2 Sep. 2021
Lead image: Emma with her pug on a Pooches and Pinot wine tour.
Spending a day in the Yarra Valley & Dandenong Ranges with your best pal has never been easier when so many of our best cafes, wineries and pubs are pet-approved.
Pack up your pooch and head to our region to experience a great day out that both you and your dog will enjoy. Here are just a few to get you inspired.
No matter where you go in the Yarra Ranges region, you’ll find a cafe that’s happy to welcome you with your pupper. We’ve sniffed out a few you and your dog can enjoy.
The Piggery Cafe at Burnham Beeches is a rustic restored piggery and stables with a cafe on the estate grounds and plenty of room for walkies (on lead). Here you’ll find a range of sophisticated baked goods, excellent coffee and more.
In Olinda, The Ranges Cafe is also a great choice to kick back in the sunshine (or shade on a hot day) where the water bowls are fresh and the coffee’s hot. The General Food Store, My Little Kitchen and Incy Wincy all have an open-door policy for pooches and sunny outdoor spots to enjoy a relaxing brunch.
You'll find these spots have friendly pup-loving staff who'll often pop out to say hello to both you and your pup, have fresh water bowls available for thirsty dogs, along with outdoor door seating where everyone can relax for a coffee and a treat. Pawtastic dog treats are on the menu at both Incy Wincy and The General Food Store too.
At SkyHigh Mt Dandenong, you can make your way to the summit with your best pal in tow and enjoy the pet-friendly cafe and incredible Melbourne views.
Near Upway and Ferntree Gully, sibling eateries Lorna Cafe and Maria Melbourne are ideal spots to paws for a break for both you and your pup. Lorna offers pet friendly tables at the front while Maria has both front outdoor seating as well as a dog-friendly rear courtyard with it's own entrance.
Book your spot to reserve a particular outdoor table (like the courtyard at Maria) as outdoors spaces can fill quickly on a nice day. Both cafes provide fresh water bowls, and serve puppacinos and dog biscuits for their VID guests (Very Important Doggos!) They also sell small and large Robert Gordon dog bowls, too, if you really want to spoil your pooch!
The Yarra Ranges region is known for incredible wineries and the good news is so many of them welcome your pet too (assuming they’re on lead and well-behaved of course.)
Both dining venues at Rochford Estate, Isabella's and il Vigneto, offer dining areas for visitors who have brought along their dogs. Il Vigneto has a designated front courtyard with lovely views, umbrellas and water bowls. The winery has even been known to host doggy birthday parties in their outdoor terraced area or weddings where four-legged ring bearers almost stole the show.
Steeles Gate is pet friendly and has recently renovated its restaurant to include an all-weather balcony. As the roof and blinds can open or close fully, they are able to host wine tastings as well as lunch with your pup by your side anytime.
Steeles Gate also regularly partners with pet-friendly tour company Pooches and Pinot as well as Gourmet Pawprints where groups come together to experience a great day out with their dogs.
Resident pooch Pippin ‘Pip’ is often onsite to greet fellow canines, too.
Kellybrook Winery has dog-friendly spaces available at their cellar door with a paved area with barrels and umbrellas that's perfect for doggies and their mates. It's a popular spot so book ahead, especially on weekends. Additionally, from the winery, there's great local walking available from the winery. Visitors and their doggos can wander the quiet local, semi-rural roads.
Why not create a DIY wine tour and take your pup on a round trip of these as well as other great pet-friendly wineries such as Watt’s River, Coombe Yarra Valley, Seville Estate, Rob Dolan Wines, and Jayden Ong just to name a few.
Feel like a beer or a hearty meal? Coldstream Brewery is pet-friendly with several outdoor areas. You can also pop into Matilda Bay, Innocent Bystander, Golden Hills Brewery, the Healesville Hotel or Four Pillars for cheeky afternoon G&T.
Don’t forget though, when making your booking (especially on weekends) let them know you’ll be travelling with your furbaby, so they can save a spot in the appropriate spot.