Home of sun, sand, surf and the country’s finest theme parks, the Gold Coast is where Australian (and many international) families go to holiday. And with over 60% of Aussie households owning pets, many feel that a holiday is only complete if it is shared with their four-legged family members.

The good news is that the Gold Coast tourism and hospitality industries have recognised this fact, and an ever-increasing number of pet-friendly hotel options are beginning to dot this sprawling coastal community.

But which pet-friendly hotels are best? And what are pet-owners looking for in a hotel? 


LITTLE HOTELIER TOP TIP : Ensure your website is mobile-friendly. This is especially important for hotels, as guests will often look for somewhere to stay while they’re on the move or looking for a last-minute deal. Choosing a mobile-optimised website provider (such as Little Hotelier’s website builder) makes it easy from the start.


What is the best area to stay on the Gold Coast with pets?

From tranquil subtropical hinterland to towering skyscrapers, golden beaches to adrenaline-pumping theme parks, the Gold Coast offers up a diverse range of holidays, and a traveller’s experience will be largely shaped by where they choose to stay. Some of the best options include:

  • Surfers Paradise: The vibrant heart of the Gold Coast, a stay in Surfers Paradise will put visitors at the centre of the action, with a wealth of drinking, dining and entertainment options at their disposal.
  • Broadbeach: Broadbeach is the southern neighbour of Surfers Paradise and is wildly popular with families. Wedged between the buildings and the beach is a succession of sprawling parks that form a perfect place for pets to stretch their legs. 
  • Nerang: A quieter, more natural stay is offered up by Nerang, found in the Gold Coast hinterland 10km from the ocean. Leashed dogs are permitted in beautiful Nerang National Park.

What are the best pet friendly hotels in Gold Coast?

Fun with the family is all but guaranteed at NRMA Treasure Island Holiday Resort, which enjoys a prime location between Sea World and all the other major Gold Coast theme parks (and brings a serious amount of on-site fun itself). Dogs, cats and birds are permitted in a number of pet-friendly cabins.

Found right next door to Sea World, Jadran Motel is a casual, three-star accommodation option that does all the basics perfectly. Proudly pet-friendly, the motel offers a number of rooms and apartments built to cater to travelling animals.

Those visiting the Gold Coast more for its nature than its theme parks will find a more tranquil stay at Riviera B&B in the Gold Coast hinterland. On top of running a gorgeous, homely property, hosts Caroline and Robert are unabashed animal lovers who offer a dog-minding service to all who stay.


LITTLE HOTELIER TOP TIP : In Google My Business, make sure your hotel name is consistent with your brand as Google can restrict visibility if your Name, Address and Phone Number differ to what is presented on your website.


Key considerations for pet-friendly hotels

Any traveller who has tried to take their pet on holiday will be well aware of how changeable the rules can be from airline to airline and hotel to hotel. It’s critical that the fine print is read and understood to ensure that the trip is smooth and enjoyable. Some considerations a travelling pet owner will be looking at include:

  • Terms and conditions: Some ‘pet-friendly’ hotels may only be friendly to certain pets, with restrictions on species, breeds, sizes, weights, and where a pet is allowed to go.
  • Fees: Fees will often apply to pets brought on holiday. Some hotels charge by the pet, the room or the night, others offer a flat rate. A guest needs to know exactly how much they’ll be paying before they leave.
  • Local area: The ecology and biodiversity of the Gold Coast is worth protecting, so local councils will often have rules on where domestic animals can go. A visitor should also be aware of amenities like vets, green spaces and pet supply stores to ensure a comfortable stay.

How to make it known your hotel accepts pets

Where once the process of finding a pet-friendly hotel was laborious – a matter of travellers calling around until they struck gold – it’s now a simple matter of typing “pet-friendly hotel [CITY]” into Google. But does your pet-friendly hotel come up on Google or Google Maps? If not, you could be missing out on serious business.

Luckily it’s a relatively simple problem to fix: you just need to declare your pet-friendliness on your website, where Google can pick it up. The best way is with a dedicated ‘pet-friendly’ or ‘dog-friendly’ page that outlines your pet policies, as being transparent with your rules and fees can increase your likelihood of securing a booking.

What is the best time of year to travel to the Gold Coast with a pet?

The subtropical climate of the Gold Coast is characterised by mild-to-warm winters and hot and humid summers. As a drier, cooler time of year, the Gold Coast winter – if you can call it that – is generally considered the best time to visit the area, as it is the most comfortable time to explore all its wonders.

That said, with its surf beaches, water parks and hinterland waterfalls, water-based activities are big on the Gold Coast, so summer visitors will always have a chance to cool down.


LITTLE HOTELIER TOP TIP : If you’re near a landmark, offer something truly unique, or if you’re the perfect choice for a certain type of guest, be sure to let people know! You can include this content on your website but also your Google My Business listing.


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By Dean Elphick

Dean is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist of Little Hotelier, the all-in-one software solution purpose-built to make the lives of small accommodation providers easier. Dean has made writing and creating content his passion for the entirety of his professional life, which includes more than six years at Little Hotelier. Through content, Dean aims to provide education, inspiration, assistance, and, ultimately, value for small accommodation businesses looking to improve the way they run their operations (and live their life).