Top dog places

There's no happier space for dogs than the dramatic Great Ocean Road. Roam along wild beaches, splash in the surf, follow historic rail trails past rainforests and volcanoes, or find out about clever local dog breeds. Fresh produce abounds at casual eating spots where your pet pal will be welcomed. All you have to do is go. We show you how.

1. Great Ocean Road Brewhouse

Relax in a beer garden with ocean views, side by side with your furriest friend. Along with a wide-range of human-friendly craft beers, this Apollo Bay brewhouse serves up 'Beerdog's Bitter', an alcohol-free brew, designed for doggy taste buds.

2. Tastes of the Region

Behind the brewery you'll find a dog-friendly tasting room. Drop in for a visit, to see your pop are immortalised with a Polaroid picture on their 'Dog Wall of Fame'.

3. Australian Kelpie Centre

Explore the birthplace of the kelpie, a wonderfully smart and beloved Aussie breed. Follow the kelpie sculptures around Casterton on the Kelpie Walking Trail.

4. Rebecca's Cafe

Paws for brunch, biscuit treats and a caffeine top-up at Rebecca’s in Port Fairy. Your four-legged companion can join you at a sunny outdoor table.

5. Timboon Fine Ice Cream

Stop into the Timboon Ice Creamery for a refreshing cone. Your pup will love the special doggie ice cream that is low in lactose and sugar, and with a dash of hemp oil for a healthy coat.

6. Timboon to Camperdown Rail Trail

Trace the historic rail line on the 34km trail (one way) between Timboon and Camperdown. Pass by volcanic lakes, farmland and rainforest, traversing some challenging inclines. Go your own way, or grab everything you need from Ride With Us Bike Hire. Along with bikes, helmets and trailers, they can provide doggy seats, so your pooch can come along for the ride.

7. Forrest Brewery

Taste-test the creations bottled by this popular microbrewery and brewpub, set in Forrest's old general store. Pair with a bite from the tasty beer-influenced menu.

8. Wye General Store

Pick up some house-made bread and picnic supplies at Wye River for a beachside snack with your furry pal. Enjoy coffee and pastries or all-day brunch at the store cafe.

9. Swing Bridge Cafe

Swing into Lorne before 2pm Friday to Sunday for lunch by the Erskine River and iconic swing bridge. The outdoor deck is popular with dog-lovers after their daily walk.

10. Whites Beach

Expect excited barking and vigorous shaking of a wet coat as your dog runs free along this sand-dune-edged coastline. Whites Beach is an off-leash area year-round.

11. Proudfoots By The River

Dogs are welcome to join their owners on the deck of this historic boathouse, where you can raise a glass to picturesque views of the Hopkins River.

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