Our dogs are such a huge part of our lives, so why not treat them to a holiday too. A dog vacation is the perfect way to have a get away with our beloved fur kids.
Well, the last twelve months for me, and for everyone else on the planet, has been all about staying safe and keeping out of COVID-19’s way. I don’t know about you, but never in my wildest imagination would have thought that I would, we would, spend a year at home, literally. And no travel? Ouch! It kind of makes me very grateful for my very indulgent 2019. Three overseas trips travel in one year was epic!
With Japan travel plans cancelled back in April, the furthest I got in 2020 was to Ballarat on Boxing Day and a couple of much needed trips to my hairdresser in Richmond. 8kms from home. Whoo!
So, when Melbourne’s COVID restrictions started to ease my travel planning brain went into overdrive.
Then my little family of three suffered a tough blow. My poor lil man, my fur kid soul mate, my 15-year-old little smooch of a dog, Ralphie, was diagnosed with Cancer and given a few months.
So, our days are filled with making sure he is happy, loved, eating and drinking and can still enjoy his walks. So far so good. But I really wanted to do something special for him. But what?
Then it hit me when out walking with the dogs one morning. They needed a change of scenery. We ALL needed a change of scenery.
A dog vacation was was my first idea so as soon as I got home from our walk, the research started.
My findings. There is a lot of information out there about benefits of holidaying with pets and why animals also need a break! While Covid-19 has given me the opportunity to be at home for a year with my dogs (and I have treasured every moment), they have also been stuck with me and the same routine. Day in, day out. For over 12 months.
Poor things. So yes, a dog vacation was definitely a must for my little family of three.
Within an hour of the idea popping into my head everything was booked and paid for. Yes, I move quickly but time is of the essence when you are dealing with cancer. As I have learnt.
While there are quite a few organisations that offer pet vacation options in Australia, trusty old AirBNB came through with the goods this particular time. I didn’t actually realise that they offer dog vacation but really happy that they do. (I am affiliated with airbnb and you can use my booking page to book your accomodation any time).
After a small search on AirBnB one particular place stuck in my mind as the perfect get away for the three of us; ‘Luella Rise’ at Macclesfield.
Macclesfield is approximately 50 minutes from Melbourne CBD, past Emerald along the winding roads of the Dandenong Ranges. A quiet little village that hosts a few small shops and restaurants. Luella Rise was about a 3-minute drive further on from Macclesfield.
And what a stunning place it is set amongst the hills of the Dandenong Ranges. Luella Rise is the perfect place to get away from city life to relax and unwind whilst feeling like you are being utterly spoilt. It is a great base to explore the Dandenong and Yarra Ranges, visit Puffing Billy and many of the other attractions in the area.
Set on 10 acres, the property is run and owned by Victorialee, who lives on the property, but Luella Rise is separate from her place. She is warm, inviting and an amazing conversationalist. She will leave you alone if that is what you wish or stick around to have a chat if that takes your fancy too.
Victorialee is also a qualified massage therapist and I cannot recommend strongly enough that if you book in to stay at Luella Rise, that you treat yourself to a massage! Mine was incredibly relaxing and my body feels so much better for it. Victorialee is a fantastic host. Kind, generous and just really lovely. I especially enjoyed chatting and connecting with her.
What is so great about Luella Rise is having the ability to holiday with your pets. I hate leaving them home when I travel (you can read all about that ‘What to do with your pets when travelling’). I know they are always so well looked after but I miss my kids. So this was perfect for us and great to be able to give Ralphie something special and create some good memories.
I think that as much as I absolutely loved the place, my two dogs; Ralph & Maisie loved the open spaces even more. A big treat for them considering their space at home is a small courtyard with a bit of grass. They especially loved being able to meet Victorialee’s two horses, Hunter and Pippy. The first time either one of them had seen horses, so loads of excitement!
If you are looking for ultimate relaxation, the pool, spa and sauna are an absolute must. I enjoyed a swim and drying off in the sun while reading a book and having some music playing. I honestly can’t remember the last time I did something as simple and as relaxing as that. I also REALLY enjoyed the spa, with a bottle of Prosecco of course.
I did almost have a disaster with this though, I mean what would a travel vacation of mine be without some sort of stuff up on my behalf. Hint to anyone using a spa who does not know this; go very easy on the radox or bubble bath unless you want a mess spilling out of the bath and over everything on the floor. Luckily for me I saw this unfolding and avoided disaster.
There are a few walking tracks from Luella Rise if you feel like a bit of exercise and roaming around the area. The house is equipped with everything you need for your stay, shops and restaurants are not too far away either. As I was only staying the one night, I chose to cook myself dinner in the fully equip kitchen. Victorialee did mention that the restaurants in the area are quality and worth a look.
The bed was so super comfortable, I had a brilliant night’s sleep and woke to the beautiful sounds of birds chirping away. A nice change from waking to my neighbours or the cars on the street zooming past my place.
What was really lovely about our stay at Luella Rise was leaving the city behind and for the first time in over 12 months having a night away from home, in the hills with nothing but the sound of the wind through the pine trees, stunning views of the hills and landscape and nothing to do but relax and spend time away from life with the two things I love the most, Ralph and Maisie.
If you are after a peaceful getaway for you and your fur family in a fabulous, clean and nature filled environment, Luella Rise will not disappoint. Do yourself a favour, just book. You can thank me later.
Remember as much as we all need to get away from time to time, a dog vacation is the perfect way to treat yourself and your beloved pooch. Mine has a fabulous time away and I enjoyed the change of scenery with them. Something that I hope to be able to do again with Ralph & Maisie soon enough.
You can book Luella Rise through my AirBNB affiliation here.