What age do you start walking with children?

You can get out and about with very young children in pushchairs and backpacks, but at some stage they will want to start stretching their legs and do their own walking.

My general advice is from ages 5 or 6. But it does depend on your child, their attention span and how much energy they have.

Walks in Auckland with children

When I lived in England, I went walking with my husband-to-be and his friend Tony and Tony’s daughter Joanna. Joanna must have been about 3 or 4 years old. It was May and the bluebells were out and it was a beautiful spring day.

Joanna walked about 10 km that day and only asked to be carried for a short while. I was amazed at the stamina of the wee girl. For this child, she had plenty of energy and a long attention span (and possibly a working imagination too).

The Hobbiton Movie Set Day Tour - Ex Auckland

The Hobbiton Movie Set Day Tour - From Auckland

When my son was about 8 our family went out on walks and he used to be the one out front – it was hard to keep up especially as his little sister was only 4. We also had to be aware of where he was, so that he did not get too far ahead and lost. The way to overcome that problem is to

  • have an adult accompanying the child, or following at a short distance
  • provide the child with a whistle to blow if they get lost
  • if they are obedient, tell them to wait when they come to another path.
Children walking in Auckland

Think carefully when choosing the walk. Here is a list of questions to ask yourself before you make your plans:

  • Does it have something that will interest your child and keep them motivated?
  • Are they happy to wait until the end for a playground? Or would they like a playground at mid-point? (Here is a list of fun playgrounds ). Auckland Council looks after more than 900 playgrounds, many of which are new or recently upgraded – list of top 10 here. Join a Facebook group – Auckland Playground Guide.
  • Would they like to play in the sand at the beach so that they can have a rest?
  • Are they adventurous and would enjoy exploring tunnels with torches?
  • Would they like a ride on a mini-train at the end of the walk
  • Would like to go with a friend or they are happy to keep company with your pet dog?
  • Do they have the stamina to walk up hills and steps?
  • Would a visit to a museum be an enticement to a walk?
Children walking with dad in Auckland

Things to take when walking with kids

When you start off with short walks try to pack a picnic or carry healthy snacks (such as nuts, dried fruit and low GI health bars) and water with you to keep the “hungries” away.

Be sure to have hats and sunblock handy on sunny days. Pack raincoats for those cloudy days, and wool hats for colder days. And of course, make sure the walking shoes are comfortable (and be prepared for blisters).

Look for places near your home where you could start to encourage your children to love walking. In Auckland, there are many walking options and as they get older they will enjoy longer walks and new places to visit.

You could do weekend hikes up in the hills of the Waitakeres, or go further afield and camp out. Giving your children a taste of the outdoors at an early age gives them an appreciation of their own capabilities and a love of nature.


There are some great resources here: Little Ferns – Activity sheets for children in parks

Make the walk a fun adventure and your children (and you) will have many happy memories.

Walks in Auckland with children

Comment on Walks in Auckland with Children


Hi, I liked your suggestions for walks to do in the city. Maybe your website readers would like my website too. I am an eleven year old boy and I have been running the site since I was nine. I rate walks from a kid’s point of view. they are mostly in the Waitakeres but I do others too. Thanks for your great site.


Hi. I visited your site – great job! I hope you can inspire a lot of kids to get out walking – don’t you agree that there are so many fab places to explore in Auckland? I will add your link to my site and perhaps you can link me to yours? Thanks for visiting. Helen

See more of my 150+ walks in Auckland