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Wonderful pet-friendly short break

The Patio at Studio 23 and right the bed. Photos by Deanne Scott

For our last break my wife and I decided to try out a “pet friendly” holiday; a five-day break where we could take along our miniature poodle Leo. It was a toss-up between mountain and beach, but the beach won out when we remembered that dogs aren’t allowed off leash in national parks.

We settled on the Sunshine Coast, a few minutes down the road from Coolum Beach at Yaroomba and stayed at Studio 23. It is a small property with two flats upstairs and the cute studio on the ground floor at the front of the building.

It is perfect for a dog owner. The unit has a fully fenced terrace out front, with tables, chairs, bar stools and a bar overlooking the hill to the ocean and a gas barbecue. The main gate, if shut by guests, stays shut so no dog can roam.

Inside, the unit was really like a big hotel room. It was spotlessly clean. The bed was comfortable king-size, with a pretty lace canopy and top class linen. It was certainly conducive to a good night’s sleep.

The room had lots of special touches, flowers, candles, and pretty knick-knacks that added charm to the place. There was even a pair of colourful kimonos for our use.

The TV overlooked the bed and next to the window was a large settee. The room was tiled all through and Leo was allowed to sleep inside, provided he had his own bedding – and dogs are not allowed on the bed!

The en-suite contained a rain shower, wash basin and toilet, all brilliantly clean, and a quality range of toiletries. There was however no kitchen. A bench housed drawers filled with cutlery, crockery and a few cooking pans.

In the pantry cupboard was a very nice selection of teas and coffee plus mugs and pairs of wine and champagne glasses. There was also an electric kettle, toaster, and microwave oven. The final touch was a small bar fridge.

It was a bit odd washing dishes in the bathroom sink, but the place is not designed for family meals. At the back of the complex was a small swimming pool and spa in a pleasant area that was nicely out of the sea breeze.

We loved the place. It was quiet; hardly any noise from the upstairs flats and traffic was minimal.

A big attraction was location. It was a five minute walk to the nearest beach and a five minute drive to the glory of the “off-leash” beach at the end of Stumers Creek Road,.

It is at the northern end of the Coolum Beach Caravan Park, beach Access 67 to 72 and it is off-leash at all times. Well, our city dog loved the free roaming he was allowed to do. He met other dogs, did a lot of sniffing and promenading, played with some but moved gently away from others (usually larger). He even dashed into the surf once. But at no time, with dozens of dogs roaming free did we feel threatened; owners kept their pets well under control. It was a new and happy experience for us.

We even watch parachutes landing on the beach after seeing people leap from aeroplanes high in the sky.

Another thing we noticed was that the whole Coolum area is very pet friendly. We could always sit with the pooch and eat or devour the morning coffee, and doggie drinking containers were scattered everywhere along the footpaths, so no dog went thirsty.

The owner’s family were a laid back bunch; we met Kirren, who was looking after the place while his mum Sue and dad Gordon were away. We met up with Gordon on our final night – he came to say hello and give us a bottle of wine as a going away present.

That was a nice touch.

We paid $500 for the four nights and it was worth every cent. We will be back.

Studio 23, 23 Neurum Rd, Yaroomba. Contact: Sue and Gordon Higman, mobile 0402 299 025.

Happy family at Studio 23, Me, Leo and Dee

A colourful kimono perfect for the stay