About walks

Our self-guided dog walks showcase the best of Canberra and are designed to create an enjoyable experience for both people and dogs. Our recommended walking routes:

  • include off leash opportunities
  • mostly start and finish at a shopping centre featuring at least one dog friendly café
  • follow a loop with minimal retracing of steps
  • avoid or minimise busy roads and Canberra 'nature parks' where dogs are required to be on leash at all times
  • feature interesting stuff for humans too, such as beautiful views, quirky sculptures or historical buildings.

Our social group walks usually follow one of our self-guided walking routes but we lead the way so you can just enjoy the walk without worrying about directions or maps.

 

Lake Ginninderra walk
Lyneham-O'Connor walk
Curtin walk
Manuka-Griffith walk

Walks take between 45 and 90 minutes to complete, including some dawdling time. You don't need to be particularly fit. Use the walking times as your guide. If you can walk for an hour at a steady pace, you can complete our one hour walks. Walkers aged from 6 to 81 years-old have tested our walks.

 

Walks usually include a mix of paved footpaths, dirt tracks and routes across grass. Your footwear needs to be appropriate for this type of walking, including through wet grass or on muddy tracks! But we also have a selection of walks paved the whole way for people pushing prams, or not able to walk 'cross country'. Walk titles including the term 'pram friendly' are paved the whole way.

 

Go to Which Walk? to help you choose the right walk for you or go directly to Walk Directions for all walk directions. To join a scheduled guided social walk, go to our Social Group Walks page.

 

Most walks are located in North Canberra, South Canberra and Woden, the areas in Canberra that provide the best combination of off leash walking, cultural interest and dog friendly cafés. We also have one walk in Tuggeranong, one straddling Oaks Estate and Queanbeyan, and two in Belconnen so far, and plan to add more in ‘outer’ suburbs over time. See our location map to see the start and end points of all our walks.

 

What's included in our free self-guided walk directions»

Detailed directions

Our walking directions are detailed enough to help you find your way even without a map once you get to the starting point. We also provide a PDF version if you want to print them out, but our website is fully responsive so the directions will be easy to read and look good on your smartphone. Walking directions include:

  • approximate walking times and distances
  • a rating indicating the extent of off leash opportunities
  • location of public toilets and bins
  • location of children’s playgrounds
  • advice about when dogs can go off leash, when they should be called to heel, for example, prior to a road crossing, or when they should be on leash
  • warnings about potential distractions such as horse riders or kangaroos
  • additional commentary about particular sections of the walk such as views, historic features, interesting architecture or sculptures.

Google maps

Each walk comes with a detailed google map illustrating the walking route. You can use just the map to find your way but the walking directions give you the bonus of interesting commentary about what you’re seeing and other important information such as where’s the nearest toilet and when to watch out for kangaroos!

Walking times

Approximate walking times are provided, assuming a steady walking pace with a few stops to throw a ball, let your dog socialise, or take in the views. If you walk the whole route at a brisk pace without pause you may take less time than estimated. If you dawdle a lot you may take longer. Elderly walkers or families with young children may also take longer.

Potential distractions

Each walk provides warnings about potential doggie distractions such as kangaroos, rabbits, horses, etc. Canberra isn’t called the ‘bush capital’ for nothing! You can encounter kangaroos and rabbits even in the Parliamentary Triangle. Having said that, most of our walks avoid Canberra’s so-called nature parks where these distractions are most common. Where they can’t be avoided, we provide a warning to leash your dog, especially if they are ‘chase’ inclined. Each walk also warns when approaching sports grounds, schools and bike paths. You should always respect other users and be aware of ACT Government dog regulations.

Off leash opportunities

All walks are rated for their off leash opportunities.
♥♥♥ means most of the walk can be completed off leash
♥♥ means there are long sections of off leash walking but some on leash walking is necessary
♥ means off leash areas are included along the route allowing games and socialising but most of the route should be walked on leash.

We particularly recommend your dog is on leash along bike paths, in shopping centres, crossing busy roads and passing through areas of high kangaroo density. Dogs off leash should be well socialised and reliably come when called.

The ACT Government provides information about designated off leash areas on its website. In some areas of Canberra, locals are very tolerant of dog walkers and many dogs are walked off leash. In other areas, dogs are generally only seen off leash in specific designated areas. It’s your responsibility to ensure the safety of your dog, the safety of others, and to know the laws in Canberra.

