This past weekend we went on a little getaway to stay at the gorgeous dog-friendly accommodation The River Block. Located in Bookpurnong, on the outskirts of Berri, this character home has been lovingly renovated into a modern 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom home, whilst retaining a lot of it's original features and charm.
Our journey started early Saturday morning in Adelaide, picking up our friends to travel the nearly 3 hours to get to Bookpurnong. Along the way we made a couple of stops, the first of which being in Tanunda for breakfast at the Red Door Espresso. They have dog-friendly outdoor seating both on the front verandah and in a little back courtyard.
We then headed on our way towards the Riverland, travelling from Tanunda to Waikerie (approx. 1 hour 15 mins). We wanted to stop and have a look at the stunning Waikerie Silo Art. These silo's were were the fifth silos to be completed in South Australia and are the 25th to be included in the Australian Silo Art Trail Collection. Titled ‘Healthy River Healthy Community’ these silo's were painted by Jimmy DVate from Melbourne and Garry Duncan from Kanmantoo. For those who have a bit of time to explore there is also the Waikerie Cliff Top Walk and Scenic Lookout starting right next to the silo's – we're definitely keen to check this out next time we are there! After viewing the silo's we drove into the town centre to have a look at Renmark artist Jacqui Mason's Yellow Rosella "angel wings" located in the White Street carpark. You'll definitely want to stop here for an instagram worthy snap.
We then travelled approximately 45-50mins from Waikerie to The River Block – make sure if you're ever visiting that you read the arrival documents properly and don't head down the wrong driveway like we did! Once we were on the correct driveway there was a sense of anticipation and excitement, from the little red dirt road you would have absolutely no idea of the gorgeous view and home that await you at the end.
Check-in was simple and contactless, with a key box located on the side of the property. While we emptied the car, the dogs made the most of sniffing every plant possible, and running zoomies all over the huge grassed area – Morty even decided he felt like a quick dip in the lake... but changed his mind quick smart! The property includes a completely fenced in back yard for those pups who can't be trusted out the front, they still have plenty of room to run around and explore. We were also greeted with the sweetest little gift from another local Riverland business Pet Bowl Co. A gorgeous personalised bowl for Morty and Rick & a very yummy smelling personalised candle for me, complete with a picture of the boys on it.
The home was nice, bright and modern, absolutely loved all of the green features (a little bit biased as that's my favourite colour) and the small touches - the palm tree featured on the front door matches the palm tree towel hooks in the bathroom perfectly. The main bedroom features a stunning artwork painted especially for them by Aurora Art in Victoria, as well as an absolutely glorious king bed with plenty of pillows to choose from if you're fussy.
After unpacking and a quick outfit change due to Morty's dip in the lake we decided to head into Renmark to visit 23rd Street Distillery for a late lunch and some absolutely delicious cocktails. The distillery has plenty of dog-friendly outdoor seating, including umbrellas for warmer days. As well as having a huge grassed area where you can sit should there be no free tables. We tried the 23rd Street signature fries with truffle oil, parmesan and parsley, and delicious purple gin & lemon & sparkling wine cocktails. For those not designated driver, you can also choose from a range of tasting flights.
We headed back to The River Block to watch the sunset over the lake, which was stunning, can only imagine how nice it is there in summer! For dinner we made a booking at the Loxton Hotel – would definitely recommend booking as they were completely full inside. However thanks to having the pups with us, we had prime position on their balcony right in front of the fire. They have a great menu and drink options, and water bowls on the balcony for the dogs.
After dinner we headed back to The River Block and settled in front of Netflix, the property has three heaters throughout so even though it was freezing outside it was nice and toasty inside. They also have a cupboard full of games in case you don't feel like watching tv!
After a great night's sleep in an extremely comfortable bed and a coffee out on the front porch, we headed to the the highly recommended Arrosto Coffee located in the old Renmark Firestation for breakfast burgers and one of the best coffees I've had in a long time. Whilst we were there I also grabbed a bottle of their very popular cold drip concentrate. They had plenty of outdoor seating out the back, as well as water bowls and puppuccinos available for the dogs.
Unfortunately it was then time for us to head back to Adelaide, however there's still a number of dog-friendly activities to do in the Riverland that we didn't have time for, so we will definitely be heading back!
