TRAVELLING WITH PETS

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A pet-friendly stay fit for a lord

Meet Ralph.

He’s a 4yo rescue dog, believed to be a ridgeback x greyhound.

Ralph is on the road fulltime, travelling in a bus with his pet parents, Chris and Mandy, aka @outbackosteos.

He thinks he’s pretty special. So, will a stay at BIG4 Gold Coast Holiday Park be up to scratch?

Let’s find out in this Q&A with his owners…

Will this be a pawesome stay? 

When did you first meet Ralph?

We adopted him at six months, and he’s lived more of his life on the road in a vehicle than he has in a house.

He loves beaches and long grass zoomies and will do just about anything for food. He thinks he’s human, and he definitely gets treated like royalty by us. This has acquired him the nickname, ‘Lord Ralph’.

Can we get you anything, Lord Ralph?

How was your set-up at BIG4 Gold Coast?

We had a beautiful dog-friendly cabin looking out over a grassy area and the off-lead dog park.

It was such a peaceful spot, with birds landing in the trees out the back of the verandah, and it was really spacious and comfortable inside. 

Nice outlook.

How did you find the experience?

We loved it! Having travelled in our bus for so long, it was nice to stretch out and enjoy the cabin.

There are so many things to do at the park. The pool area is so nice; you feel like you are overseas at a big resort. 

Let's take a walk around.

What did the park offer in way of pet-friendly facilities?

There was so much for Ralphy to do. By far our favourite was the dog-friendly dining at Nibbles Terrace.

Not only was the food incredible, but it was nice to be able to sit back among the tropical garden knowing we didn’t have to rush off and worry about what Ralph was doing.

He loved it too because he got to eat a few chips! He also loved the off-lead dog area. So much space for him to stretch his legs and display some of his famous zoomies.

After a big play at the park, we took him for a wash and blow dry at the doggy spa followed by a snooze in the sun on our beautiful cabin verandah. 

Dining done right.

From the pet side of things, what surprised you most about the park?

How big the off-leash dog park was. Usually, these are tiny fenced-off areas and not well maintained.

This space was huge, and there were so many obstacles for Ralphy to enjoy.

Now, that's an off-leash dog park.

Did any other park features grab your attention?

As I mentioned earlier, the pool – and the waterpark – are unbelievable.

We’ve stayed at lots of caravan parks over the last three years, but this place can’t even be classed in the same category as them.

It really is a resort for nomadic travellers. We can’t wait to stay again next time we visit the Gold Coast. 

Yep, it's an amazing set-up.

Were there any notable pet-friendly facilities nearby?

There was a great walking trail around the back of the park. The trail followed a small creek, and the birdlife down there in the early morning was beautiful. 

High five to fab food and fun times.

What’s your top tip for travelling with a pet?

Make your travelling setup feel like home before you set off.

We spent nights sleeping in our bus with Ralph before it moved anywhere.

When your pet associates that vehicle as its home, then it will feel more settled.

That way, if they have to spend any time in your home on wheels without you, they won’t fret that you won’t come back.

You’ll also enjoy dog-friendly activities more because you won’t have to worry about how they are going in the bus/van or with a sitter.

In this case, Ralph had a break from his home on wheels.

Any other handy hints you’ve learned along the way?

A tired dog equals a happy dog. The best part about travelling with Ralph is he gets us out for two walks/runs a day, and we all sleep better at the end of the day when we’ve had an active time. 

A busy day calls for a bath.

What are the essential items you pack when travelling with Ralph?

Treats, toys, an abundance of poo bags – because you always run out – and a comfy and easily moveable dog bed. 

Don't leave home without the poo bags! 

Keep up with the adventures of Chris, Mandy, and Ralph on Instagram.

Digging around for pet-friendly accommodation? Find a park here.

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