Bush walking is something we have enjoyed for as long as we can remember. The connection to nature, the wildlife, the peace and quiet and the challenge! Of course, when we had kids we wanted to share this great experience with them! When they were babies, it was easy to pop them in a carry pack and lug them along, but as soon as they insisted on walking everywhere things got a bit more “interesting”!
So, how do we bush walk with kids? Slowly. With less expectation of going far or fast! Children are so fascinated with the world around them that they will want to stop and investigate everything. Let them. Take a deep breath, let go of the agenda, and enjoy the experience. As they get older and bush-walking becomes second nature, you can start to push a bit more and do some more challenging hikes!
Take snacks and lots of water! Walking is hard and thirsty work and you may need to stop regularly with little ones to refresh. Have some high energy food, like fruit, to snack on and maybe pack a picnic to enjoy together once the walk is done.
Sunscreen, hats, insect repellent, camera, first aid kit and SALT. Yes, leeches are a thing and they are nasty. We have found salt is the best way to remove them. Don’t forget the band-aid for afterwards. Yuck! It’s also a good idea to do a tick check when you get back too!
Get some good shoes! Walking is so much easier when you are comfortable and the kids aren’t complaining that their feet hurt! Good socks are a must too!
Choose a walk that is within your capabilities. You may not want to scale Mount Warning (Wollumbin) with a 3 year old in tow. Check some hiking apps like Alltrails to see what rating a walk has before you head off. Reading reviews on hikes are a good idea too.
Let friends and family know where you are going and when you’re going to be back. It’s highly unlikely that on the well worn trails that most of us go on that anything is going to go wrong. But play it safe anyway.
Enjoy the experience! there is so much to discover and explore in our amazing local area. Here are some of our best hikes from Burleigh to Byron, feel free to add your favourites!
Burleigh Headland – Pram friendly
Byron Lighthouse Walk – Great views
Wollumbin (Mt Warning) Challenging and spectacular
Minyon Falls (Mullumbimby)- Great rock scramble at the end. For ages 8+
Currumbin Valley -Cougal Casacades – Easy, great little rock pools
Maggie’s Beach Walk (Tweed Heads) Easy, lots to see.