The Animal Rescue & Education Festival
This inaugural festival is being run by the Ocean Forest Farm and DARE. These not-for-profit animal rescue groups have banded together to bring the festival to the beautiful Sunny Coast. The main message of the day is for people to learn about the current homeless animal crisis in Australia; there will be free animal education sessions and speakers talking about the issue, and how everyone can help.
While their goal is to teach everyone the importance of adopting animals from shelters and rescue groups, they’ve also got a huge number of fun activities organised. With a huge number of market stalls, giveaways, face painting sessions and bouncy castles, the whole family will have fun at this day out. There will also be more than 150 cats, kittens, dogs and puppies up for adoption on the day, so if you’re looking for a new best friend (or just want to pat some cute animals) this is the place to go!
If you think you’re going to be picking up your new furry friend, we’ve also found a few nearby pet-friendly cafes to fuel up at after you head to the festival – check them out below!
The Velo Project

Bring your pooch along to this quirky cafe, The Velo Project - Sunshine Coast
Bring your pooch along to this quirky cafe, The Velo Project – Sunshine Coast

The Velo Project is a unique and flourishing cafe in the heart of Mooloolaba. Just a short drive from the Animal Rescue & Education Festival, we recommend you make this your first stop for the day! The friendly team here are dedicated to providing wholesome, delicious meals for breakfast and lunch, and serve up only the best of the best when it comes to their food. Not convinced? Try one of their crepes (whether it’s the banana and Nutella, mango puree and coconut, or the smoked salmon) and you’ll quickly change your mind.
If you’re bringing your furry pooch along, take a seat in their outdoor area overlooking the beach. We can’t think of anything better then the sunshine, a fresh juice and your new best friend by your side to spend a Sunday. Don’t forget to order a hot coffee to go, and your morning will be complete!
Where: 19 Careela Street, Mooloolaba QLD 4557
One on La Balsa Cafe
Enjoy some delicious breakfast, One on La Balsa Cafe - Sunshine Coast
Enjoy some delicious breakfast, One on La Balsa Cafe – Sunshine Coast

One on La Balsa Cafe is another pet-friendly gem located near the festival. Looking for a big breakfast or lunch to feast on, with your pup in tow? Then you can’t go past this vibrant cafe on Sunday. For breakfast, order their decadent smoked salmon stack with poached eggs, rocket and topped with grilled tomato and salsa. If you’d prefer something on the healthy side (but equally as delicious) try the bircher muesli or corn cakes with avocado salsa, bacon and plum sauce.
While their breakfast dishes are to die for, they also have an incredible lunch menu to delight in if you’re visiting later in the day. Why not take a seat outside and try the paprika marinated chicken with honey roasted pumpkin, halloumi, rocket and cherry tomato salad? Just make sure it doesn’t get into the wrong hands (or paws), because these scrumptious meals do not last long! Visit the One on La Balsa Cafe this Sunday and meet the friendly team.
Where: 1 Harbour Parade, Buddina QLD 4575
Check out some more pet friendly cafes on the Sunshine Coast!
Will you be heading to this big event on Sunday? Comment and let us know!