Explore the Macleay Valley Coast with your Pup

Brett Patterson | Collombatti

Collombatti locals Brett and Denise Patterson love to explore the outdoors with their pooch, Kookie (who hates being left behind!). The couple own the pet-friendly Gallery Farm Retreat, a beautiful farmstay that pets will love as much as their owners!

Here are Brett’s tips for dog-lovers who want to get out and about with their canine friends:

1. We always have a dog bowl, a large bottle of water in a cooler bag & some treats for Kookie in the car

We always have a dog bowl, a large bottle of water in a cooler bag and some treats for Kookie in the car. She also scores some of whatever we are having if we eat out.

2. There are water points to fill up for your dog near the Coles in Kempsey

There are water points to fill up for your dog near the Coles in Kempsey, in parks, petrol stations and most beaches.

3. I have found all the cafes in the Macleay so far that have outdoor seating allow you to have your dog with you

Pandanus is a nice little bar hidden out the back of a dress shop of the same name in Creso. Serves excellent food, wine, cocktails and – of course – our beer!

4. We love to take our dog freshwater swimming in the Macleay River

We love to take our dog freshwater swimming in the Macleay River at Sherwood Bridge, Turners Flat Road Bridge, Temagog Road Bridge and Toose Road Bridge.

5. A few tips for walking your dog….

  • Use a front clip harness – it’s much more comfortable for dogs
  • Always pick up your dog’s poop
  • Bring plenty of water for your dog
  • Make sure your dog is wearing proper identification, especially if you are on holidays and in a different environment
  • Watch out for hot pavements in summer
  • Keep your dog’s focus by bringing along high value treats
  • Ask before approaching other dogs
  • Wear reflective gear if you walk during the evening
  • Let your dog sniff around for mental stimulation
  • Love your dog and they will give it back ten-fold!

6. Visit the Gallery Farm Retreat

Visit the Gallery Farm Retreat, which we setup as pet-friendly because we take our dog everywhere with us and expect that most people would like to do the same! Our property includes lots of walks, swimming holes and a large dam for the dogs to paddle in. We also back onto the Collombatti State Forest, which has endless tracks to explore.

7. The Collombatti lookout is well worth a look

The Collombatti lookout is well worth a look, offering 360-degree views of the Macleay Valley Coast all the way down to Crescent Head. It’s a great spot to take your dog and a picnic.

8. All the local markets are pet friendly

All the local markets are pet friendly. Going to the markets can be a fun outing for you and your pet, plus there are some wonderful stores to buy treats and accessories for your pet.

9. If you’re walking in state forests, I recommend keeping your dog on a leash

If you’re walking in state forests, I recommend keeping your dog on a leash, as baits are laid out for feral animals at different times of the year. Also make sure you give your dog tick tablets as there are a lot around in the country.

10. We love to do day trips to The Pub

We love to do day trips to The Pub with No Beer in Taylors Arm. Dogs are allowed on the grassed area at the pub.

11. One of our top places to hang out in Kempsey is Bucket Brewery

One of our top places to hang out in Kempsey is Bucket Brewery. They not only supply awesome craft beer but have dog bowls of water and treats.

12. We find South West Rocks one of the best beach destinations to take our dog

We find South West Rocks one of the best beach destinations to take our dog as there are a few swimming options. Some dogs don’t like to go into the surf so you can take them for a swim at either Saltwater Creek or Back Creek.

13. One of the best restaurants around is Hot Myrtle in Grassy Head

One of the best restaurants around is Hot Myrtle in Grassy Head. They have dedicated outdoor seating for people with dogs, a forest outlook and creative Australian food made and served with love. This spot is popular, so I recommend making a booking.

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