Travelling the Kimberley with dogs

Hi Birgit, have just purchased your Destination Kimberley book and I must say that I'm impressed. I plan a trip there towards end of August and would like your advice on just one thing: travelling the Kimberley with a dog.

I will be travelling by myself, photography being my main interest, and plan on staying away from the popular/populated van parks etc., and spend more time in isolated areas.

I plan on taking my dog with me. As I'm sure all owners would say, she is a well behaved dog, lives with wildlife around my place and never wanders far from me.

Apart from the obvious places where dogs are not permitted (and I don't plan to go there) do you think that she could be a hindrance????

Update!!! This question and my original answer is from 2008! For current info on travelling the Kimberley and Gibb River Road with dogs see this page.

Comments for Travelling the Kimberley with dogs

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Jul 04, 2008

by: Birgit

Thanks for your purchase and for the kind words. Much appreciated.

Well, if you will experience your dog as a hindrance depends very much on you!

Friends just visited me on their way through and they are travelling with two dogs. They met others on the road who were travelling with three. They hadn't had any problems at all.

Sure, it is easier to find accommodation without dogs. Yes, they are a hindrance as in that they stop you from going into national parks and that many campsites will not allow dogs. But it's up to you to judge or predict how much that will bother you.

This question has already been brought up a couple of times with regard to the Gibb River Road:

Travelling through the Gibb River Road area with dogs

Taking dogs along the Gibb River Road

Drysdale River Station allows dogs (but get in touch with them first if you want to stay there), Kalumburu is also not a problem. Other stations that welcome dogs are Mt. Elizabeth, Charnley River and Diggers Rest. As with Drysdale, always get in touch first and confirm that dogs are still welcome. If they have a bad experience with someone's dogs they may change their mind, you just never know.

So at the end of the day it's not as bad as it first seems. Only the national parks and conservation reserves are off limits. There are many other places to go and things to do.

Everybody experiences it differently. I have a dog myself (very well behaved, of course ;-) ) and I would not want to travel with her. Others can not imagine travelling without theirs...

If you always or often travel with your dog then there is no reason not to this time. (Just watch those crocs!)

All the best,

Aug 17, 2008
by: Pilgrim

If you can travel without dogs, do so. The restrictions are many. Can't get into any caravan park in Broome. Can't take your animal into any National park or any beach. The discrimination against dogs is huge and if you can do so, leave your furry family at home.

Oct 30, 2008
Travelling with Dogs
by: Jules

If you think you would be equally miserable without your dog as they would be without you, then take them.

You will need to be a little more organised so you know where you can stay with dogs and as B says, it will restrict you sometimes.

BUT there are just as many places you can you with your dog, as those you can't, so when visiting a new region do what you can with the time you have and you will be fine.

Cheers, Jules

Mar 09, 2011
travelling with dogs
by: Bj

We travelled in july 2011 right up to Derby thru the middle of WA and experienced the best ever reception from people if you are travelling with dogs, they are a good conversation starter too!! We never encountered any problems till we got to Broome !! but we stayed in the overflow caravan park and dogs were allowed JUST ASK !! I cannot stress enough the only way your going to know is ask !!! Ours is the best damn lookin blue heeler and we plan to take her again and another one with us on our big move up there to Derby. we liked the NW so much we have decided to move up there to see more so keep ya eyes open for two blue dogs and us Barb & Marty (see you on the Derby Jetty when the sun goes down ) and nice cold ones too!!! CHEERS

May 16, 2011
If you've got an easy going, low maintenance dog, go for it!
by: Helena

Quite a few places allow dogs, especially if they're out of town and you call ahead. I travel with a collapsible canvas kennel so she's always got her own spot. Beware of 1080 baits, cane toads, crocs, snakes, heat stroke and well-meaning tourists who sometimes pick up dogs who are wandering about without their owners in sight, thinking that they're strays.

I tie my dog up if I'm not actively watching what she's up to - a bored dog's better than a dead one. It would help if she's comfortable hanging out with strangers - you might find another traveler or local willing to mind your dog for a few hours while you visit a 'no dogs' spot in return for a meal, beer or cash bribe.

Near Broome I've stayed at Barn Hill to the south or Roebuck(about 40km east). If you haven't traveled with your dog before, do a trial camping trip on a weekend to see if the inconveniences are outweighed by the enjoyment, and try leaving her tied up on her own for a bit to make sure she can cope with that.

Some dogs really can't handle the tropical heat/ humidity. I met some people whose little dog had to travel sitting on an ice pack to keep cool! This last bit is going to sound a bit paranoid but when I traveled up north with my dog I took some A4 sized pictures of her with me, just in case I needed to make up some lost dog posters in a hurry. Have fun!