Some other dog-friendly things you can do are:
- Breakfast at Pen & Lu, Loxton
- Wander along the riverfront in Renmark
- Visit Coosh & Co, Renmark
- Woolshed Brewery, Murtho
- Brunch/lunch at River Jacks & walk along the river, Berri
- Barmera Bakery have dog biscuits available, Barmera
- Lake Bonney, Barmera
If you've made it this far – The River Block have kindly offered a discount for any of our friends who want to book a stay with them this year, mention Morty & Rick in your booking comments to receive $100 off. Valid for 2022 bookings only! You can check out their website here to book.
I'll wrap up by mentioning the amount of photo opportunities around the property, be it amongst the mandarin trees (delicious too), in front of the bright green door or the old wooden building that was the original Bookpurnong post office!
If you're like us, you always have brown bananas filling up the freezer that you plan on baking with "one day." Well, today is that day! We're going to make some peanut butter & banana dog treats, using Doggylicious Peanut Butter available from PETstock. There are three kinds available, all made from human grade ingredients and 100% dog friendly – Original, Calming and Hip, Joint & Coat. For this recipe we will be using the Original Peanut Butter, however this could be switched out for either of the other two!
PREP TIME COOK TIME TOTAL TIME
10 minutes 18 minutes 28 minutes
3 cups traditional oats (we've used Uncle Toby's)
1/3 cup Doggylicious Peanut Butter
2 tablespoons flour (if necessary)
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
2. Add oats to food processor and run for 2-3 minutes until almost a flour consistency with a few larger pieces of oats throughout.
3. Mash bananas until smooth.
4. Place oats, Doggylicious Peanut Butter, banana and egg into a bowl & mix using a hand mixer (we used the dough hook attachments). Alternatively you may use a food processor to mix the ingredients together.
5. Mix until a dough is formed (if dough seems a bit dry, add a small amount of Doggylicious Peanut Butter or tablespoon of water until you have desired consistency).
6. Sprinkle countertop with some flour and place dough onto the countertop, roll the dough flat until roughly 0.5cm thick.
7. Using a cookie cutter cut out your dog treats and place onto the lined baking tray. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 16-18 minutes, rotating the tray half way through. Remove from oven once golden brown.
8. Cool treats completely on a cooling rack before giving them to your pup.
Notes: We made 12 x larger treats and 20 x smaller treats from this recipe. For a softer treat, reduce the cooking time.
Morty & Rick's Christmas Gift Guide
Idpet Personalised Christmas Ornament & Personalised Christmas Neckerchief
Get in the Christmas spirit with these gorgeous personalised items from Idpet. The 10cm aluminium ornament can be personalised with a super cute illustration of your dog breed and includes a personalised message on the reverse side. We love ours and they’re already taking prime position on our Christmas tree! You can also get your Christmas Day outfit sorted with a personalised Christmas Neckerchief, available in a range of designs and sizes they’re the perfect choice for our summer Christmas here in Australia! Idpet also have so many other Christmas goodies available, including harnesses, leads, stockings, santa sacks and toys.
Use our code RICKANDMORTY10 to save 10% off from Idpet
Poochu-sir Bespoke Christmas Harnesses
We’ve been obsessed with this brand since Morty was a puppy and can’t speak highly enough about the craftmanship & detail that goes into their handmade harnesses. Thankfully for all of us Miss J is back creating gorgeous harnesses just in time for Christmas! There are a huge range of designs available, many of which include Poochu’s signature bow tie and pocket details. Special mention has to go to the ‘Hello Ruldolf’ harness though, this has got to be the cutest one we’ve ever seen!
Shop the Christmas Harnesses here
Petstock Merry Little Christmas Toys
Petstock have a huge range of adorable Christmas themed toys available this year, suitable for all types of dogs – whether you enjoy a cuddle with a soft toy, or if you’re more of a destructive type and need something a little tougher! And it’s not just us pups they’ve got covered, there’s also a huge range of Christmas toys available for our feline siblings. Make sure you check out the scandi range, your humans won’t care about having toys lying around the house when they look that classy! If you can’t wait until Christmas, we must also mention Petstock’s Dog Treat Advent Calendars – because why not treat yourself every day of December in the lead up to Christmas!
Shop the Merry Little Christmas range here
Frankie & Friends Party Shirt
Christmas Day always calls for a new outfit and Frankie & Friends have you covered with their stylish party shirts! There is a huge range of prints available, ranging from leopard print to florals, or even a limited edition Christmas Grinch print. They even have matching boxer shorts available for your humans in a few of the prints, you can’t go past the matchy-matchy family photo at Christmas time!
