21 things to do with your dog in Brisbane
Leaving your furry friend at home while you explore Brisbane can be a little ruff. That fluffy face, and puppy-dog eyes staring back as you walk out the door, no leash in hand.
Don’t shut the gate on your best mate. Plan your day or weekend around these fun things to do with your dog.
1. Paddington pup pub crawl
Yep, a pub crawl with your pup. Start at Remy’s where you can hang with your dog while you chomp down on a burger. Walk to Kettle and Tin for bloody Mary’s and waffles. Then stroll to Hope and Anchor to sink beers in the dog-friendly outdoor courtyard. And of course, drop by Atticus Finch cafe and bar where you can play fetch with the resident dog. If you ask nicely, they may have dog biscuits left for your own pooch. Java Lounge is also dog heaven.
2. Hike up Mt Coot-tha
Most forest areas are national parks or state reserves, meaning your dog isn’t welcome. Luckily the Mount Coot-tha Forest is a city park so you and your furry mate can climb from the base to the summit through dry bush land. Take the 2km Honeyeater Track to the top and soak in that city view. Next time try exploring Toohey Forest at Mt Gravatt, or Sherwood Forest Park in Sherwood.
3. Dog friendly beaches
Salty, sandy fun with your dog - yes! Close to the city, Nudgee is popular for walking your pups. Otherwise Colmsie Beach in Redcliffe, Red Beach on Bribie Island, Decker Park in Brighton or Home Beach on North Stradbroke Island allow the pup to roam free – but keep your eyes on them.
4. Drive-in movies
Despite the help dogs would provide cinema staff to vacuum up dropped popcorn, dogs generally aren’t allowed to kick back by the big screen. The exception? Yatala Drive-In. Pack blankets, make a nest and cuddle up to your pooch as Hollywood stars grace the screen.
5. Sandgate day out
Sunshine, salty sea and sand between your paws. A short 30-minute drive will take you to Sandgate on Brisbane’s northern bayside. Fuel up with coffee at Satori Organics then wander the Sandgate Foreshore and 300m Shorncliffe Pier. By afternoon, low tide will reveal the salty mudflats, so if you don’t mind dirty paws, dogs love to run across the sea floor. Finish with fish ‘n’ chips on the grass at sunset for the perfect day out.
6. RSPCA dog walk
Lock it in the diary now - the RSPCA Million Paws Walk is a doggy day out raising money for shelter pets every May. The walk stretches through South Bank, ending with a big festival atmosphere filled with dogs and their owners. Fun.
7. Dogs and pubs
Cheers to beers with your favourites – and that includes your dog. Brisbane has a bunch of great pubs and venues that let you bring your four-legged pal. All In Brewing in Banyo is a great craft brewery with a warehouse vibe and dog-friendly courtyard, while The Scratch in Milton doesn’t prep any food on-site (you can BYO food) so you can even let your dog hang on the couch, the same goes for West End Bar Bosc.
A must-do Brisbane activity, walking the river from New Farm Park (grab a coffee from the Bellissimo kiosk) to the city and/or South Bank is an easy task with your dog. The endless riverside pathway soaks in top views of the river and Story Bridge.
9. PUP SUP
No, that’s not a greeting - that’s dog stand-up paddle boarding. Surf Connect at Sandgate will let you hire boards or a kayak and take your pooch on an ocean adventure. They host regular doggy day out events, or call and ask nicely to hire it for you and your mate – just make sure you trim the pups nails to avoid scratching the board!
10. To market, to market
Most of Brisbane’s weekend farmers’ markets understand the need to spend time with your fur baby and let you bring dogs along while you shop for fruit and veg. Try any of the Jan Power markets, Davies Park Market, Caseldine, Milton or Northey Street Markets for a morning out together.
11. Did someone say puppacino?
Lactose-free ‘puppacinos’ are a real thing you can pay real money for for your pup to enjoy while you sip your own latte. Snag & Brown in Annerley serves them, and even has a dog playground out the back to let your mate roam free with other dogs. The Black Pug Cafe in Mt Gravatt, Atticus Finch, Java Lounge and Kettle and Tin in Paddington, Single Guys in Kenmore, Plenty in West End, Brown Dog Café in Woolloongabba, Goodness Gracious and Three Girls Skipping in Graceville, and Bruno’s in Tarragindi are all dog-friendly cafes with space or extra accommodations (did someone say treats?) for your dog.
12. Climb the dreaded Kangaroo Point Stairs
A popular feat for silly humans, take your furry pal on the Kangaroo Point Stairs challenge and race them to the top where the views of the city are unbeatable. Don’t stop there, walk along the cliffs and around to South Bank for an afternoon soaking up the riverside vibes.
13. Wynnum Manly esplanade
Similar to a day out at Sandgate, the foreshore walk from Wynnum to Manly on Brisbane’s southside is a pleasant stroll with sunshine and salty air. In Wynnum, refuel at Frenchies Cafe, browse bookshops and op shops before heading back to the city.
Pretend your inner-city, puppacino-drinking, bow tie-wearing designer pooch is hard-working country dog for a day. One-hour north of Brisbane, a farm is teaching herding breeds their natural skills with sheep that will give you better control over your dog off leash, while they’ll have a blast. Back to chasing the lawn mower after that.
15. Get your pup onto a superfood
Brisbane's famous acai specliasts Kiss The Berry are dog-friendly all year round so now your pup can enjoy the superfood craze too. They also do a doggo day every once in a while where doggos eat a fur-friendly, snack-sized acai bowl for FREE – keep an eye on their South Bank and Woolloongabba locations for details.
16. Run around the dog parks
Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best ideas. Inner Brisbane has more than 135 dog off-leash areas (!!!) located within public parks across Brisbane, so why not try a new one? Letting your pup run free sans leash is the ultimate freedom, and some areas have agility equipment to keep things interesting. If the human needs coffee, there’s a dog park behind Bruno’s in Tarragindi, Seven South in Yeronga, Darling & Co in Paddington and New Farm Park has the Belissimo Kiosk or Powerhouse restaurants.
17. Sunday sessions
The Brightside and Osbourne Hotel often has doggy days out where you can turn up with the pooch for an afternoon of sunset drinks with a dog photo booth, competitions and more, or in South Bank the Sunday Sessions on the Green with live music are dog friendly.
18. Night on the town
Hitting ‘da club’ with your best mate isn’t going to happen, so the next best night out is a trip to Eat Street. Dogs are welcome on-leash to wander between market stalls, live music and entertainment - and we reckon there’ll be plenty of smells and dropped crumbs to keep them happy. Also try the Downey Street Food Trucks at Windsor.
19. Walk the North Gorge Walk
The world’s third largest sand island, North Stradbroke Island, is a nature paradise you can share with your dog. Hop over for a day or book dog-friendly accommodation and plan to walk the stunning North Gorge Walk, eat gelato on the hill, play at Home Beach and maybe even try stand up paddle boarding together.
20. Camp on the beach with your dog
Also on Straddie, Minjerribah Camping let you bring the furry family member along. You have the choice of camping in one of the Flinders Beach or Main Beach foreshore camping areas, both require a 4WD to access.
21. Welcome to Dog Hills
King Street’s big bar-slash-food-truck venue, Welcome to Bowen Hills, is a dog-friendly spot to grab a drink with mates and casual snack in the inner city.