Last updated on 6 May, 2023
Tasmania is an incredible place to take your dog on a road trip. Our 12 top tips for caravanning Tasmania with your dog will help you and your dog to have the best time possible.
Nonetheless, some travellers hesitate or opt not to bring their dogs to Tasmania, often assuming that it will be too difficult with so much of the state covered by national parks.
Tasmania has a plethora of dog friendly attractions, beaches, hikes, waterfalls and campgrounds. For 15 weeks, Chika, our border collie, travelled Tasmania with us in our caravan. We found so much to do and places to camp we could have done another 15 weeks.
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- 12 Top Tips for Caravanning Tasmania with your Dog
- 1. Get the Necessary Vaccinations
- 2. Spirit of Tasmania (SOT)
- 3. Dog Identification
- 4. Create Familiarity for Your Dog
- 5. Beware the Sun
- 6. Beware the Acaena Ovalifolia (Weed)
- 7. Beware Snakes
- 8. Car Travel
- 9. Dog Friendly Camping
- 10. Dog Friendly Walks, Locations and Sightseeing
- 11. Salamanca Markets
- 12. It is possible to visit Tasmania's National Parks
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12 Top Tips for Caravanning Tasmania with your Dog
1. Get the Necessary Vaccinations
- Your dog must have a dose of praziquantel within 14 days before entering Tasmania.
It is a requirement that all dogs entering Tasmania to have had the praziquantel treatment (tablet) and that your vet provides written evidence. Praziquantel helps in the prevention and treatment of Hydatid Disease caused by tapeworms.
2. Spirit of Tasmania (SOT)
- Pre plan your journey on SOT
Our experience of travelling on SOT with Chika was positive with some pre-planning, as explained in our article Pets Travelling on the Spirit of Tasmania. We recommend speaking to your vet and the staff at SOT before sailing about any concerns or questions you may have.
3. Dog Identification
- An identity tag on your dog’s collar with your current mobile phone number is essential
Also, ensure your dog’s microchip details are up to date. The tag and microchip will mean anyone who finds your dog, while you are caravanning Tasmania with your dog, can contact you.
4. Create Familiarity for Your Dog
- Provide your dog with a few items that are their own and familiar to them
Dogs should have their own stuff. Their own bed, water and food bowls, lead, toys and other dog friendly camp gear. Help your dog to settle into new places by putting their things out for them and in the same spots. For example, Chika’s water bowl goes up against a caravan wheel.
5. Beware the Sun
- Be prepared to zinc or sunblock your dog
The sun in Tasmania burns. It is intense and will burn even on the coldest days. Sadly Chika, who has a pink area on her nose, got sunburnt in our first few days in Tasmania. From then on, to her dismay, we sunblocked her nose and she never got sunburned again.
6. Beware the Acaena Ovalifolia (Weed)
- Be prepared to brush and or comb this weed from your dog’s coat regularly
Until we travelled around Tasmania, we had not encountered the acaena ovalifolia weed. This particular weed is something else.
The first time Chika managed to get herself covered in the flowers (the part of the weed that attaches itself to anything it can), I thought they were spiky like a thistle and nearly panicked because she had them everywhere. They are not spiky but have little hooks that let them latch themselves to pretty much anything. Your dog’s fur is ideal.
It is easy enough to pull them off by hand. Any bits left behind will cause knotting or matting, so ensure you thoroughly brush or comb their fur.
7. Beware Snakes
- Tasmania has three snakes and all are venomous
During our time in Tasmania, we only saw one snake, doing its own thing, up at Mount Wellington, but others have seen a lot of snakes. Use precaution and be aware of long or dense grass or shrubs where snakes like to hide.
8. Car Travel
- Restrain your dog during car travel
Not only is it safer for everyone and your dog, but restraining your dog, in your vehicle is the law in Tasmania. There are fines for failing to do so.
Chika travels in our backseat and wears a harness plugged into the seat belt. Another option is to put your dog in a carrier or cage on your vehicle.
9. Dog Friendly Camping
- Use the Wikicamps app to find dog friendly campgrounds
Tasmania has an abundance of dog friendly campgrounds (free and low cost) and caravan parks, with many being located in picturesque locations such as on beach fronts, beside lakes, creeks, rivers, dams, in lovely bush settings, towns and cities.
When camping, it is necessary to:
- Keep your dog under control which usually means tethered or on a leash,
- Clean up after your dog by picking up and binning your dog’s poo (do this ALWAYS),
- Not allow your dog to bark excessively.
10. Dog Friendly Walks, Locations and Sightseeing
- Join the Dog Friendly Tasmania on Facebook
- Give your dog lots of opportunities to explore where it is appropriate to do so
Dog Friendly Tasmania group is a wealth of information about walks, accommodation and places you can go with your dog within Tasmania. The online community will also answer any questions. The group will also assist in finding dog minders and sitters.
It is often worth asking if a place is dog friendly, as you might be surprised. We were pleased to discover that the Port Arthur Historic Site and many other Tasmania attractions are dog friendly.
11. Salamanca Markets
- RSPCA Puppy Parking
Dogs are not allowed at the Salamanca Markets held each Saturday in Hobart. Instead, you can leave them at the RSPCA Puppy Parking between 9 am to 1 pm for up to two hours for only $4.
We used this service for Chika. The volunteers were brilliant. Chika is reactive to other dogs, so we were worried the RSPCA volunteers would not want to look after her. Gratefully, they were reassuring and kept Chika entertained by playing games with her. She was happily panting when we collected her. I highly recommend this brilliant service.
12. It is possible to visit Tasmania’s National Parks
- Dogs are forbidden in National Parks in Tasmania but do not let that stop you from going
It is possible to visit national parks and travel with a dog. During our 15 weeks in Tasmania, we went to four national parks. Each time, we made different arrangements for Chika:
- Cradle Mountain: The Visitor’s Information Centre car park is outside the national park. The weather was extremely mild, so we left Chika to sleep in our car.
- Cape Raoul: We went on a late afternoon walk for 1 hour and left Chika tethered to our caravan at our campsite.
- Freycinet: Chika stayed tethered to our caravan at our campsite while other campers kept an eye on her. The feedback was that she slept most of the day.
- Mount William: We took advantage of an offer from another camper to watch Chika while we visited Mount William.
There are dog sitters available. Search or ask on the before mentioned Dog Friendly Tasmania group on Facebook.
Tasmania was our first state on our travels around Australia. As somewhere to travel with our dog, we have found it outstanding. Sure, some places were not, but we just moved on. Overall, we loved Tasmania as travellers with a dog.