Use our code MORTY&RICK10 for 10% off from Frankie & Friends
Holly & Co Tie Bandana – Smiley & Nomad ‘Over the Rainbow’ collection
After the year we’ve all had everyone could do with a smile! This beautiful muslin fabric tie up bandana from Holly & Co is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Made from the cutest smiley face and yellow polka dot fabric, and as with all of Holly & Co’s products, is of the highest quality! While you’re checking out the gorgeous bandanas we highly recommend checking out the newest print in their Nomad collection – ‘Over the rainbow’ this one won’t last long!
Use our code MORTYRICK for 15% off from Holly & Co
Sonny & Friends Christmas Eve Gift Box
Sonny & Friends have us pups covered for leaving out puppuccinos and cookies for Santa Paws – however if you’re anything like us, they won’t last that long! Each Gift Box contains a gingerbread puppuccino mix, ‘Milk & Cookies’ Puppuccino cup and dog-safe carob ‘choc chip’ cookies, all wrapped up in the most gorgeous box. We can vouch for Sonny & Friends biscuits, they’re absolutely delicious!
Shop the gift box here
The Bandana Love Project bandanas, blankets & matching human accessories
The Bandana Love Project has you and your human covered and has a large range of items available that will make the perfect stocking stuffers. The Bandana Love Project has the cutest fabrics available, you’re able to pick up a bandana for yourself and a matching scrunchie, face mask or headband for your human! The best thing about buying from The Bandana Love Project is part of the proceeds from their sales are directly donated to dog welfare organisations that rescue, rehabilitate and rehome dogs in need, so you won’t just be buying presents for your family but also giving back to dogs that need our help.
Use our code MORTYRICK10 for 10% off from The Bandana Love Project
Naked Pet Food dog treats
Naked Pet Food have a huge range of preservative free dog treats available, and have something suitable for even the fussiest pup, or pups suffering from allergies (like Rick!). They stock a large range of brands – such as Veggie Paws, Chefs & Dogs, Sonny & Friends amongst others! Not only do they sell a range of treats, but also have home cooked meals available for pups located in Adelaide, they will even be doing a special Christmas menu this year, and it looks delicious! If you’re located in SA you can visit in store at Prospect, visit their stall at Plant 4, or pick up a selected range from Bowden IGA. They also offer home delivery within Adelaide. Interstate? Not a problem! Send Ash a message on Instagram or Facebook and she’ll get you sorted!
Shop Naked Pet Food here
Sniff n Co Christmas Range
One for the humans in your life – make sure to check out Sniff n Co’s limited edition Christmas scents. They’re available in both wax melts and small or medium candles and you have the choice of three delicious scents: Gingerbread, Candy cane or Pine Needle. These will make the perfect stocking stuffer or Kris Kringle gift. While you’re there, make sure to check out the limited scent wax melts, our human highly recommends the sweet nectarine!
Shop the Christmas collection here
Pawsome Paws Boutique Human Apparel
Another for the humans! Pawsome Paws Boutique have the absolute coolest t-shirts, jumpers and beanies available. Featuring cute slogans in funky designs, you’ll be sure to find one (or ten) that you love. Our human’s got her eye on the ‘Dog Mother, Gin Lover’ tee! They’ve also just released their ‘Dog Dad’ embroidered sweatshirt, so there’s even something for the men! The cute designs also feature on mugs, stationary and prints if that’s more your style.
Shop the range here
Pethaus Battle Harness
Want to be the coolest pup on the block? Make sure to put a PetHaus battle harness on your Christmas list! These stylish and strong denim harnesses will have you looking totally bad ass and can be personalised with the addition of a huge range of patches – including custom text patches, so you can add your name! We absolutely love ours, and get so many comments on them. They’re going to be perfect come winter when we need to wear hoodies out on our walks as the harness will fit perfectly right over the top!
Shop the Battle Harness here
Pawfect Pals ‘Sleigh in it’ reversible harness
Pawfect Pals have come up with the perfect solution for our summer Christmas here in Australia! It would be far too hot for us to don a Christmas sweater, so they’ve released the coolest reversible harness with a bright red Christmas sweater design on one side, and super cute Christmas Australian animals on the reverse. Make sure to get your hands on this range quickly as they’ve already sold out once!
