Canberra awesome autumn dog friendly walks

There's nothing more beautiful than Canberra in autumn. As long time locals, we’ve researched the best walks through the prettiest areas of Canberra, with a particular focus on dog-friendliness. Here's our favourites featuring awesome autumn colour, listed in alphabetical order.

These walks feature great off leash opportunities, one or more dog-friendly cafés, and - for those with their human children in tow - excellent children’s playgrounds. In fact, all these walks are very family friendly and two are paved the whole way and pram-friendly.

The routes are mainly flat, follow a circular loop with minimal retracing of steps, and are completed in between 40 to 90 minutes.

And of course we’ve provided links to free detailed directions and google maps.

Read on to plan your walk before the awesome autumn colours fade.

Note – Dogs are not permitted on children’s playgrounds while they are being used. You’ll need to tether your dog just outside the playground perimeter if spending time there with your children.

Lake Ginninderra pram friendly walk

If any walk exemplifies family friendly, this is it. A very pretty, fully paved, pram friendly, short and generally flat walk with ample off leash opportunities, the route loops around the edge of a small peninsula jutting into Lake Ginninderra. The peninsula is entirely covered by a lovely park - Diddams Close Park - featuring mature eucalypts and exotic trees with spectacular autumn colour around the lake edge. The outer edge of the peninsula along the lake shore is an off leash area, allowing your dog to explore interesting smells in the eucalyptus understorey and amongst the water reeds. There are two excellent children's playgrounds at each end of Diddams Close.

Even with lots of dawdling, the walk will only take up to 45 minutes to complete. Ample and attractive picnic tables and barbecue facilities are available on site, and you can drive/walk to nearby dog friendly Birrigai Café further along on Lake Ginninderra.

Start/Finish – Eastern end of Diddams Close, Belconnen
Time/Distance – Allow 45 minutes/approx 2.5 km
Parking – At each end of Diddams Close
Dog and kid friendly café – No permanent café but mobile coffee vans most weekends, or try nearby Birrigai Café
Public toilets – At each end of Diddams Close
Playgrounds – At each end of Diddams Close

Click here for detailed directions and google map

Lyneham-O'Connor walk

This varied route meanders through some of Lyneham and O'Connor's prettiest parks and quietest streets, lined with mature oaks, ashes, elms, pyrus and other exotic and brilliantly hued trees. The walk includes several extensive off leash parks and playing fields for dogs to run off some steam, as well as inviting creeks to explore. The last section through Lyneham streets illustrate a wide range of housing - from 1940s weatherboards to ultra-modern minimalist designs.

Allow around 75 minutes to complete this loop walk, including some dawdling time. The walk starts and ends at the Lyneham shops with the trendiest cafés on Wattle Street.

Start/Finish – Lyneham shops, Hall Street
Time/Distance – Allow 75 minutes/approx 4 km
Parking – Hall Street and adjacent car parks
Dog and kid friendly caféTilley's Devine's Café and The Front, both on Wattle Street, Lyneham
Public toilets – Lyneham shops on Hall Street
Playgrounds – 'Horse paddock' park

Click here for detailed directions and google map

Manuka-Griffith walk

This ultra pretty and easy route follows a series of linked, extensive off leash parks featuring mature exotic trees that are just gorgeous in autumn. There are plenty of open green spaces for dogs to run rampant, opportunities for creek paddles, and a high likelihood of meeting other well socialised dogs. For walkers with human children, there’s a super children’s playground at the beginning of the walk with a slide, swings and climbing frames, and picnic tables nearby, plus another smaller playground en route in Wells Gardens.

You can complete the route in around 35 minutes walking without pause but the extensive parks invite lots of dawdling. The walk starts and ends at Griffith Park behind the Manuka shopping centre which has several cafés with outdoor tables – especially around ‘the lawns’ – that are perfect for kids and dogs.

