There are so many great walks in (and around) Hamilton that are pushchair-friendly. Plus, heading into summer, it's a great time to get out and explore - with kids in tow! Brooke Shepherd-Wright shares her top 5 pushchair-friendly walks in Hamilton, New Zealand.
There are so many great walks in (and around) Hamilton that are pushchair friendly, with water being the focal point for many, making it a more calming and relaxing walk, even with kids in tow!
Plus, heading into summer, it’s a great time to get out and explore the many walks Hamilton has to offer!
Here are some of my top picks for pram walks in Hamilton:
1. Waikato River walk
Hamilton is famous for the mighty Waikato River that runs through the province, and there are so many great spots along the way to park up and take a stroll. Some of my favourites are:
- Hayes Paddock, where a coffee is purchased first at Hayes Common Cafe, then either head north to Parana Park or south to the Hamilton Gardens, both being about 3.5km out and back.
- Malcolm Street/Hammond Park which has a lovely little beach and swings at the start/finish. Head south to a boardwalk through the trees which makes for a beautiful walk with some nice river views.
- Heading north just out of town, parking at the Horotiu Bridge, continuing to head north on foot on the east side of the river 2.5km to the Perry Cycle Bridge. Or for a shorter walk, drive to Ngaruawahia and head south on the west side of the river 1.5km to the Cycle bridge.
2. Taitua Aboretum
On the outskirts of Hamilton West, the Arboretum has a wonderful network of walking tracks through nature to enjoy with kids. There are lakes, woodland gardens, birdlife (including a flock of roosters to greet you in the carpark) and, if you’re lucky, “Tron Rocks” to be found and re-hidden for the next kid to discover.
There are many great spots to set up a picnic or if finding a kid-friendly cafe is more your style then I have just the place. Up the road in Whatawhata, The Village Café is a great little spot to take hungry kids. You can read more on this in my article Top 5 Kid-Friendly Cafés in Hamilton.
For more information about Taitua Aboretum, click here.
3. Hamilton Lake (Lake Rotoroa)
A favourite walk for many mums (including myself) is the 3.8km mostly flat loop around the Hamilton Lake situated in the heart of Hamilton City. Along the way there are several playgrounds for all ages, the café and ice cream shop for refreshments (also mentioned in my café article) and ample benches for stops to feed the baby (I would know as I’ve had to stop many times to do so) where you can enjoy watching the ducks and other birdlife.
4. Claudelands Park
With so much on offer, Claudelands park is the perfect place to meet mums with pushchairs or take older kids with their bikes or scooters to do a few laps of the oval. There is also a lovely little boardwalk section through the bush, as well as a great playground for kids of all ages.
If you’ve worked up a bit of an appetite, head up the road to Coffee Culture and treat yourself to a beverage and bite to eat from their lush cabinet. Better yet, there is a little kids’ corner so you might get a moment or two of peace and quiet!
5. Lake Kainui
On the outskirts of Hamilton North, just beyond Horsham Downs, Lake Kainui (aka Lake D), is a kid-friendly 3.1km, well-formed gravel surface. There are no steps, so it’s pushchair friendly, with only the gentlest of gradients.
A great little activity for the kids is hunting out the fairy houses which are positioned along the path at ground level and up in the trees, which give a good amount of cover on a warm summer’s day.
And a bonus one…
6. Callum Brae/Tauhara Park/Mangaiti
Our new family favourite place to head for a walk and an explore is in Rototuna, starting at the Potter Trust Playground (one of eight Destination Playgrounds located around Hamilton) and following the path around the field and heading into the shade of the trees. Then you can either head straight, under Wairere Drive, and follow the path into the back of Queenwood or veer left, following Kirikirioa Stream, cross Hukanui Road and onto the boardwalk through the trees below Huntington. Known as Mangaiti, it’s a beautiful little hidden gem – a must to explore – so my advice would be to take the latter route… You won’t regret it!
When you arrive back at the car, and if time allows a game of mini-putt at Callum Brae Family Golf and Café (for a coffee or ice cream) will be enjoyed by all.
I hope you enjoy my top picks for pushchair-friendly walks in Hamilton. Now it’s time to round up a few friends with bubs and head out this summer and enjoy them!
Brooke is based in Hamilton, New Zealand and runs pre- and post-natal specific sessions. To find out more about her and get in touch, click here.
You can also find her on Instagram.