Use our code MYPALMORTY to get 10% off from Pawfect Pals
Thanks for reading guys, hope we've given you some great ideas for Christmas! Drop us a comment below and let us know what we've missed!
Our top winter looks!
We’re not sure about you, but winter has got to be our favourite fashion season. Who doesn't love a big cosy jacket, or accessorising with a beanie or scarf! While there is always the challenge of looking stylish while layering up and keeping warm, we’ve done our best to throw together the perfect look for every situation below.
If you follow us closely on Instagram you will know how much we love getting out and about Adelaide checking out all the dog friendly venues on offer! We have visited a few, but still have a big list to get to with our bestie @mavis_theborderterrier. We’ve compiled a list for you of our top 5 venues so far.
Sublime Coffee Roasters
This one was never going to be left off our list! Not only is it our local coffee shop, but they’re also super dog friendly. Rain, hail or shine you can head to Sublime with your humans as the kind folk there will let you sit inside (of course you will need to be on your best behaviour though!) We’re greeted with a pat and a treat every time we arrive, and the staff knew our names long before learning our humans name! As well as being really accommodating for the dogs, the coffee is top notch – our only complaint being that they stopped making their delicious toasties, so we can no longer steal a bit of bacon, cheese or egg from our humans!
You can find Sublime Coffee Roasters at 59A Bray St, Plympton Park SA 5038.
Tucked away in the backstreets of Somerton Park is this funky little space, a large open warehouse that doubles as a shopfront, co-working areas, coffee shop and yoga/pilates studio. Summertown Studio is filled with an eclectic assortment of vintage furniture and rugs which is not only extremely comfortable but makes for great insta pics (if that is your thing!). Our humans can confirm the De Groot coffee and cakes are top notch, and while waiting for your coffee you can check out their great range of candles, dried flower arrangements, sauces, records and more.
You can find Summertown Studio at 13 Paringa Avenue, Somerton Park SA 5044.
Bird In Hand Winery
If coffee and cakes aren’t your thing, maybe wine and cheese platters are? A 40 minute drive from the city you will find Bird In Hand Winery in the Adelaide Hills. With a large outdoor area with plenty of chairs and tables you’re sure to find the perfect spot to enjoy a glass or two of their delicious wines. We can highly recommend trying their antipasto platter for $60 which gives you a selection of cheeses, cured meats, marinated olives, dips, pickled vegetables and flat bread. Not only do they offer great wines and tasty food, there is a large grassed area perfect for us pups to do our best army crawls and have a play, and of course you can’t visit without getting a photograph in front of one of the most instagrammed doorways in South Australia!
You can find Bird In Hand Winery at Bird in Hand & Pfeiffer Roads, Woodside SA 5244.
The Marion Hotel
Fancy a visit to the local pub? The Marion Hotel offer dog friendly dining daily from 7am-11am in their garden area. With a great breakfast menu on offer we highly recommend you pay them a visit! The Garden is a large undercover newly renovated outdoor area, so there’s plenty of room for the whole family to enjoy breakfast with you, and the staff are always on hand to smother you with love and pats. We were greeted with a bowl of dog treats on our arrival for breakfast – who can complain about that service? Make sure to grab a snap infront of their ‘Dogues of Marion Hotel’ magazine cover cut out, and pop in to the cellar drive through to check out the gorgeous wall mural by Mike Makatron, we couldn’t help but take a photo in front of it as our harnesses matched perfectly!
You can find the Marion Hotel at 849 Marion Rd, Mitchell Park SA 5043
In the streets of Thebarton you’ll find Mister Sunshine’s, a funky little place to visit either just for coffee or to grab a bite to eat. We highly recommend doing the later, their menu has plenty of delicious breakfast and lunch options (including a number of vegan options) and with a large partly covered outdoor area you can visit at any time of the year! It’s a popular spot so we recommend booking (if possible). Great food, coffee and atmosphere, Mister Sunshine’s is definitely one to add to your list of places to visit – just make sure your humans don’t forget to order you a side of bacon.
You can find Mister Sunshine’s at 32 George Street, Thebarton SA 5031.
This is just a very small selection of the many dog friendly venues around SA, to check out where else you can accompany your humans check out the RSPCA SA PetStop App in the Apple App Store or Google Play. There is also an amazing website Takemetoo we love to use to find new places to visit, which you can find here: takemetoo.com.au
Morty & Rick with a little help typing by their owner Imogen.