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Canberra’s best pram and dog friendly walks: Cruisin’ in Curtin

Georgia Morris


If you’ve already tried out Canberra’s best pram and dog friendly walk in Yarralumla then you might be up for a slightly more challenging walk in Curtin.

Curtin is a well-kept secret. It has a vibrant, yet at the same time, quiet neighbourhood shopping centre – including excellent coffee. It boasts huge open spaces, playing fields and semi-bushland parks. There are great views from the Colin Hill ridge. And it has the very best and most extensive dog off leash areas in Canberra.


Our pram friendly walking route combines the best Curtin has to offer while still following a paved route all the way. It takes a bit more effort than our Yarralumla walk, but if you’re up for the challenge, read on!

The walk follows a circular route of approximately 4 km which will take a bit over an hour to complete, including some dawdling time.

It starts and ends at the Curtin shops where there is plenty of free parking, a Coles supermarket, a pharmacy, a Choku Bai Jo (organic local vegies outlet), a second hand book shop that also offers live music, plus several cafes (more about that later).

The first section of the walk follows a footpath through an informal park showcasing the ‘Radburn’ style of residential planning, which takes its name from the town of Radburn established in New Jersey, USA, in 1929. Its best features were copied in many places around the world, including here in Curtin (plus parts of Garran, Hughes and Charnwood).


A key element is the separation of traffic from pedestrians which is what makes walking in Curtin so child and dog friendly. Curtin residents can walk to schools, play grounds and shops through parks and underpasses.

The homes you walk past here all face the park rather than the street and have no fencing. Everyone shares the green space and kids can play safely away from traffic.

After about 15 minutes you’ll reach the highest point of the walk which features lovely views over the Illoura government horse paddock to the Brindabellas beyond. This time of year it’s especially pretty with old poplars in the distance showing off a brilliant yellow.


For the next 20 minutes or so the route meanders through another large informal park around the edge of Curtin. This entire area is designated dog off leash. You are likely to meet a variety of well socialised off leash dogs and their equally friendly owners.

It’s very pleasant strolling here – you’ll enjoy the mixed scents of eucalyptus and sweet-smelling straw-dry grass while your dog enjoys their own special smells. Old-time Curtin residents will know that the footpath follows the route of one of the very first purpose-built bike paths in Canberra laid in the 1970s.

If you have one of those cool ‘all terrain’ prams, you could take a short detour off the path to the horse paddock fence line to check if any horses are in sight. Your baby/toddler/child will get a big buzz if one is nearby. Make sure you all stay on your side of the fence though. Inexperienced people should never approach horses they don’t know.


I’m old enough to remember when this government horse paddock was still a sheep farm. And I also know the secret location of a genuine ‘fossil pit’ where my older brother and I used to fossick for – and find – trilobites. But that’s deep into the paddock and another walking adventure …

Just after you lose sight of the horse paddock, the footpath passes close to a substantial cork plantation dating from experimental plantings in the 1940s. Have a good look and feel the ridged but spongy, soft bark. It’s fascinating!

The final section of the walk passes along the edge of the extensive and very green North Curtin Playing Fields – also an off leash area. The sports fields provide a large, safe expanse for your dog to play or chase a ball, but of course take care if there are sports events. There’s also a spot in the adjacent creek where your dog can have a dip to cool off. If you’re feeling thirsty, there’s a bubbler next to the amenities block.


After all that exercise, you should treat yourself at one of the several pram and dog friendly cafes at the Curtin shops. Our recommendation is the Red Brick Espresso. It has the best coffee and is very popular mid-morning on weekdays with mums and their under fives.

You might also like to visit the old fashioned Curtin Milk Bar and Pizzeria for ice cream and lollies. The milk bar was established by Vince and Viola from Kytheria, Greece, in the sixties and was only sold to new owners a few years ago when they retired. Viola is still active, and well-loved, in the Curtin community.


This is a great walk if you have older kids in tow as well as a pram and dog. There are two playgrounds en route where you can pause for the kids to burn off some steam. And you can pretty much let them run wild as, apart from the road crossing from the Curtin shops and another short section, the route does not cross or run adjacent to a single road.

Remember I said this walk needed a bit more effort than our Yarralumla walk? The first ten to fifteen minutes are uphill, and while mostly gentle, you tend to notice these things when pushing a pram! Just take it easy and think about all the cardiovascular benefits. It’s all downhill or fairly flat after that.


And to avoid a cross country ramble, our recommended route also includes a very short section on quiet roads where local mums would also push their prams.

Directions and google maps for this and other pram friendly walks are available at Canberra Dog Walks.

All our pram friendly walks feature:

  • Paved routes all the way
  • Access to off leash areas for your dog to have a run and play
  • Pram friendly and dog friendly cafés
  • Playgrounds along the way in case you have older kids in tow
  • Pretty parks and streetscapes
  • Easy access to toilets and bins

All information is free and inspired by a love of Canberra and walking and a big thanks to the families featured in these photos. They freely and generously volunteered their time to help me illustrate these great walks. Suggestions for other pram friendly routes featuring dog off leash areas and great cafes are very welcome! Please email me at [email protected].

All in-articles images courtesy of the author. Slider image by Martin Ollman


Georgia Morris

Canberra Dog Walks creator, Georgia, has lived in Canberra for nearly 50 years – since she was only one! Somehow, although there’s been lots of Australian and international travel, she’s never managed to move away. Georgia now shares her extensive insider's knowledge and love of Canberra and dogs with others through, and on Facebook @canberradogwalks. Although targeting dog owners, she hopes her free information inspires everyone to get out and explore new areas of our beautiful city. More about the Author

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