Recreation with my Dog


The video transcript
  • Canberra is renowned for being a dog friendly city
  • In public spaces, there are a few simple rules to remember when exercising your dog
  • Keep your dog on-leash when walking on a path or cycleway
  • Cyclists and walkers remember to keep left
  • All major parks are dog on-leash areas
  • Dogs must stay 10 metres away from playgrounds and barbecues
  • Sports grounds are a great place to exercise your dog off-leash when they’re not being used for formal sport.
  • Dogs can also be off-leash at man-made wetland areas
  • Just make sure they don’t harass others, including the wildlife. It’s just good petiquette
  • And of course, clean up after your dog
  • Always abide by signage, and if in doubt, keep your dog on-leash
  • Dog exercise area maps are available online
  • And remember, you can also let your pooch frolic at one of the six fenced dog parks in Canberra


Wondering where in the ACT to take your furry best friend? There are lots of places to take your dog on-leash and off-leash to ensure they get regular exercise and socialisation.

Remember, when in a public place with your dog, you must have effective control of the dog at all times, whether it is on or off-leash.

Off-leash areas

Fenced dog parks are available at the following locations:

  • Belconnen, Lake Ginninderra, Diddams Close
  • Greenway, Lake Tuggeranong, Mortimer Lewis Drive
  • Yarralumla, Park land, Weston Park
  • Forde, Park land, Amy Ackman Drive
  • Casey, Park land, Springbank Rise
  • O'Connor, Park land, Fairfax Street
  • Duffy, Park land, Warragamba Avenue.

For more information including dog park etiquette please visit Fenced Dog Parks Rules and Responsibilities.

Gibraltar Forest Regeneration Area formerly known as Gibraltar Pines east of Corin Road, is now closed as a dog off-leash exercise area and dogs are now prohibited. This change is to safeguard domestic dogs from 1080 poison baits for wild dogs and foxes laid in this area. Dogs are permitted on-leash at Woods Reserve.

Off-leash area map

The off-leash dog exercise area map can be viewed live online through ACTmapi. Alternatively, the whole-of-ACT map (PDF 2.35MB) and the ACT’s urban areas map (PDF 4.75MB) are also available.

These maps are detailed and delivered through ACTmapi, the ACT Government's interactive mapping service. Coloured shading is used to indicate the off-leash, on-leash and dog prohibited status of an area, with no shading indicating the area is either on-leash or private land. When using the online map, remember to select the ‘Dog Management Zoning’ layer on the map to view these areas.

These maps have recently been updated to reflect changes to off-leash areas as outlined under the Canberra Dog Model.

Why are you changing dog off-leash areas?

What are the main changes?

Why place a 10-metre buffer zone around footpaths and cyclepaths?

Why restrict off-leash areas around lakes?

How will I know if an area is off-leash?

What is ‘effective control’?

What if I notice an area that should be off-leash based on the new requirements?

On-leash areas

You can take your dog to all major parks as long as it is on a leash. Dogs must also be kept on-leash on all paths and cycle-ways for the safety of walkers and cyclists, including within 10 metres either side of the path. If you are ever in doubt you should keep your dog on a leash.

Shared paths

Dogs must be on-leash on shared pathways, including within 10 metres either side of a path. Please be mindful of passing pedestrians and cyclists and keep to the left.

Dog swimming areas

  • Lakes - All lakes are dog on-leash unless otherwise signposted. Public swimming beaches are strictly dog prohibited. There are designated dog swimming beaches available in the ACT, which include:
    • Point Hut Pond, Gordon
    • Lake Tuggeranong, Greenway
    • Orana Bay, Yarralumla
    • Kurrajong Point Beach, Weston Park, Yarralumla
    • Yerrabi Pond, Gungahlin
    • Lake Ginninderra, Belconnen
    • Diddams Close, Belconnen.
  • Rivers - On the Murrumbidgee River dogs are allowed to swim at Uriarra Crossing East, Uriarra Crossing West, Swamp Creek and the western riverbank of Point Hut Crossing recreational area. Please note that on the eastern riverbank of Point Hut Crossing dogs must remain on-leash.

For more information on which areas are dog swimming areas please check the Dog Management Zoning layer on ACTmapi.

Dogs and Horses

There are a large number of horses in the ACT which use Canberra's equestrian connections through public open spaces, some shared paths and underpasses. Horses can be startled by unrestrained or aggressive dogs, especially in confined spaces. They have a significant reach with their hind legs when they feel threatened. For the safety of all it is recommended that you keep your dog on a leash around horses even in off-leash areas.

Dog prohibited areas

Dogs, except for assistance dogs with permits, are not to be taken:

  • onto the grounds of a child-care centre, preschool or primary school
  • onto the grounds of a high school or secondary college during school hours or when school sports or training is being conducted, including after hours training
  • onto a field or playing area where formal sport is being played
  • within 10 metres of a designated play space (if children are playing on it) or a fireplace (or heating appliance) designated for cooking
  • to the Gibraltar Forest Regeneration Area formerly known as Gibraltar Pines, Black Mountain Nature Reserve, Mulligans Flat sanctuary, Goorooyarroo Nature Reserve, Jerrabomberra Wetlands, Callum Brae Nature Reserve, Gungahlin Hill Nature Reserve, Rob Roy Nature Reserve and Dunlop, Gungaderra, Mullanggari, Jerrabomberra and Crace grasslands.

The fine for taking dogs into prohibited areas is $150, or $350 for taking them onto the grounds of a child-care centre, preschool or primary school.

Dog droppings

All dog droppings in public places must be removed by the dog owner. It is an offence not to remove your dog's droppings in a public place and not to carry appropriate equipment to pick up your dog's droppings. An on-the-spot fine of $150.00 can be issued by authorising officers if you do not pick up and dispose of your dog's droppings. An on-the-spot fine of $75.00 can also be issued if you are not carrying appropriate equipment to collect your dog's droppings.

For more information on dog laws and pet ownership in the ACT, please refer to Domestic Animal Services.

The ACT Government is committed to improving the accessibility of web content. To provide feedback or request an accessible version of a document please contact us or phone 13 22 81.

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.