It's the Autumn school holidays in Australia, the perfect time of year to get outdoors. Ocean swimming only gets better, with the water still warm and (in the Southern parts of the country at least) the crowds dissipating, but it's also cool enough to get out on the bushwalking trails without worrying about heatstroke and sweat in unfortunate places. Which makes it the perfect time to kick off our new blog series "The Ultimate Guide to Family Friendly Bushwalks for Aussie Kids (2023)".
We will start this series focused on the major capital cities, but plan to expand it to include major regional centres and the places Aussie's go when they want to get away from it all too. If you want us to cover your part of the world, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get researching!
At Minnow, we have, always been a bit obsessed with the outdoors. Lorraine came to Australia as an adult from the Northern Irish countryside and Stacey grew up between the NSW Central Coast beaches and the lower Blue Mountains. So when we read about the Japanese concept of 'Nature Bathing' also known as forest bathing or Shinrin-yoku, we knew we'd found a philosophy akin to our own.
'Forest bathing' refers to the practice of immersing oneself in nature and taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of the natural environment. This practice has numerous benefits for families, including reduced stress and anxiety, improved mood and mental wellbeing, and better physical health. Studies have shown that spending time in nature can lower cortisol levels and blood pressure, boost immune function, and improve sleep quality. Additionally, nature bathing provides a great opportunity for families to disconnect from screens and technology and connect with each other and the natural world.
Bushwalking with kids
When it comes to bushwalking with kids, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable experience.
Plan ahead and choose the right walk: Before heading out on a bushwalk with kids, it's important to plan ahead and choose a walk that is suitable for their age, abilities, and interests. Look for walks that are not too long or strenuous, have plenty of rest stops and points of interest along the way, and offer a mix of scenery and terrain to keep kids engaged and interested. It's also a good idea to check the weather forecast and pack accordingly, as well as bringing plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen.
Encourage exploration and learning: Bushwalking with kids can be a great opportunity for them to learn about the natural environment and develop a sense of curiosity and wonder about the world around them. Encourage kids to explore and ask questions about the plants, animals, and landscapes they encounter along the way. You could also bring along a field guide or nature journal to help identify and record the different species you come across.
Keep safety in mind: While bushwalking with kids can be a lot of fun, it's important to keep safety in mind at all times. Make sure kids stay on designated tracks and paths, stay within sight and earshot, and don't wander off alone. It's also a good idea to dress appropriately for the weather and terrain, wear sturdy shoes, and bring along a first-aid kit in case of any accidents or injuries. Finally, be sure to leave no trace and respect the natural environment by not littering or disturbing wildlife.
Make it a game or scavenger hunt: To keep kids engaged and motivated during a bushwalk, consider making it a game or scavenger hunt. For example, you could challenge them to find certain types of plants or animals, or give them a checklist of things to look out for along the way. This can help make the walk more interactive and fun for kids, while also encouraging them to learn and explore.
Pace yourself and take breaks: When bushwalking with kids, it's important to pace yourself and take breaks as needed. Kids may tire more easily than adults, so it's important to stop and rest periodically, especially on longer or more challenging walks. Encourage kids to listen to their bodies and take breaks when they need to, and use rest stops as an opportunity to enjoy a snack, take in the scenery, or play a game. By pacing yourself and taking breaks, you can help ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable bushwalking experience.
The Ultimate Guide to Family Friendly Bushwalks for Aussie Kids (2023)
Find your part of the world using the links below:
The top 10 kid friendly bushwalks near Sydney (2023)
The top 10 kid friendly bushwalks near Melbourne (2023)
The top 10 kid friendly bushwalks near Brisbane (2023)
The top 10 kid friendly bushwalks near Perth (2023)
The top 10 kid friendly bushwalks near Adelaide (2023)
The top 10 kid friendly bushwalks near Hobart (2023)
The top 10 kid friendly bushwalks near Canberra (2023)
The top 10 kid friendly bushwalks near Darwin (2023)
We plan to regularly update these guides, so if you want us to add anything, or you have any feedback on the walks suggested, drop us an email at email@example.com.
I hope you and your family enjoy these bushwalks as much we've enjoyed researching them. Remember to stay safe, pack plenty of water and snacks, and wear appropriate footwear. And don't forget to take plenty of photos of the amazing views along the way and tag @minnowdesigns!