Author Carla Francis has written Travelling with Pets on Australia’s East Coast, saying it’s time to explore with your pet as she shares her “tails from the road”.

From the spectacular scenery along the Great Barrier Reef Drive to wilderness adventures in the Atherton Tablelands, she says there is plenty to discover in Tropical North Queensland. And the best news? You do not have to leave your pet behind to explore the tropics. “After a prolonged stay in Cairns due to closed borders, I hit the road to track down some of the best pet-friendly travel locations in the region. To my pleasant surprise, I discovered that four-legged friends are welcome in a variety of places in the Far North. My cats Shinsei and (newly acquired) Backer are fast becoming kitty connoisseurs of the region,” she said.

“Commonly regarded as Queensland’s number one “must-do” tourist attraction, [Paronella Park] this heritage-listed park has a complimentary petsitting service for all doggie visitors who aren’t allowed inside. If you want to stay overnight in the caravan park, pets are permitted, as long as they are kept on a leash at all times … and provided you clean up after them. Please note that animals are not allowed inside the park’s on-site accommodation (cabins),” Carla said.

“Having lived in Japan for almost four years, I was keen to experience the Innot Hot Springs and reap the healing benefits of their natural thermal waters. Adjacent to the Innot Hot Springs Leisure and Camping Park flows Nettle Creek whose waters were once bottled and shipped to Europe. Today, you can bathe for free in the naturally hot shallows, although it might not be for everyone due to the temperature.

“The Innot Hot Springs Leisure and Camping Park is located on the Kennedy Highway near Ravenshoe (Queensland’s highest town) and it was here that I met a lively bunch of Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia `Solo’ members … After luxuriating in the calming waters of the Innot Hot Springs, it was time for a feed, so we drove through the stunning countryside that leads to Mungalli Creek Biodynamic Dairy & Organic Café. On the way, we stopped at the impressive Millstream Falls, which forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wet Tropics and is reportedly Australia’s widest single-drop waterfall.

“Mungalli Creek Biodynamic is a family-owned, biodynamic and organic dairy farm that serves up delicious food overlooking the Johnston River Gorge. I couldn’t resist the Afternoon Tea Set and decadently indulged in cream while drinking in the sweeping views towards Mt Bartle Frere (Queensland’s highest mountain) from the Farmhouse Cafe.”

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