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Your ultimate guide to dog-friendly Ballarat

Visit Ballarat

19 Apr 2023

Filed underSee & Do

Holidays just aren’t the same without your furry four-legged friend.

Did you know Ballarat is home to a wealth of pet-friendly attractions, cafes and accommodation offerings that make the region the perfect doggy destination?

Take the stress out of planning your next trip with our ultimate guide to dog-friendly Ballarat…

Hop Temple

Food & drink

  • Grab a cold craft beer at Hop Temple, where dogs of all shapes and sizes are welcome. Take a seat in Hop Lane and enjoy the sun while you decide which of the 220 craft beers and ciders to indulge in. And during December, your pooch can even have a photo with Santa! Other dog-friendly events at Hop Temple throughout the year include Doggo Day and the Dog Beard & Stache Comp (part of Ballarat Heritage Festival).
  • Nestled amongst century-old trees at Lake Wendouree is Pipers by the Lake. Keep an eye out for the dog-friendly menu of puppuccinos, doggy biscuits and dog-friendly ice cream.
  • Head along to LYDIARDgeneral and order your pooch a cappa-fido, choca-fido or fido chew from the bowwow banquet. You can also stock up on Ruby Olive collars, leashes and poop bags plus Huds and Toke dog biscuits. And don’t forget to tag your Insta snaps with #doggosoflydiardgeneral
  • Just metres away in Lydiard Street North is The North Star Hotel, complete with a dog-friendly deck and another hashtag (#doggosofnorthstar).
  • You’ll also find a dog-friendly beer garden at Ballarat’s Royal Oak Hotel plus a dog-friendly deck at Lake Wendouree’s Boatshed Restaurant. And stop in at Higher Society for puppachinos and dog biscuits.
  • Drive Cafe is an old servo that has been transformed into a vibrant, modern cafe with the perfect outdoor space to relax and chat with your friends (and pooch!).
  • At Griller’s Mark, the special doggie menu features The Dogfather (cooked wagyu mince with white rice, mixed veggies and Schmackos strap), The Dog Pound (cooked chicken strips with white rice, sliced bacon and Schmackos strap) and Chew This! (two cups of kibble and smoked salmon).
  • Dogs on a lead are more than welcome at indoor plant haven The Green House Ballarat. And there’s plenty of seating in the rear courtyard to enjoy all-day breakfast and lunch from the in-store cafe.
  • Buninyong’s Red Door Pizza has two dog-friendly dining spaces – one at the front of the restaurant and the other at the back.
  • Don’t forget to stop by Orchard Cafe Lucas for a puppychino for your puppy.
  • Another great dog-friendly venue is Windermere cellar door Michael Unwin Wines, which is home to winery dogs Poppy and Jake.
  • And head to Buninyong for homemade dog biscuits at Maggie & Kate, Dynamite Cycles and Cafe, plus Buninyong Gift House.

Ballarat’s Victoria Park


  • Boost the serotonin by spending an afternoon at Lake Wendouree. Take a leisurely stroll (a dog’s favourite thing to do!) along the lake’s 6km track while taking in the stunning views. Dogs on a lead are also welcome across the road at the Ballarat Botanical Gardens.
  • If you’re after a more intense hike, hit up the picturesque Mount Buninyong, wander through 100-year-old trees along the La Gerche Forest Walk in Creswick or discover the beauty of the Mount Cole peaks along the 17km Beeripmo Walk. Just remember to keep your dog on a lead while you’re exploring these parks.
  • Other dog-friendly parks and trails include Woowookarung Regional Park, Wallaby Track and Creswick Regional Park.
  • To market, to market at the Ballarat Farmers Market, The Bridge Market, Creswick Market and Talbot Farmers Market.

Ballarat is also home to 11 off-leash dog parks:

  • Newington – Victoria Park Dog Park (Poplar Avenue off Russell Street)
  • Soldiers Hill – Gregory Street Reserve
  • Black Hill – Chisholm Street Reserve
  • Wendouree – CE Brown Reserve Dog Park (Dowling Street)
  • Wendouree – Pioneer Park (Ring Road)
  • Alfredton – Cuthberts Road Reserve
  • Buninyong – Birdwood Park Reserve (Innes Lane)
  • Sebastopol – MR Power Reserve Dog Park (Grant Street)
  • Canadian – Canadian Lakes Reserve (Canadian Lakes Boulevard)
  • Canadian – Pennyweight Park Dog Park (Otway Street South)
  • Buninyong – James Reserve Dog Park (Union Jack Lane)

BIG4 Kryal Castle Holiday Park


  • BIG4 Ballarat Windmill Holiday Park would have to be one of Australia’s most pet-friendly caravan parks. Its BIG Paws Pet Precinct features a pet billabong, fully enclosed pet-friendly powered sites plus dog-friendly cabins complete with fully fenced deck, dog run plus special bowls and toys.
  • If you and your doggo are looking for luxury, Hotel Vera is where you want to be. House-trained dogs can enjoy all the perks of boutique accommodation in the dog-friendly Lonarch suite. Think ambient lounge pet bed, pet shower plus a private and secure courtyard.
  • Another popular option is the fully-renovated 1920s bungalow The Californian. With access to the entire three-bedroom home, this is the perfect pad for a dog family.

Other pet-friendly accommodation options in Ballarat include:

Main image: Drive Cafe

Across Victoria’s Midwest, we acknowledge that we travel across the ancient landscapes of many First Peoples communities.

These lands have been nurtured and cared for over tens of thousands of years and we respect the work of Traditional Custodians for their ongoing care and protection.

We recognise the past injustices against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in this country. As our knowledge grows, we hope that we can learn from their resilience and creativity that has guided them for over 60,000 years.

As we invite people to visit and explore Victoria’s Midwest, we ask that alongside us, you also grow to respect the stories, living culture and connection to Country of the Ancestors and Elders of our First Peoples.