Dogs need a combination of exercise, mental stimulation and socialising with lots of people and other dogs to be happy and healthy. Canberra has several excellent dog parks that provide safe, fenced, off leash areas that help meet these needs.
Pups4Fun playgroup in Yarralumla Dog Park
Canberra dog parks include:
fresh water for dogs and humans
benches for humans
a separately fenced area for small, very young or old dogs that need quieter interactions (except Forde dog park)
bins (but make sure you bring your own poo bags as these are not routinely available).
Pups4Fun playgroup at Yarralumla dog park
While the parks are off leash, it’s not a free for all! Make sure you know the dog park rules and your responsibilities when using the parks. See the ACT Government’s website for a detailed explanation of dog park etiquette, do’s and don’ts. Each park also has a summary of rules posted on the entry gate.
Example of dog park rules
There are currently 5 dog parks in Canberra with a sixth scheduled to open in June 2014 in O’Connor, plus one in nearby Queanbeyan. Here’s some detail about each Canberra dog park listed in alphabetical order. See the map below for the precise location of each dog park.
Belconnen Dog Park Where: Diddams Close, Belconnen, adjacent to Lake Ginninderra Description: In a pretty location within parkland along Lake Ginninderra, the Belconnen Dog Park has separate large and small dog areas. Tall eucalypts provide reasonable shade and there are some good grassy as well as dirt surfaces. Bonuses include a dog swimming beach just outside the park (but take care not to stray into the children’s playground and swimming area nearby) and a very convenient (human’s) toilet block near the gate.
Belconnen dog park – good grass and beautiful trees
Forde Dog Park Where: Pooley Street (opposite junction with Zorzi Street), Forde Description: Forde Dog Park is the smallest Canberra Dog Park with only one relatively small area shared by all sized dogs. This might make it too stressful for smaller or more timid dogs when there are boisterous, dominant dogs in the park, or just too many dogs at one time. There are some large eucalypts providing shade around the park, but it can get hot if visiting in the middle of the day. The surface is tanbark. Bonuses include a large range of ‘agility’ dog equipment including hoops, hurdles and pipes.
Forde dog park featuring agility equipment
Casey Dog Park Where: Yeend Avenue (just off Horse Park Drive turn-off), Casey Description: With a lovely view over grassland and new suburbs, Casey Dog Park provides two generous-sized separate areas for large and small dogs, both well shaded with eucalypts. Surfaces are a mixture of dirt and gravel, with some grassy areas remaining in the corners furthest from the gate. Bonuses include the friendly people!
Casey dog park provides ample running space for large dogs
Tuggeranong Dog Park Where: Mortimer Lewis Drive, Greenway, adjacent to Lake Tuggeranong Description: Tuggeranong Dog Park is in a lovely location with pretty views over Lake Tuggeranong and to the Brindabellas beyond. It provides generously sized separate areas for large and small dogs, boasts mature eucalypts with good shade, and a few grassy spots. Bonuses include the great views.
Entrance to Tuggeranong dog park with views beyond
Queanbeyan Dog Park Where: Southbar Road, at the entrance of The Scar nature reserve (near the junction with Tharwa Road) Description: Just over the ACT border, Queanbeyan Dog Park features separate areas for large and small dogs and a few pieces of ‘agility’ equipment. Unfortunately the lack of trees and gravel surface makes it unattractive on hot days, despite the friendly Queanbeyan locals. Bonuses include the great views from the top of The Scar if you make the effort to trek out of the park uphill for a few minutes.
Queanbeyan dog park surrounded by bush views
Yarralumla Dog Park Where: Banks Street (opposite Brown Street junction), Yarralumla, adjacent to Lake Burley Griffin Description: In one of Canberra’s older suburbs, Yarralumla Dog Park boasts an elite location next to historic Westbourne Woods. Mature tall pines provide excellent shade and there are vistas beyond into the beautifully treed Royal Canberra Golf Club and Weston Park. Dogs may also spy kangaroos through the fence on the golf course. Generous separate areas with grassy spots are provided for large and small dogs. Bonuses include a dog swimming beach on Lake Burley Griffin just outside the park, adjacent to Brown Street and a great dog friendly walk nearby (see Yarralumla walk for full directions).
Yarralumla dog park
Interested in exploring more of Canberra with your dog? Try some of our great Canberra dog friendly walks showcasing the best of Canberra and featuring off leash areas, dog friendly cafes and more.