5 essential tips for a smooth road trip with your pet

For many people, the thought of travelling without their pet is like travelling without an arm. A holiday just isn’t the same unless their furry friend is coming along for the ride.

If this sounds like you, you’ll be glad to know that there has never been a better time to hit the road with your pet. Many BIG4 parks now accept dogs, and this pet-friendly accommodation is scattered throughout Australia.

While taking a road trip with your pet can be a fun and memorable experience, it can have its challenges. So we’ve put together a list of handy tips when on the road with your dog to ensure you have a smooth journey.

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The best places to spot Australian wildlife

While you can’t beat zoos and organised tours for easy and reliable viewing of wildlife, there’s something special about spotting Australian animals in the wild.

Seeing wildlife in its natural environment is probably the closest thing we will ever get to being a part of the paparazzi. Ever notice how we act when we spot a wild animal? We crouch, we hide, we whisper, and we hold our cameras in this covert way, as if it all makes a difference to the animal that probably smelt us from 10km away.

Moreover, these wildlife encounters usually excite adults as much as kids. It’s like this massive personal achievement to be the first to spot a koala, wombat, or echidna.

If you want to be thrilled by a wildlife encounter – or simply compare the delight on your child’s face with that of your partner‘s – BIG4 has the lowdown on the best destinations to go.

We’ve previously covered off the best places to spot kangaroos in the wild. Now, let’s concentrate our energies on Australia’s many other popular cute and cuddly creatures.

Wildlife spotting requires preparation. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania/Rob Burnett.
You can’t beat the chance to see wildlife in its natural environment. Image credit: Tourism Tasmania/Rob Burnett.

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17 reasons why dogs make great travel companions

There are plenty of dog lovers within the BIG4 family, and we love it when we can enjoy pet-friendly holiday adventures. In fact, some among us even cheekily suggest that our dogs make better travel buddies than our partners!

All this love for our pooch pals got us thinking – what is it about dogs that make them such great travel companions?

The subject is even more pertinent now that more than a third of BIG4 Holiday Parks offer pet-friendly accommodation. So let’s pay tribute to Rover, Rex, Ruby, Randy, Ralph, Roxy, and Rollie with 17 reasons why dogs make the best travel buddies.

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Australia’s must-see botanic gardens

Glorious botanic gardens are dotted throughout the Australian landscape and attract visitors and locals alike for their magnificent colours, extravagant beauty, and tranquil surrounds. Whether positioned in major cities or small towns, Australia’s botanic gardens are a source of immense pride.

You could easily have the attitude ‘if you’ve seen one botanic garden, you’ve seen them all’. However, if you think all Australian botanic gardens are the same, think again. So many of them have individual or rare attributes that ensure they are essential attractions when on your travels.

We’ve handpicked a wonderful selection of gardens that make essential viewing, so it’s time for you to wake up and smell the roses. Literally.

Adelaide Botanic Garden's Palm House is grand.
Adelaide Botanic Garden’s Palm House is a seriously grand building.

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Best summer holiday destinations in Australia

With thanks to guest blogger Jennifer Adams of Places We Go.

Ooh, I have excitement in my fingertips even writing this blog article! When I think of summer holidays in Australia, I think of our great country sparkling at her very best; what a beauty she really is, especially over the Christmas ‘summer’ holidays.

Enjoying Australia’s spectacular backyard.
Enjoying Australia’s spectacular backyard.

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6 important reasons why camping is good for you

We all know camping is a fantastic activity, providing hours of enjoyment and a welcome opportunity to connect with loved ones, as well as nature.

But that’s just the start. Did you also know that a whole range of wonderful health benefits result from camping? From physical and mental aids to those that are tailor made for children, these benefits ensure there’s even more reason why you should spend a night under the stars.

Check out the many reasons why camping is good for your health.

Family Enjoying Camping Holiday On Campsite

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How to survive while sharing a caravan with your whole family

With thanks to guest blogger Janelle Boynton of Feathertop Family Adventures.

Before leaving on our trip, I remember being in our ensuite at home and, within a minute, the rest of the family was in there with me. I said: “Could you all please get out?”, then quickly said: “No, no, stay…let’s practise being in one small space together”. It turns out we needed all the practice we could get!

Living in one caravan together isn’t like living in your house. Staying organised and sane while sharing the one space inside your caravan can be a challenge. Just imagine passing each other at the fridge, sink, and bathroom with just one metre clearance.

But despite the challenges, we love living together. It has brought us much closer together as a family and taught us to be patient and more tolerant of each other’s differences.

Living within inches of each other can be challenging, but it also brings the family together...literally.
Living in a caravan together is challenging, but it also brings the family together…literally.

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8 memorable Australian zoo experiences

Australia has a superb collection of zoos and wildlife sanctuaries that entertain, enthral, engage, excite, and educate. Yet visiting an Australian zoo or wildlife park is like standing in a supermarket’s confectionery aisle – there’s so much on offer that it’s tough to know what to choose (or where to start).

So rather than just informing you of the best zoos in Australia, we’ve gone a step further. We present the lowdown on great zoo experiences – the must-sees, the rare encounters, the up-close meetings, or the captivating shows – and when to witness them.

We understand a day at the zoo can be pricey even without add-ons, so our choices are limited to experiences that form part of a general admission ticket, (which means the chance to wrestle dozy polar bears at $10,000 a pop was omitted from the list, sorry). With the hard work already done for you, prepare to enjoy a bunch of great Australian zoo experiences.

Zoos allow for incredible up-close encounters.
Zoos allow for incredible up-close encounters. Image credit: Perth Zoo.

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Why Kiama has got it all – the beauty of the South Coast of NSW

Blog contribution by Jennifer Adams, presenter of the popular TV travel series Places We Go.

The New South Wales South Coast is a blend of what I consider to be some of the best qualities of Australia: kilometres of lush green rolling farmland, framed superbly by never-ending spectacular coastline that’s home to some of the most pristine beaches in the country.

Kiama, where rolling farmland meets the sea.
Kiama, where rolling farmland meets the sea.

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