Aranda walk directions
The oldest suburb in Belconnen, popular Aranda offers both urban and bushland experiences. This is an easy but satisfying walk following a straightforward loop around and through the suburb. It features an extensive off leash green space at the beginning of the walk for dogs to burn off excess energy; more off leash walking around the perimeter of the suburb on dirt tracks; a short but very pretty section through the Aranda Bushlands nature park (on leash only); and impressive views of Black Mountain and beyond to south Canberra. The route crosses only two streets. A feature of the walk for humans is the dominance of native flora, flowering during late winter. Apart from a short steep section, the tracks are fairly level or with gentle uphill gradients. The walk starts and ends at the old Aranda shops which is now inhabited by the very dog friendly Two Before Ten cafe (also serves good coffee).
Start/Finish - Old Aranda shops site, now Two Before Ten cafe, at 68 Bandjalong Cresent
Time/Distance - Allow 75 minutes/approx 4.5 km
Off lead rating - ♥♥
Parking - Car park at 68 Bandjalong Crescent (the old Aranda shops site)
Dog friendly café - Our Pick Two Before Ten
Public toilets - No public toilets; only inside cafe
Bins - adjacent to amenities block at Aranda District Playing Fields
Distractions - potentially kangaroos
Children's playgrounds - one playground adjacent to Kubura Place
Photo gallery - See photos taken on the Aranda walk.
Note - All our dog walks assume you are a responsible dog owner with an obedient and well-socialised dog. See our Important Stuff page before starting any of our walks.
Use the navigation tools to zoom in or out for different views of the route or click on the 'view larger map' icon on the top right hand corner of the map to view in google maps.
Old Aranda shops site car park (opposite Aranda primary school) to Aranda District Playing Fields (15 minutes)
The tiny Aranda shops went the way of most small suburban shopping centres in Canberra, standing empty for around ten years before being inhabited by Two Before Ten cafe in 2015, with more related businesses opened in 2016.
1. Walk to the end of the small car park furthest from where you drove in. Join the concrete footpath ahead and follow it to the right, through the underpass (passing under Bandjalong Crescent).
2. Continue following the path through a lightly wooded open space, with houses on your left and the Aranda Primary School on your right. After about five minutes you'll reach an extensive green playing field. There is another playing field around the same size on the other side of the grassy bank to your right.
Off leash opportunity starts here.
These playing fields provide a generous open area for dogs to expend some excess energy when sports games aren't in progress.
Aranda District Playing Fields to Aranda Bushlands nature park (30 minutes)
3. When you're ready to continue, head to the right from where you entered the fields. If you haven't already crossed to the other playing field, walk over the grassy bank and continue straight ahead to a quiet surburban street at the border of the fields (Kubura Place). You'll pass an amenities block and car park on your right and the Aranda Scouts Hall on your left.
Bins are located next to the amenities block adjacent to the second playing field and car park.
A small children's playground is located at the edge of the second playing field adjacent to Kubura Place.
Off leash opportunity ends as you leave the playing fields.
4. At Kubura Place, turn left walking past the small Scouts Hall car park on your left to a metal boom gate.
5. Walk through the gate to join a wide gravel track on the other side. Follow this track to the right to walk along the back fences of Aranda houses.
Off leash opportunity starts here.
This semi-bush strip extending from here to the Aranda Bushlands nature park is bordered on one side by the back fence of houses and by busy roads on the other, but there is a generous barrier of trees and scrub between the walking track and roads. We've never seen kangaroos here, but locals have reported the occasional sighting, so please be vigilant if you have a chase-inclined dog.
6. Continue following the shady track as it passes through this semi-bush area, hugging the back fences of houses on your right.
This section of the walk is the least attractive due to the proximity of the noisy, though mostly out-of-sight, arterial road (Belconnen Way) on your left. However the track is easy to follow and the young eucalypts along the track provide some shade in summer. You can also enjoy the variety of late '60s/early '70s suburban architecture displayed along the way including the flat-roofed houses and native-plant dominated gardens popular with Canberra professionals at the time.
7. Continue along the wide dirt track, until you reach a concrete footpath crossing at right angles.
Leash your dog just before the footpath and continue on leash straight ahead until the dirt track curves right following the back fences of Aranda houses. Your dog may continue off leash after you veer right.
