If you live in Victoria or if you are travelling through the state and you have your fur babies with you, you cannot miss out on a trip to the Tarra Valley and staying at Best Friends Holiday Retreat.
The Tarra Valley is located about 20 minutes drive from Yarrum and is easily accessed by a sealed road that meanders through the valley itself. It is absolutely beautiful especially as you get nearer to the park where the road repeatedly crosses the Tarra River. Be very careful here as the road is very narrow and some of the corners are blind so drive slowly and expect to meet oncoming traffic.
The retreat managers, Ralph and Coralie, are very accommodating and welcoming hosts and take great pride in their park and its reputation. They run a tight ship and ensure the park rules are adhered to by all visitors. So much so that it is almost difficult to believe that this park caters almost exclusively for dog owners. Its so quiet, both day and night, and the park areas are kept exceptionally clean. There is no shortage of poop bag dispensers and bins and I can attest that, with very few exceptions, owners clean up after their dogs.
There are several off leash areas that are fenced off so you can set your best friends free to run around, chase a ball or just roll in the lush green grass. On the weekend we were last there, there were a few rabbits around and that just meant the dogs had something to chase around and sniff for which tired them out by the end of the day.
The park caters for tents, camper trailers, caravans and even has on site accommodation in the form of cabins. Many of the sites have their own individual enclosed fence allowing your dogs to wander around your campsite off leash. A word of warning....if you want one of these sites, you will need to book several weeks in advance as they are in high demand.
In addition to the off leash areas, the site also provides a hydro bath and grooming room, an agility course, nearby walking trails and even a doggy day care facility where you can leave your pooch its own enclosure with an indoor area complete with couch and TV showing movies such as Lassie and the 101 Dalmatians. They will hardly notice that you've gone.
The caravan sites are a mixture of small and large, with some being drive through capable which is great for larger vans. Again, you need to book early to get one of these.
The location of the park is on the side of a hill and some of the sites are not quite level. The owners have done their best to level them out but you will still need to use your levelling blocks on most of the sites.
The other thing to keep in mind is the Tara Valley is essentially a temperate rain forest. Its is usually a bit cooler than the rest of the state but it is also a bit more humid. Fortunately, if it does rain, it drains away pretty quickly so it shouldn't be an issue.
Our girls love it here and we regularly return here just to give them a special holiday of their own. We have yet to encounter a park even remotely like this.
Local attractions are plentiful in the area and include the township or Yarrum, the Tarra Valley rainforest walk, dog friendly 90 mile beach and many small picnic areas and walks along the river.
Keep in mind that there is no mobile phone coverage in the park. There is limited Wi Fi Internet access around the shop but it doesn't extend very far into the park. We actually find this quite refreshing knowing no one can contact you unless it is absolutely necessary.
So next time you're planning a trip away and you want to take along your dog(s), you could not have a better time than to come to the Tarra Valley and staying at Best Friends Holiday Retreat.
For more information visit the Best Friends Holiday Retreat website