Camping is a great way to spend a few lazy afternoons getting back in touch with nature, but what happens if you have a four-legged friend that you just can’t bear to leave behind?
The simple answer is to take them with you! Canberra and the surrounding regions surprisingly have quite a few dog-friendly camping spots where you can set up your tent and join your pooch in the natural lifestyle they were born to lead. Here are a few areas that you can set up camp if you are looking for something to do this weekend.
WEE JASPER RESERVE
Wee Jasper is about an hour’s drive headed in the direction for Yass, NSW, and is also accessible via the Cotter, but the drive is absolutely worth it! Not only do you wind yourself around rolling green hills and lush countryside, but there are heaps of areas where you and your dog can camp for the cheap – such as Micalong Creek, Billy Grace camp, Carey’s camp, Fitzpatrick Trackhead, and Swinging Bridge.
Pets are allowed in all areas, and with a variety of facilities available depending on your chosen camping spot, such as toilets, showers and BBQ’s, you could easily set up camp for the weekend! There are heaps of beautiful walks to go on around the area so there are plenty of chances to get back to nature without leaving too much of your home comforts behind.
My Japanese Spitz Buddy absolutely loved the ample space and relaxing nature of this reserve that he jumped in a muddy puddle just to prove it!
More information available here: www.weejasperreserves.com.au
OLD KOWEN HOMESTEAD RECREATION AREA
Generally you will pass the sign leading to Kowen Pine Forest past Queanbeyan on your way to the south coast, but did you know that the Old Kowen Homestead Recreation Area is a great place to go camping within the pine forest plantation?
This camping spot is about 8kms from the entrance gate and is very secluded for all of your camping needs. There are no showers, but you can find toilets, wood fired BBQ’s and a central picnic shelter as well. The best part? Pets are allowed!
Bookings are essential though, so make sure you book through the Namadgi Visitors Centre on 6207 2900, or through Canberra Connect on 132 281.
Woods Reserve is located near Canberra’s south towards Gibraltar Creek on Corin Road. It is a popular location for camping, picnics and even functions (yep, there’s the opportunity to have events there as well!). There are heaps of equipment and provisions available, with gas powered BBQ’s, picnic tables, hot showers and flushing toilets, so you really won’t feel like you are roughing it at all.
With Gibraltar Creek nearby and plenty of birds around, nature will call to you here at the Woods Reserve, and your four legged friend is absolutely welcome as long as they have a leash handy.
More information about Woods Reserve can be found at www.tams.act.gov.au/parks- conservation/parks-and-reserves/find-a-park/namadgi-national-park/woods-reserve
BLUE RANGE HUT RECREATION AREA
The Blue Range Hut Recreation area can be found within the Uriarra Forest on Blue Range Road, just 2.6kms from the Brindabella Road intersection. You can book the whole recreation area for events and large gatherings, but there is also a great area for some wonderful camping and hiking through some of the alpine trails of the northern Namadgi National Park.
The recreation area is surrounded by the debris from a heritage listed World War 2 Italian internment camp, so you will be getting a bit of a history lesson in your camping as well, and with dog exercise areas available, your little pampered pooch can also learn a thing or two.
More information can be found at www.tams.act.gov.au/parks-conservation/parks-and- reserves/find-a-park/murrumbidgee-river-corridor/blue-range-hut
Don’t forget that while you are enjoying the great outdoors, it’s also important to make sure that your dog remains happy and healthy on your camping trip.
Keep them away from any campfires (and make sure you check whether you can have fire or not before you head out), monitor them at all times and ensure they are secure in their new environment, clean up after them and watch out for the protection and preservation of native Australian wildlife, such as wombats, kangaroos and other bushland animals.
Please be wary of any snakes and smaller critters such as ticks and leeches that might be out and about, and for more information on camping with your pets you can check out the ACT Rescue and Foster Dog’s March newsletter, the RSPCAwebsite, and for more tips on camping with your pets you can go to PetCloud.