You are passing the corner of Belconnen Way and another arterial road (Caswell Drive) on your left. The ACT Government dog off leash map requires dogs to be on leash for the short stretch starting just before the concrete footpath to just past the road intersection.
The track starts a gradual climb uphill and the scenery improves as the densely treed slopes of Black Mountain come into view on the left. Traffic on Caswell Drive on the left can still be heard but stays out-of-sight for the rest of the walk.
8. Follow the track as it crosses a road (Bandjalong Crescent). Continue following the track immediately on the other side.
Call your dog to heel for the road crossing.
9. Continue along the track passing houses on your right, ignoring the concrete path leading off to the left towards Caswell Drive, until you reach a bitumen area (the unused end of Wangara Street).
This section of track to Wangara Street passes through some pleasant open bushland of mainly young eucalypts, small shrubs and native grasses. Dogs will enjoy the variety of smells.
Off leash opportunity ends here.
Aranda Bushlands nature park section (15 minutes)
10. Cross the bitumen and walk through the pedestrian opening next to the mesh gate in the wire fence ahead. You have entered the Aranda Bushlands nature park. After passing by the gate, don't continue following the dirt track straight ahead. Instead walk to the right heading to the back fences of the houses to join a dirt track there. Continue following the track close by the houses.
If you feel like a little rest, there is a picnic table and benches near the gate.
This section of the walk features impressive views of Black Mountain and beyond to south Canberra. Depending on the season, native shrubs along the track could be in flower. In late July, August and early September you can enjoy a very pretty flower display. See our photos for examples.
11. After a few minutes the track will intersect with a number of other dirt tracks. Turn right here, taking the track that climbs steeply uphill parallel to the back of the houses.
Before turning right, walk ahead a little to where the dirt track widens into a dark-gravelled area to enjoy very fine views of southern Canberra.
12. Soon the dirt track levels off and runs parallel to concrete footpath on the left. Not long after, the track and footpath move away from the houses which drop away downhill to your right. Continue following the track along the side of the ridge ignoring the temptation to follow any tracks downhill into the suburb.
This is an attractive section of the nature park, with bush views to your left and urban views across the Belconnen region to your right. In late winter/spring, the path is thickly lined with flowering natives.
13. Cross from the dirt track to the concrete footpath when you see the footpath pass through two white posts up ahead. Follow this footpath until you pass through the two white posts and the wire fence. At this point you have exited the Aranda Bushlands nature park.
The remainder of the walk - directions 14, 15 and 16 below - pass through some off leash areas. However we recommend enjoying the rest of the walk with your dog on leash following the paved paths. The off leash areas are so randomly located and lacking in walkable tracks that it is hardly worth attempting.
Aranda Bushlands to Two For Ten cafe car park (15 minutes)
14. After passing between the posts, the footpath meets another concrete footpath. Take the right fork and follow the footpath as it heads slightly uphill, and then downhill back into the suburb.
The footpath passes through a very pleasant and spacious semi-bush park between the back fences of Aranda houses. The park is heavily planted with eucalypts and native grasses, gradually thinning to more open grassy sections as the path progresses.
15. After around ten minutes, the footpath terminates at a road (Walu Street). Follow a dirt track to cross the road and meet up with another concrete footpath on the other side.
16. Continue following the footpath downhill, returning shortly to the car park at Two For Ten cafe.
You can finish off your walk with a well-deserved coffee or light meal at Two Before Ten cafe. There are several outdoor tables under a shady wide eave or around the side in a sunny courtyard.
Canberra Retreat Bed and Breakfast guests
(see our blog on Canberra dog friendly accommodation for more info)
If you're staying at Canberra Retreat, you are only a few minutes stroll from this walk route. To get to there:
i) turn right out of Canberra Retreat and then right immediately to follow a concrete footpath running alongside the house until it ends at a little park
ii) continue straight across the edge of the park to a road (the other end of Barada Crescent)
iii) cross Barada Crescent to follow another street directly ahead (Murawa Place)
iv) follow Murawa Place until it terminates in another park.
This park is no. 16 in the walking directions. You can turn left to reach direction no. 1 in a minute or two, or turn right to walk the route in the opposite direction.
If you'd prefer to join one of our regular guided group walks, find out more at our guided walks page.