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Get out: Autumn fitness outdoors

Amanda Whitley
There is not much better than autumn in Canberra.

The crisp crunch of leaves underfoot and the kaleidoscope of colours of the trees at this time of year is such a great excuse to get outdoors and take your workout routine with you. While exercising outdoors can often be too much in the summer heat, and winter workouts require a certain level of fearlessness; autumn is the perfect environment for getting active outdoors!

To complement autumn runs or walks or just to mix it up from your indoor gym routine, here are our favourite places to break a sweat—and for free—outdoors in Canberra.



If you live or work near Deakin, Deakin Fitness Station is a great facility to add into your fitness routine. It’s right near parkland and walking trails, so it’s easy to add in some strength work mid-run or work, or even to make a bit of a circuit. Do a few sets of bodyweight exercises and then go for a short run; then repeat. There are handy boards showing you how to use the equipment just nearby, and some good stretch instructions, too.


Glebe Park is a great option for those looking for an outdoor lunchtime workout – most days you’ll see packs of joggers making their way through its leafy environs, and small bootcamps doing their thing. But it’s easy to make your own workout here – you can walk or run its trails, do some shuttle runs, some walking lunges, grab a park bench for some modified press ups – there are heaps of options! Oh, and it’s great if you’ve got kids – they can play on the equipment while you work out nearby…


Weston Fitness Station is a beauty – it’s a little tucked away (which is good if you suffer from performance anxiety) but right near other recreation facilities in Dillon Close neighbourhood park. This station has equipment for one of my favourite exercises – the corkscrew – this may be because it’s the closest you get to dance in a fitness circuit! It’s a great way to work your abs, bum and thighs…and it’s fun! You’ll also find lots of other equipment nearby, so the rest of your body can join the party.


Kambah Fitness Station is a compact facility, well kitted out with modern equipment like a chin up bar (don’t freak out – you can do jump chins if you can’t quite get the full movement), a sit up bench and horizontal bars.

These pieces of equipment may sound basic, but they lend themselves to a whole array of exercises.


The facilities here at Yarralumla aren’t fancy and new, but they’re perfect for adding some strength work in to your run or walk – or stretching out afterwards. It’s just a stunning spot, looking out over Lake Burley Griffin, and Autumn is the perfect time to enjoy it. In this video, Lee and I show you how to use the chin up bars (I totally ‘let’ him do the full exercise so he could show off his ‘guns’).


Make sure you slide down the slippery slides here, they’re heaps of fun! That’s probably the best thing about John Knight Memorial Park in Belconnen – it has some great dedicated fitness facilities, like bars and benches, but there are oodles of things to occupy the kids just nearby. There’s also a big open space for running, groundwork, and whatever else you choose to do. Oh, and there’s a lake view here, too. Nice.


Fadden Pines is another great spot for exercising if you’ve got the kids with you. What an amazing facility! Heaps of fitness options and just an all round beautiful park. Even though it’s not in our neighbourhood, I’ve made this a regular jaunt for the kids and I. This video is a great one to show how you can use playground equipment to get a great stretch – and how ‘grown ups’ can also use it for agility training. Plus, it’s fun


Crace Recreation Park is almost enough to make me want to move northside. It’s amazing! Just like an outdoor gym… You’ll find pretty much all the ‘fixed weight’ equipment you’d find in a standard gym here, but it’s outside, free and accessible to anyone. You could easily DIY a strength training circuit here a few times per week, mix it up with some walking/running/walking on the other days, and that’s you sorted. I want one near me, please.


I decided to round out this article with Chifley Fitness Station for a few reasons. Firstly, because it has a great range of activities – from balance beams to parallel bars and more. Plus it’s just near a great big oval and a cracker of a park (and there’s really good coffee just nearby!)

Have we missed your favourite spot for an autumn outdoor workout? Email [email protected] and let us know!


Amanda Whitley

Amanda Whitley is the founder and director of HerCanberra. In her 'spare time', she instructs zumba, loves to cook (and eat), and wrangles two gorgeous little girls. She's done everything from present the tv news to operate a stop and go sign and is passionate about connecting Canberra women. More about the Author

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