Start/Finish – Griffith Park from Murray Crescent
Time/Distance – Allow 45 minutes/approx 3 km
Parking – Free parking on Captain Cook Crescent and Flinders Way, and ample pay parking at Manuka shopping centre
Dog and kid friendly café – Several cafés at Manuka shopping centre especially off Bougainville Street
Public toilets – At far rear of Manuka Terrace (entrance off Flinders Way)
Playgrounds – Griffith Park and Wells Garden

Click here for detailed directions and google map

Narrabundah walk

Abundant off leash walking amongst stunning mature deciduous trees is a feature on this Narrabundah walk at any time of the year. The route follows a series of off leash parks along Mills and Jerrabomberra creeks with only two short sections along suburban streets.  Dogs love sniffing among the thick leaves around the creeks and can enjoy off leash romps at three large ovals. Finally, there's a 'secret' deeply wooded path that never fails to surprise first-time walkers.

This loop walk takes approximately an hour to walk without pause, but the generous off leash spaces invite lots of dawdling. The walk starts and finishes at the Narrabundah shops which features two dog-friendly cafés.

Start/Finish – Iluka Street, Narrabundah shops
Time/Distance – Allow 75 minutes/approx 4 km
Parking – Free parking around the shops
Dog and kid friendly café – Two cafés with outdoor tables
Public toilets – on Iluka Street
Playgrounds – adjacent to Wambool Street

Click here for detailed directions and google map

Watson walk

Modest Watson is a quiet, older suburb unjustly overlooked. This walk follows a pleasant, flat, simple to navigate, and relatively short walk that still provides ample off-leash opportunities for dogs and safe open spaces for kids. The route follows a series of interconnecting informal parks and includes a large, green sports ground for energetic ball games at the beginning and end of the walk. Two small playgrounds are encountered en route nestled in quiet parks under spectacular golden-leafed elms.

The walk can be completed easily in around 40 minutes but some additional meandering could stretch it to an hour. The walk starts and ends at the small but inviting Watson shops where there are several dog and kid friendly coffee/eating options including The Knox café/bar, a bistro, and takeaway joint – all with outdoor tables.

Start/Finish – Watson shops, Watson Place
Time/Distance – Allow 40 minutes/approx 2.5 km
Parking – Watson Place and Gwynne Street
Dog and kid friendly caféThe Knox, and other options with outdoor tables, at the Watson shops
Public toilets – None; you’ll need to ask the café or bistro proprietors
Playgrounds – One in the park running between Watson Neighbourhood Oval and Piddington Street, and one between each end of Irvine St

Click here for detailed directions and google map

Yarralumla pram friendly walk

A hidden gem, family friendly Weston Park in Yarralumla provides the setting for this very lovely and generally flat walk that is paved the whole way. The route meanders around the peninsula of Weston Park featuring mature native and exotic trees that are stunning in autumn, lovely lake views, several fantastic children’s playgrounds and lots of picnic tables. Dogs must be on leash but the walk starts and ends at the fully fenced Yarralumla Dog Park where your dog can play off-leash and socialise with other dogs. There is also a dog off leash swimming spot very close to the dog park.

The walk can be completed in an hour without pause but if you have human kids with you, they'll never let you rush past Weston Park’s playgrounds. The route passes a dog-friendly and kid friendly café, Oaks Brasserie, with tables set under those beautiful trees, or you can drive/walk to the nearby Yarralumla shops for other cafés.

Start/Finish – Yarralumla Dog Park, corner Banks and Brown Streets
Time/Distance – Allow 75 minutes/approx 4 km
Parking – Gravel car park next to Yarralumla Dog Park at the corner of Banks and Brown Streets
Dog and kid friendly caféOaks Brasserie, and others at the Yarralumla shops
Public toilets – Several throughout Weston Park
Playgrounds – Several in Weston Park

Click here for detailed directions and google map

More awesome autumn walks?

The following self-guided Canberra Dog Walks also display lovely autumn colours.

Ainslie walk
Curtin pram friendly walk
Conder-Gordon walk
Kingston pram friendly walk
Hughes walk
Queanbeyan-Oaks Estate walk
Yarralumla walk

Rather join one of our guided social group walks?

Canberra Dog Walks leads guided dog friendly walks nearly every week for people who enjoy some company and don't want to bother reading directions or interpreting a map. Find out more at our guided walks page or go straight to our Meetup page to see all our currently scheduled walks.

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