea to keep the distance to a minimum and not spend too many hours on the road. Travelling for pets, particularly cats is like us licking ourselves clean, it would take too long, make no sense and end up leaving an unpleasant smell!
Long periods in a car may not be your pets idea of a great time but the number of people travelling with their animals is increasing.
According to Petnet *14 per cent of Australians always travel with their pets.
Anyone who has read Peter Gethers The cat who went to Paris will know there is at least one puss that thoroughly enjoys a change of scene and the experience of travelling. So when choosing a pet friendly holiday bear in mind the location and travelling time and choose your accommodation carefully.
Despite being labelled as pet friendly the reality is that the vast majority of accommodation on offer only welcomes dogs and often under strict guidelines; so you could ask just how pet friendly they really are.
There are, however, some hotels, cabins and self-catering apartments that do welcome all types of animals but it can be tiresome trying to find them so here are some we know are real pet friendly accommodation.
Country Break-Blue Mountains
The first leg of our pet travels took us to the Cedar Lodge Cabins in the Blue Mountains. The cabins are located in the village of Mount Victoria, which is an ideal base to explore the surrounding sights.
As you turn into the drive way you notice the tall trees that line the reception area and the contrasting brightness of the bushland gardens, which are clearly visible from the rear of the cabins.
Gershwin outside a cabin at Cedar Lodge Cabins
Your pet (under control) will be kept thoroughly entertained by the multitude of birds who visit the garden.
So when you go to visit the local sights at Katoomba and Jenolan caves you need not feel guilty that your pet will be bored.
The animal loving proprietors who have their own feline will not think you are two sandwiches short of a picnic if you bring out your cat on a lead and will welcome you and your friend with open arms.
The cosy ensuite cabins range from standard to spa deluxe and can sleep up to five people.
All cabins come equipped with TV, microwave, fridge and stove so you can cook yourself, which is ideal for those on a budget.
Whilst this is not a five star resort it is clean and comfortable, which makes it an ideal trip for both pet and owner looking for a relaxing break from the stresses and strains of city life.
The second leg of our trip took us down the south coast to Gerringong. Also known as Geriatricgong by some Sydneysiders this little known seaside town is ideal for those wishing to escape city life.
Gerringong is conveniently located 126 km south of Sydney via the Princes Highway. Just as you pass Kiama you approach the diary farm lands of Gerringong.
The large balcony at Gerringong Beach House
When you reach the house you could be forgiven for thinking that we have travelled all this way to hit a mini suburbia by the sea.
But go inside the house and find the rather adequately sized balcony with uninterrupted ocean views and you realise that the one hour and40 minutes spent listening to your animal serenading your entire journey wasnt a mistake!
Gerringong Holiday House is a large five bedroom two-storey beach house, which is set back from the ocean.
The house is so spacious it can sleep up to14 and can be divided into two separate living areas. Unless you fancy an up hill walk you would be better taking your car to the local dog friendly Werri Beach, which is 200 metres away.
The ocean view is clearly visible from the master bedroom and if the neighbour stops mowing his lawn for long enough you might just hear the sound of the waves.
The owner of the beach house, Sue Barnett is an animal lover who always travels with her pet Cavalier.
She says that the benefits for having a pet friendly place is we get great guests who appreciate being able to bring their pet.
For the final leg of our travels we opted for a city break to see what is available for those wishing to paint the town red but not wanting to leave their pet behind.
We tried The Hughenden in Paddington. When you arrive at the 1870s mansion you are struck by its grand exterior and charm and grace of a bygone era. This truly animal friendly hotel and has had all manner of guests, from snakes to guinea pigs.
Main entrance of The Hughenden, Sydney
It is so animal friendly the Hotel Manager claims that all animals are welcome and only poisonous spiders may not be admitted, as this could pose a threat to guests.
There are four clean rooms which are designated as pet friendly and a $20 daily charge per pet guest is required. Two of the bedrooms are tiled which is ideal for moggies who have a penchant for clawing.
All of the pet friendly rooms have a private courtyard or glass atrium, which allows your animal some freedom and you some piece of mind.
Pets are welcome to accompany their owners to Quaifes, the hotels A La Carte restaurant.
The four-star hotel offers animal friendly services such as pet bathing and dog walking, which can be organised from reception. Owners are also encouraged to bring photos of their best friend to display on the pet board.
So the next time you plan a trip, consider taking your best friend along too.
There are now more pet friendly choices than ever before but be sure to check whether pet actually means all small companion animals or just dogs. There is a difference between being pet friendly or dog tolerant and always call ahead to avoid disappointment.
*Newspoll Market Research, March 2000
P Gethers The Cat Who Went To Paris, 1991
The accommodation Cedar Lodge Cabins Blue Mountains NSW
Cedar Lodge cabins
Mount Victoria, Blue Mountains Standard Cabin:
Deluxe Spa Cabin:
*no fee for pets
Main drive way of Gerringong Beach House
Gerringong Beach House, Gerringong
Weekends: From $350/night High Season to $160/night Low season
*no fee for pets
*Call for rates
Quaifes Restaurant, The Hughenden, Sydney
The Hughenden Hotel, Paddington, Sydney
(All room rates include breakfast)
Editor's Note: Also See -
Pet friendly bedroom, The Hughenden, Sydney
Inside Gerringong Beach House