Arena graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art in 2003 and has since had many roles in television and theatre. She has two children with her art director husband Mick, a daughter Dora and a son Miles.
Arena had a recurring role in the drama series Blue Heelers as Captain Marissa Craddock in 2003 and 2004 and a supporting role in the comedy drama series Last Man Standing in 2005. She played the wheelchair bound deputy head librarian Dawn in three seasons of the ABC series The Librarians,.
Arena was a core cast member of the improvisational comedy Thank God You're Here In 2012 and 2013, she played the eponymous host of the satirical cooking show Audrey's Kitchen. The show, created by Working Dog Productions, stars Arena as Audrey Gordon, a fictional celebrity chef whose style is described as "Delia Smith meets Nigella Lawson". Arena had supporting roles on the children's series Nowhere Boys in 2013, The Worst Year Of My Life - Again! in 2014 and Little Lunch in 2015.
- Priest, Annika (17 January 2013), "Heidi Arena casts off wheelchair to take theatre, television roles", Melbourne Leader
- "Standing up to male hedonists", Sunday Herald Sun, 12 June 2005
- Jack, Victoria (31 July 2009), "Satirising stereotypes", The Newcastle Herald
- "Thank God it’s back", Kalgoorlie Miner, 3 April 2009
- Yeap, Sue (13 July 2012), "Quirky chef has catchy manner", The West Australian
- Woodhead, Cameron (23 January 2010), "Rush shines in deliriously catchy nostalgia musical", The Age
- Herbert, Kate (4 February 2013), "Poignant portrayal of a cruel disease", Herald Sun
- Rose, Kate (31 May 2009), "Burlesque romps with the surreal", Sunday Herald Sun