It's a Dog's Life

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Hiking in the Blue Mountains is fun for the whole family – even your four-legged fur babies!

For the best trails suitable for adventurous pups in the Mountains, we sought the advice of an expert – esteemed fashion designer and author of ‘Hiking Mount Kobe: A Dog’s Guide to the Blue Mountains’, Kobe the Pyr.

Congratulations on your book, Kobe! It’s a thrill to interview such an accomplished author!

Thank you for having me!

What restrictions are there on taking dogs into bushland in the Blue Mountains?

Dogs are not allowed inside national parks, but they are generally welcome to explore tracks and reserves located on council land. National park boundaries are well sign-posted, and you can also find out more from the Blue Mountains City Council (BMCC) website or from my book.

What is your favourite all-time dog-friendly trail, and why?

It’s difficult to pick just one, as this depends on what you’re in the mood for! A trek along a clifftop? A splash through a waterfall? Sniffing the remnants of old BBQs in caves? There is so much variety – sometimes even within the same walk! For example, the Pulpit Rock-Little Zig Zag walk in Mt Victoria takes you through lush rainforest before opening up to magnificent sandstone cliff faces where you can enjoy views of the Kanimbla Valley.

Do you have a favourite place to swim?

Nope! I hate water! While I love hiking to waterfalls, I find water sloshing past ankle height most unacceptable. However, for dogs who enjoy a dip, I can suggest Wentworth Falls Lake (easy access) or the bottom of Minnehaha Falls (difficult for most dogs unless someone carries them down the steep metal stairs - which by the way no one has offered to do for me as yet).

How does Mum deal with muddy paws?

She cries. Then she hoses off my feet before I’m allowed into the house, at which point I cry. We included a ‘Muddy-metre’ in my book that rates the likelihood of acquiring muddy paws on every walk, so humans can plan accordingly.

Is there a flat trail you can recommend for pooches that aren’t so mobile?

Small dogs shouldn’t be afraid to try a little climbing, and their humans can give them a boost when needed. For pooches with limited mobility, there are many easy walks on mostly level ground such as the Wentworth Falls Lake circuit, Lincoln’s Rock or Cahill’s Lookout. My book grades all walks by difficulty and distance, so humans can pick what is most suited to their dog’s fitness level.

What other dog-friendly trails do you recommend?

Pippas Pass in Blaxland and Three Brothers in Medlow Bath are two of the quieter ones that I enjoy.

Any “hidden secrets” you’d like to share?

You’ll have to read my book to find out! But here’s a tip: before you head out, check the BMCC website for updates about track repairs and closures, as there have been many this year due to landslips caused by all the wet weather.

Nothing like a bushwalk to build an appetite! Any dog-friendly cafes you and your mum like to relax at in the Blue Mountains?

We like 2773 in Glenbrook, but our preference by far is to pack our snacks to bring with us on hikes. There’s nothing like munching on homemade cookies from a mountain top while soaking in views of the Kanimbla or Megalong Valley – it’s a feast for all the senses!

To purchase ‘Hiking Mount Kobe’ or to check out Kobe’s stylish range of dog coats made from recycled dog fur, visit kotesbykobe.com.au

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