May 17, 2011
by: Sonia

I have lived, worked and traveled in the Kimberley for years. The bush up there is not always a safe place for dogs for these reasons: snakes, ticks, mozzies, crocs in rivers and waterholes, heat, humidity, cattle, baits. Station owners control dingos and put out bait, you cannot always see the signs that are supposed to be put up.

Dogs get very hot in vehicles and some tracks are very rough, not comfortable if you have to balance on four fragile legs and some locals are worried dogs may chase the wildlife.

Sep 29, 2011
Travelling the Kimberley with dogs
by: Tracey

I lived in Darwin for a few years. My dog went everywhere with me. Dog not allowed...and I usually didn't go. And I have to say I didn't miss very much!

Don't know much about Doggie Manners, but my ACD was a fabulous companion. Got stopped by some locals (in a line sitting across the road purposely to stop vehicles) requesting a ride into town (250K's) and I'm so glad I had my dog (female alone) with me as he was the Perfect Deterrent.

My ACD traveled with me his entire 15 years and I am so glad to have shared those experience with such a loyal companion, who never complained about the state of the roads, where he slept or what he was fed, or why he couldn't swim in certain places. But we had an absolute ball!

Take the Dog!

GRR 04.1996

May 22, 2013
by: travelling

To travel through is one thing. I noticed there are NO kennels or minders listed. Does anyone know if you can get them looked after? Or shall I leave him in NT.

Feb 21, 2014
travelling with dogs
by: lorraine

Hi my daughter and I travel all over Australia with our two dogs, met great people have great times only ever had one bad experience was in Katherine where a man had been drinking came up to my daughter shouting at dogs are no good, nothing happened because we had the dogs. The dogs are great protection up in the Kimberly's we got caught travelling well into the night to our next destination, and at that time I thanked God we had the dogs ,if not I am sure something would happened as we were followed by another 4wheel,my dog is a border collie my daughters a wolf hound both very protective, and border collie seems to read minds so well she was watching this 4wheel the wolfhound was laying sleeping, so those in the 4wheel could only see the border collie, they stopped then came fast up to us with lights on high beam to check out who was in the car my dog growled woke the wolfhound who woke up sat up next thing the 4wheel stopped turned light off disappeared .So as u you can see travelling with dogs up top end is also for safety .The dogs love camping we always carry plenty of water for them when they go out for walk of toilet always on lead because of the baiting they never leave our side sleep with us. We also prepare them well as far as health goes check up with vets tick and flea control also we get a spray for them when we are in tropical areas to stop mozzies which does work. So my advice go with urdog plan the trip make sure ur dog has all it needs our dogs have their own bags fold up kennels in fact in middle of planning another camping trip for may with our dogs so if prepared good you will have a great time .Just look for two females and wolfhound and border collie in 4wheel that's us we always out there see u in the great outback

Mar 10, 2014
doggie day care
by: Gordon

Hi, we have been on the road for 18 months travelling with our dog and so far have found WA the toughest place basically because of the huge % of National Parks. Bringing our dog was our choice so I don't want to change the world but as dog playgrounds are being added to cities surely National Parks could put some areas away for dogs and owners; beach access is normally in an area where people don't want to go but this is ok for dogs as we can still have fun. I agreed with a woman's comment earlier about dog care or minding centres as we have only seen one in WA. If I were younger I think I would start a franchise in towns with good caravan parks and set up minding centres. My wife and I usually take turns at different sights, one looking and the other minding but there are sometimes when we would like to share the experience. Fortunately, I have found good folks travel in caravans and can normally find a neighbour up to the task. All this being said I think National Parks do a great job. Drive safe

Jun 14, 2014
Camping suggestions with a dog
by: Helen

What's the first station to stop at with a dog from Derby. The first one I've found so far is Manning Gorge which is 300km in.

Jul 31, 2016
Short term/Long term
by: Kerry

Hi. Our pet is s Bichon/Shitzu. If leaving up to 4 weeks we leave her with trusted friends but any longer we take her. Currently have been on the road 9 months around Australia. Have had quite a few difficulties with accommodation and tours but discovered Doggy Day Care in many towns. She loves the break from being tied up all th time and we love the freedom to go anywhere. Even overnights.
My point is to check them out.
Have fun

Aug 20, 2016
dog permits for women travelling alone
by: Maree

Writing an article:"Should lone women in remote areas be able to apply for dog permit."

Please add comments on my FB page. Most interested to hear what people think.

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