To ensure you don’t spend your weekends barking up the wrong tree, VisitCanberra has put together our hit-list of things to do with your fur babies.

Hit the trails

Canberra is packed with dog-friendly walking tracks, swimming locations, fenced off-leash and on-leash parks for everyone and their pooch to enjoy. There’s no shortage of options when it comes to popping your pooch on a leash (or off), soaking up some vitamin D and enjoying a leisurely walk or zoomie session amongst some of Canberra’s most picturesque scenery.

For a short stroll and great scenery, head to Weston Park in Yarralumla for killer views of the lake, the city and Black Mountain. There is even an off-leash section for doggos to unleash their zoomies without dragging you with them. 

The National Arboretum Canberra has over 8km of walking tracks that are open to humans and their on-leash doggy companions. The views are amazing and there are plenty of trees ready to be explored.

If you prefer something with cool lake breezes, take in the picturesque scenery around Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin. Enjoy a delightful stroll from ‘bridge to bridge’ and cover 5km of lakeside footpaths, an easy way to conquer that 10,000 steps a day and you are never too far away from a cafe.  

For stunning views of the impressive Murrumbidgee River, head to Shepherds Lookout. The return walk is only 600 metres (or 45 minutes) and dogs are more than welcome on a lead.

If you’re after a challenge, jog up Mount Ainslie. Then you can take in the views while you catch your breath and water your pooch at the top. The stroll down is just as spectacular but a whole lot easier.

Water fun

Canberra has a range of swimming spots for our canine friends to cool off. Check out the Uriarra Loop – a delightful range of walking tracks along the Molonglo River with plenty of swimming holes for tired hikers and water-loving canines. For great walks, BBQ facilities and space for doggos to freely play and swim, pop down to the Murrumbidgee River’s Uriarra Crossing, Murrays Corner and Point Hut Crossing dog-friendly reserves.

If you are closer to one of Canberra’s lakes, dogs are permitted to cool off, provided they are not within 10 metres of a sign-posted public swimming area.

Chow time

Canberra is known for its deliciously good food scene and there is no need to leave your doggo at home. The fresh, natural, wholefoods and cold pressed juices of  Local Press Café on Kingston Foreshore, the Braddon coffee spot, Barrio or the ethical and eco-friendly café Mocan and Green Grout  are all sure wins for a date with your doggo.

For an all-day breakfast try Teddy Picker’s or a pint and a burger at The Pedlar. For something close to Canberra’s best dog park, the Yarralumla Gallery and Oaks Brasserie is a great place for coffee with plenty of outdoor seating in the shade, generous water bowls for the doggos and a sneaky supply of dog treats. If a lunch with stunning views and room for your four-legged friend to roam is more your flavour, try a picnic by the lake and some delicious takeaway from Snapper on the Lake.

If you feel like getting out of the city and exploring the delicious cool-climate wines of the Canberra region then you need to try out one of our favourite dog-friendly wineries. Drop into Wamboin’s Contentious Character, Murrumbateman’s Shaw Estate or the Murrumbateman Winery, Lerida Estate on the edge of Lake George or Hall’s Surveyor’s Hill Vineyard for a dog-friendly wine date.

Snoozy Poochy

A place to rest that rolls out the red carpet for your pet is a must after all the exploring, water fun, and adventures you have had.

Take your fur baby on a vacation and let them be spoilt at the Ovolo Nishi –the modern and luxurious hotel with soft moody vibes located in Canberra’s city centre. The hotel lays out the fluffy mat, luxurious dog bed, food bowl and a ‘Doggy Bag’ to spoil your woofer with their full V.I.Pooch package.

For an enclosed garden, a pet-friendly room, doggy necessities and a special keepsake for your doggo to take home, Mercure Canberra, the heritage-listed, centrally located hotel rolls out the star treatment for their canine guests. Check out their Pampered Pet Package.

Headline image: Instagrammer @the_rescued_wolfpack