Review of Best Friend Holiday Retreat | Dog Friendly Accommodation | Tarra Valley

We love our two dogs Taffee and Fudge ( now 7 and 8) and have had little holidays with them in the past. Best Friend Holiday Retreat has to be the best dog friendly accommodation set up we have come across so far. The property has fenced camping sites and cabins set on green rolling hills in the Tarra Valley, Victoria. There are off leash areas surround the camping sites and cabins. You could spend all your time in here or get in the car and drive to Woodside beach or to the National Park close by.

Best Friend Holiday Retreat | Dog Friendly Holidays

Our dogs loved Best Friend Holiday Retreat and had a lovely time running around and exploring the off lead areas. Our younger dog Fudge is a bit of a hunter and we are unable to let him off lead anywhere due to his ability to sniff out rabbits and birds and hunt until he catches them.

It was so nice seeing him run around in the large fenced areas without worrying about him escaping. He well and truly tested the bottom off leash area with the big blue ball – he covered the area about 3 times going around and around the fence line.

By the last day we would go into one of the off lead areas and the dogs would just sit beside us because they were physically exhausted from days of running around on the beach or in the off leash areas of Best Friend.

The rules

Before entering any of the off leash areas you have to ask permission of anyone in there if you can join them. I thought this was really weird at first ( like when you are a kid and you ask another group of kids … “Will you play with me” ) however it works really well. It gives you the opportunity to pick the size and breed of dog to say yes or no. It was pretty quite in all of the 6 off leash areas so we never had any problems with this system as the areas were empty 99 % of the time.

What we really liked…

  • the views from the cabin and balcony
  • number and variety off leash dog areas
  • being able to drive to the beach or drive through the forest
  • the oztrail lounge chairs on the balcony
  • the bbq and outdoor balcony area outside, and the well equiped kitchen inside
  • seeing rabbits and birds from the balcony

What we didn’t like…

  • Reception area dated, dark and locked – and intercom needed to get help.
  • Outdoors near reception and around building a bit messy ( hopefully temporary due to new owners recently moving in)
  • Did not see owners other than once on check in, and once on check out.
  • Next door neighbour in cabin had to ask us for help on how to get TV working. ( should be able to turn on and just work.) David spent ages trying to work ours out too.
  • Cobwebs on outside of a window with a view.
  • Scooby Doo theme is a bit tacky and dated. Less is more. Could be minimised to just one nicely framed print on the wall and a couple of  Scooby sculptures.
  • Should be made aware of bringing drinking water when booking accommodation. ( you need to boil the water from the tap in the cabin if you want to drink it)


The set up for dogs is excellent. From the fences around the cabin to the large off leash areas means your dog has plenty of space to run around without the risk of running away.

The cabin we stayed in was very clean however the decor looked dated and in need of  a refresh. Not sure what the new owners intentions are however time will tell.

The location is beautiful and located within an easy drive of Melbourne. Best Friend Holiday Retreat is a fantastic place for dogs to have a holiday with their owners!

Read more about our holiday at Best Friend Holiday Retreat >>

Have you stayed at Best Friend Holiday Retreat recently? Comment below and let us know what you (and your dog/s ) thought of your stay there.

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