Walk Features: This loop walk takes you from the Shops through the leafy streets which provide for a shady walk in Summer and glorious colours in Autumn.
Duration of the walk: About 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Region: North Canberra.
Information about the Suburb: Downer was established in 1960 and named after Sir John Downer (1844–1915) Premier of South Australia and a member of the first Australian Senate in 1901. There is no specific theme for the street names.
To get to the start of the walk proceed up Northbourne Ave, turn R into Antill St, L into Melba St, R into Bonython St, L into Frencham St, L into Frencham Pl and park in front of the Downer Village.
Note that streets in brackets means there is no street sign at this point of the walk.
- Proceed through the Village Centre archway, passing the Roo Watch sculpture on your L.
- Go R and follow the road to its end.
- Go L onto a concrete path. Note the sign about Downer at the end of a concrete path.
- Go R onto (Melba St).
- Go L onto Atherton St noting a totem pole garden on your R.
- Pass Durack St on your R and Bush St on your L.
- Go R onto Milson St.
- Go R onto Cotton St.
- Go L up a concrete path behind houses on your L and a playground on your R.
- Cross over (Fenton St) and continue straight ahead on a concrete path between houses.
- Go L onto (Durack St).
- Go L onto Atherton St.
- Pass Fenton St on your L.
- Pass Panton St on R, then Cotton St on your L.
- Go R onto (Bull St).
- Go R onto Swinden St.
- Go L onto Blacket St.
- Go L onto Barney St.
- Go R onto Padbury St, then immediately take a concrete path up to your L between houses.
- Cross over (Berry St) and continue straight ahead past a playground on your L.
- Go L onto (Legge St).
- Pass Padbury St on your L.
- Cross over Melba St and go R on a concrete path alongside Melba St.
- Go L onto Bonython St and proceed alongside a playing field past a playground on your L.
- Pass Allport St on your R, Frencham St on your L (Note the information board about the agricultural research farm), Gale St on your R and Gardiner St on your L.
- Go L onto Cadell St.
- Pass Giblin St and Duffield Pl on your R.
- Go R onto Cole St then R onto a concrete path as it goes across a park with a playground over to your L. Note the micro-forest on your L.
- Cross over (Duffield Pl) and continue straight ahead onto a concrete path.
- Continue straight ahead onto (Giblin St).
- Go L onto Burn St.
- Pass Shirley St on your R and Burn Pl on your L.
- Cross over Cole St then take a concrete path diagonally across the park.
- Go L onto (Bradfield St).
- Pass Bradfield Pl on your L.
- Go R onto Atherton St.
- Pass Fenner St on L, Nichols St on your R and Cowan St on your L.
- Go L onto Edkins St.
- Go R on a concrete path to run alongside the edge of a playground on your L.
- Go L onto (Tardent St) with a playground on your L.
- Go L onto Melba St.
- Pass Selfe St on your R.
- Go L onto Fenner St.
- Pass Edkins St on your L.
- Go R onto Atherton St.
- Go R onto Bradfield St.
- Go L onto Frencham St.
- Just past number 28 go R down a concrete path and back to Downer Village over to your L.
Information about Features of the Walk
Roo Watch 2019: The plaque for this steel sculpture by Western Australian artist April Pine says: Paused in motion, the concept of appearing and disappearing and of who is watching who. The work is a contemporary interpretation of the much-loved bronze kangaroo sculpture that went missing from the former Downer Primary School before its demolition in 2013.
Micro-forest: Inspired by wanting to address the hottest and driest year on record (2019) from a community level, Edwina Robinson started work on the Downer micro-forest in 2019 as part of her social initiative, the ‘Climate Factory’. The initial response suggested there was a strong demand within the community. A crowd-funded campaign raised a bit over $20,000, and the community in Downer also applied for a government grant so there was about $35,000 altogether. An 1800-plant micro-forest using the `Miyawaki’ method was established. Japanese botanist and expert in plant ecology, Akira Miyawaki’s micro-forest method sees the forest grow at a rate 10 times faster than in nature. She worked with water harvesting designer Paul Totterdell who has this system where he can create trenches under the ground so he’s intercepting water falling on the surface. The idea is that water goes down into those trenches and is stored in the voids of the gravel and then leaks out into the surrounding soil. Source: Canberra’s ‘micro-forest maker’ looks to Eurobodalla for her next project by Max O’Driscoll RiotAct, 13 February 2022.