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Pet friendly

Fernhouse is a great place to bring your pupper. The area has many walks you can take your dog on, dog friendly pubs and cafe's, and even waterfalls that your furry friend can come and visit.


Marengo Beach

Marengo Beach is our favourite place to take our dog for a walk. It is a five minute drive from Fernhouse towards Apollo Bay. 

If you turn left on the beach, you will have a wonderful 2km stretch of beach ahead of you.


Alternatively walk to the right over the rocks, and join up with the Great Ocean Walk path when the rocks end. You can walk all the way to Three Creek Point on the edge of the National Park with your pup, about 6km return walk.

At Marengo Beach dogs are allowed leash-free from May to 24 December. From December 24 until the end of April, your doggo is still welcome on the section of Marengo beach from the Ocean Park Drive carpark to Barham river, and on the rocks to the right of the beach until Three Creek Beach.

Please click below to see exactly where your pupper can and can't go in the Otways.

Pirates Cove

This was my go-to beach when our dog was a puppy, because you don't see many other people (or dogs) and there is a big cliff separating the beach from the road, making it hard for your pup to run off.


It is still my favourite beach for its beauty, and shelter the cliffs give you from wind and sun. This is where I go if I want to spend a few hours reading in the sun with my pup by my side.

It's a 10 minute drive from Fernhouse. The best way to navigate to it, is by navigating to 6160 Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay. The carpark is across from that address.


Beauchamp Falls

Although the Great Otway National Park is off limits to dogs, your pupper is welcome in the state forest! This means you can take him for a swim at the Beauchamp watering hole.


The 3km (return) walk to this 20-metre high waterfall is considered strenuous and takes around an hour so. It is suitable for those with a reasonable physical ability & fitness level.

Time: about 1 hour
Length: 3 km
Difficulty: medium

The Back Beach

This is the unofficial dog beach of Apollo Bay. Does your dog love other dogs? This is the number one spot to find other well socialised puppers that are looking for a mate to play with. Every now and then there is an informal dog playgroup gathering here at 5pm. 

This is also where we go when our dog has rolled in something smelly, as the river is great for dog (and human) swimming.  

Park at the crossing of Gambier Street and Trafalger street, and walk down to the river. The beach runs from there to the harbour. 


Wildlife Wonders Cafe

The closest dog-friendly cafe to Fernhouse is the Wildlife Wonders cafe. Sit outside under the awning and enjoy homemade pastries and meals with your pup.

Tastes of the Region

Tastes of the Region is a Dog-Friendly Great Ocean Road tasting room in Apollo Bay. Dogs are not only allowed inside the Tastes of the Region building, but there is also a “Dog Wall of Fame” to hang up a free polaroid of every dog entering the doors.


The Brewhouse

The Apollo Bay Brewhouse has a dog friendly beer garden that has a big tent and heaters, so you and your pup will be very comfortable - even in winter! 

The Brewhouse is a pub with a bistro, and a craft beer haven with over 100 craft beers on offer. On tap they only pour the best Craft Beers, including their sister company, Otway Brewing’s Delicious line up of Prickly Moses Handcrafted Beers.


So wait.. is there anywhere my dog can't go?

It's always hard to navigate where you can and can't take your dog, when you are in a new place! 


Please click below to see exactly where you can and can't take your dog.

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