High value visitors go begging as dog rules bite
Noosa’s high-end holiday rentals who charge up to $25,000 a week are being hounded by dog owners willing to pay a premium to take their pooches on coastal getaways.
Meanwhile at the more affordable end of the market, Tewantin Big 4 Noosa holiday park is among the top dogs for offering four-legged friendly holidays of which the caravan and camping set can’t get enough.
Richardson and Wrench Noosa Real Estate rental managing director Sue Willis said there was a huge and mostly unmet demand for dog friendly stays.
“We get a lot of inquiries at that higher end for properties where people can bring dogs,” Ms Willis said.
“We don’t have many … of 240 properties we have three that officially say that you can have your dogs.
“The others we go personally to the owners and say ‘listen, we’ve spoken to this client, they’re a return guest and they’ve got a cute, fluffy little thing’ and they pay a pet cleaning price of $360 on top of that accommodation,” she said.
Ms Willis said the fee covered a pest control treatment for fleas and cleaning all the soft furnishings.
Ms Willis said the houses they handled ranged in price from $7000 to $25,000 a week.
“They’ll find the house they want then they’ll bring a dog,” she said.
“They just don’t want to part with them, they’re family.
“It’s really frustrating that there’s a whole market out there, but we’re still sitting in this old fashioned ‘no dogs allowed in holiday apartments’ or houses.
“There’s definitely a huge demand for it and for some reason there’s still a stereotype that says we still don’t want dogs in our houses.”
Big 4 Noosa manager Robin Sandwith said being dog friendly was an important growing market for his park.
“We have seen a 30 per cent increase the same time last year for people booked in with pets,” Mr Sandwith said.
“Since the 1st of June we’ve had way over 200 pets within our park.
“Since we started I can’t remember a day we haven’t had pets on site.”
He said they were mostly dogs although there had been a cat stay in the park.
“In the school holidays we have a little dog agility course on and a little dog show so the kids can bring their dogs along and show them off,” Mr Sandwith said.
“We give them little prizes so that’s always very popular.
“Dogs are part of the family now so for people to be able to bring their dog it just means they can enjoy Noosa and we potentially get people who wouldn’t be able to stay with us in the past.”
Mr Sandwith said there have been no dog behaviour problems as dog owners who stayed signed on to a code of behaviour such as keeping their dogs on leads when out and about.
Big 4 Noosa guests the Francois family, who have been travelling around for the past 18 months since leaving Melbourne, have enjoyed having their dog Dusty along.
Mum Kristy said Dusty was the ideal travelling companion for her and her husband’s boys aged six and two.
“Dusty loves it, he would much rather be on holidays wherever we go with our van, rather than staying home with someone he hardly knows,” she said.
“We’ve done family dog sitting and we’ve done kennels and both times when we get home the dog punishes us.
“It costs you just as much for the dog to be in kennels and what it costs you to go away, so the fact that we can take him away at no extra cost is amazing.
“We generally come every schools holidays and stay as long as we possibly can, with the kids and the dog, we’ve got everything we want here.”