Hidden Treasure has found a lot for us to do over the past year and a bit. There have been quirky museums, good places to eat, main streets to shop in and lots of urban art.
Our next Hidden Treasure is for someone in the family who loves us unconditionally even when we sometimes can’t take them out and about on family adventures.
Dogs. It must be tough for a dog sticking its head out of the window and seeing signs with red lines crossed through images of dogs. Sometimes the sign is of a dog walking, sometimes it’s that most vulnerable of positions, the hunch that requires you to carry a little bag, or in the case of my Molly, a large bag.
I live a minutes walk from Charles Veryard Reserve in North Perth, a huge swathe of grass that is an off-lead area for dogs as long as organised sport isn’t being played.
Molly strains at the lead on the walk there and it’s awful to see her shoulders slump when she sees a cricket match is on. Because it’s close and convenient I haven’t really thought much about taking her somewhere else.
On my Hidden Treasure travels I’ve realised I come across a lot of parks and beaches where dogs are allowed that I didn’t know existed. Some beaches even have free stick libraries for the dogs and there’s even an adventure in Perth to get your pooch onto the water.
Some great beaches in our Metropolitan area for dog include:
- Shoalwater Bay at the end of Boundary Road. Parking is right on the steps down to the beach and it’s a family friendly beach. It’s a great digging beach for some reason. I always see dogs digging great holes and spraying sand from between their back legs.
- South Fremantle – great beach with a big grassed area and a very comprehensive stick library for the most discerning of dogs.
- South Cottesloe – Allows you to visit an iconic beach location in WA with your dog and it’s probably the best dog beach to swim at for humans.
- North Beach – like Mettam’s Pool is between Scarborough and Trigg and is Perth’s smallest dog beach, just 500m long and at the bottom of some steep steps. One for the young dogs, not the old dogs, including me.
- Mrs Herbert’s Park in Claremont is a lovely Swan River Beach for your pooch. Find the Claremont Freshwater Bay Museum and you’ll be in the right place.
- For an adventure on the river, if you haven’t got a boat of your own but love a picnic and love your dog, hire a Nautipicnics electric boat and head from Maylands up to Guildford. Molly was amazed at the cormorants with extended wings on protruding branches, she barked at kayakers and barked at kids fishing on jetties.
For a non-aquatic dog adventure try the following walks and parks:
Noble Falls Walk Trail up at Gidgegannup : Dogs are allowed off leash on this trail of just over three and a half kilometres and of course there’s the Noble Falls Tavern that does a great steak sandwich to share with your four-legged mate.
Regionally, The City of Geraldton has recently opened some fully fenced dog parks at the Leonard T Green Memorial Park that are grassed and particularly good for little dogs who can sometimes get a bit intimidated at the beaches. There’s also dog training classes available at these locations but don’t tell your dog you’re taking them to school.
Karlkurla Park is a wonderful on leash bushland area to walk with your pet in Kalgoorlie and halfway back to Perth near Corrigin on the Brookton Highway is the beautiful Dog Cemetery with heartfelt messages on plaques to many much loved companions.
Back in Perth, possibly the biggest dog park is Whiteman Park which as well as the human attractions, has 2 ½ hectare dog park with special agility training equipment, lots of water bowls and grassed areas and bush to explore.
Why are dog parks and beaches a hidden treasure?
Dog parks, dog beaches and experiences with dogs are hidden treasures because whether it’s a short walk or even a day trip, time with your dog is always well spent for their physical and mental health and your own.
The simple pleasure of throwing a stick or a ball means so much to them and unlike my kids, they don’t mind getting up early and heading out with me to see what’s out there. As long as they can stick their head out of the window.