Dog friendly cafés

Most walks begin and end at a shopping centre featuring a dog friendly café. In most cases there are several dog friendly establishments with outside tables where proprietors are tolerant of dogs. However disruptive dogs may not be welcomed. You’ll need to check café opening times. Many are open 7 days a week, but some are closed Sundays and/or Mondays. Cafés that are exceptionally dog friendly, welcoming and/or serve consistently good coffee are identified as ‘Our Pick’. See also our blog on Canberra dog friendly cafes. We have not received any inducements to name these cafés.

Walk photos

All walk directions include a link to a gallery of photos taken on that walk so you can preview what to expect. All photos are taken by amateurs, mostly on iPhones, so what you see is what you get!

Important stuff

All directions include a link to important stuff you need to know before starting any of our walks. You should also check the ACT Government webpage outlining dog regulations so you can be well informed. Our walks assume you are a responsible dog owner with an obedient and well-socialised dog.

Detailed directions

Our walking directions are detailed enough to help you find your way even without a map once you get to the starting point. We also provide a PDF version if you want to print them out, but our website is fully responsive so the directions will be easy to read and look good on your smartphone. Walking directions include:

  • approximate walking times and distances
  • a rating indicating the extent off leash opportunities
  • location of public toilets and bins
  • location of children’s playgrounds
  • advice about when dogs can go off leash, when they should be called to heel, for example, prior to a road crossing, or when they should be on leash
  • warnings about potential distractions such as horse riders or kangaroos
  • additional commentary about particular sections of the walk such as views, historic features, interesting architecture or sculptures.

Google maps

Each walk comes with a detailed google map illustrating the walking route. You can use just the map to find your way but the walking directions give you the bonus of interesting commentary about what you’re seeing and other important information such as where’s the nearest toilet and when to watch out for kangaroos!

 

Walking times

Approximate walking times are provided, assuming a steady walking pace with a few stops to throw a ball, let your dog socialise, or take in the views. If you walk the whole route at a brisk pace without pause you may take less time than estimated. If you dawdle a lot you may take longer. Elderly walkers or families with young children may also take longer.

 

Potential distractions

Each walk provides warnings about potential doggie distractions such as kangaroos, rabbits, horses, etc. Canberra isn’t called the ‘bush capital’ for nothing! You can encounter kangaroos and rabbits even in the Parliamentary Triangle. Having said that, most of our walks avoid Canberra’s so-called nature parks where these distractions are most common. Where they can’t be avoided, we provide a warning to leash your dog, especially if they are ‘chase’ inclined. Each walk also warns when approaching sports grounds, schools and bike paths. You should always respect other users and be aware of ACT Government dog regulations.

 

Off leash opportunities

All walks are rated for their off leash opportunities.
♥♥♥ means most of the walk can be completed off leash
♥♥ means there are long sections of off leash walking but some on leash walking is necessary
♥ means off leash areas are included along the route allowing games and socialising but most of the route should be walked on leash.

 

We particularly recommend your dog is on leash along bike paths, in shopping centres, crossing busy roads and passing through areas of high kangaroo density. Dogs off leash should be well socialised and reliably come when called.

 

The ACT Government provides information about designated off leash areas on its website. In some areas of Canberra, locals are very tolerant of dog walkers and many dogs are walked off leash. In other areas, dogs are generally only seen off leash in specific designated areas. It’s your responsibility to ensure the safety of your dog, the safety of others, and to know the laws in Canberra.

 

Dog friendly cafés

Most walks begin and end at a shopping centre featuring a dog friendly café. In most cases there are several dog friendly establishments with outside tables where proprietors are tolerant of dogs. However disruptive dogs may not be welcomed. You’ll need to check café opening times. Many are open 7 days a week, but some are closed Sundays and/or Mondays. Cafés that are exceptionally dog friendly, welcoming and/or serve consistently good coffee are identified as ‘Our Pick’. See also our blog on Canberra dog friendly cafes. We have not received any inducements to name these cafés.

 

Walk photos

All walk directions include a link to a gallery of photos taken on that walk so you can preview what to expect. All photos are taken by amateurs, mostly on iPhones, so what you see is what you get!

 

Important stuff

All directions include a link to important stuff you need to know before starting any of our walks. You should also check the ACT Government webpage outlining dog regulations so you can be well informed. Our walks assume you are a responsible dog owner with an obedient and well-socialised dog.