Hamilton mum and former ultra-marathon runner Ceana Priest has spent the past six months exploring the region with her son Finn and has published a guidebook with 50 kid-friendly adventures in Hamilton and the Waikato.

From Jurassic forests to moss-draped swing bridges there are adventures for all ages and abilities, that suit walking, buggies, wheelchairs and pooches.

Growing up in Whakapapa surrounded by nature led to an interest in trail running and before Finn was born Ceana had completed her first 100km ultra-marathon.

However, after her son was born she struggled to find resources that showed whether walks were buggy-friendly or a maze of steep stairs, unfortunately ending up thigh-deep in the water near Rotorua on a 'wheelchair-suitable' track.


Initially she launched www.outdoorkid.co.nz as a resource for other parents and grandparents to find muddy adventures, trees to clamber over, critters to discover or a place where kids can tear around on their bikes.

Fifty of the most popular online walks became the guidebook with additional adventures from local organisations including Hauraki Rail Trail, Waikato River Trails, Te Awa River Ride and Bike Hamilton.

Getting outdoors plays a large part of Ceana and her son's spare time.

"Finn loves 'bug-bugs'," Ceana says. "During walks, half our time is spent poking around in the dirt looking for spiders and critters.

"I believe having nature-based adventures has built a huge amount of resilience in Finn — there's always going to be bumps and bruises — but with safe boundaries, these 'mishaps' generally result in a greater understanding of his own abilities.

"A good cuddle solves most things. He loved his first overnight experience tenting in the bush listening to the birds and bathing in the nearby stream.

The guides are at www.outdoorkid.co.nz and all walks have accessibility icons showing whether they are suitable for bikes, buggies, wheelchairs or dogs.