As I write this, the sun is blazing down on a glorious November afternoon. My daughter is climbing the grapefruit tree in the garden.
It’s a scene of utter bliss and contentment and I can expect more now that the summer school holidays are just around the corner. Holidays are a new concept to my daughter – every day is a holiday. But from next year she’ll be at school and, if my own childhood is anything to go by, the six weeks she gets off from late December to early February will be among the happiest times of her childhood. Lifelong memories will be made.
My memories centre around family camping holidays at the beach where we’d get shipped off for weeks at a time to spend with mum and dad, or friends of theirs when they had to work. As a parent, the holidays aren’t always viewed in the same positive light as they are when you’re a kid. Who will look after the children while you work and how do you keep them entertained day after day?
Hopefully, after reading our stay-sane guide to the summer holidays, which features 21 walks from around New Zealand that are suitable for everyone in the family – especially those with short legs – you’ll have some answers. Each walk has been carefully chosen to offer entertainment and special interest to children, whether that’s a treasure hunt in the Coromandel, discovering Second World War gun emplacements in Auckland or leaping from perfectly round boulders at Moeraki in Otago.
Taking your kids tramping – even for less than an hour – will bring them closer to nature and provide them with lasting memories. Hopefully, it will spark a love for the outdoors that continues into adulthood and which they pass on to their own children.
Thanks for reading Wilderness this year. I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a summer filled with joy, laughter and great walks.