Toddler Tramping – Arataki Nature Trail

We didn’t quite make it last time – so this weeks walk was the Arataki Nature Trail – a short walk that features an excellent opportunity to identify several of New Zealand’s most common trees right next to each other.

Claudia-Nature-Baby-(1-of-7)

Identification Loop

I didn’t spot it (observant me) until we were heading out – but just after you pass through the tunnel that goes under the road, there is a section of forest where you can see and compare a Kauri, Rimi, Manuka and Kanuka all right next to each other. As the little girl gets older, I can see this being a good starting point for a day of seeing how many of one particular type of tree we can spot and count.

The walk is made up of three parts. The identification loop – which is the loop with all the trees and plants and the accompanying plaques identifying the trees, then the upper and lower loops which allow you to decide how far you want to go and how long you want to take.

Claudia-Nature-Baby-(3-of-7)

A quick walk

I wasn’t sure of the timing on the loops – and while the upper loop indicated a 45-minute return, we did seem to get it done much faster than that. Considering I had a toddler, who was more interested in stopping and collecting seeds on the path than walking along it. I think next time we will just do the whole, lower loop.

The walk is very easy – a slight slope means you may need to keep an eye on little ones, as especially with Claudia – her shoes (soft soled ‘intermediary’ shoes) didn’t have a lot of grip on them. After a couple of near spills (holding her hand) I did just pick her up and take her down a little bit of path.

Claudia-Nature-Baby-(5-of-7)

It was good to see a lot of others out with their young children – I would pick this would be one of the best ‘starter’ walks for kids in the area. Certainly, there was enough to keep the little one entertained and next time we will go that little bit further and also go look at the big Kauri down the bottom of the Lower Loop.

Claudia-Nature-Baby-(7-of-7)

Gear

The Macpac Vamoose didn’t actually get much use this time out – certainly, it carried our snacks and water – but the little one either walked or got carried in my arms for the short section that was a little steep for her.

The plan had been to pick up some shoes for her on the way out – but, unsurprisingly, most of the retailers have a very limited selection of small (2 yr) sized shoes. I have had Future Feet recommended – so will likely head out there next weekend to see what options we have – that means a week of researching everything I can find about Toddler Tramping Shoes!

However, I was also keen to get her a bit of insulation – while she has a jacket for rain, her current ‘warm’ options are either lightweight cotton tops or a heavy woolen jacket with hood. So something light and snuggly was on the books. Light and snuggly perfectly describes down – so I decided that would be a good option.

While Macpac also carries long sleeved options, I opted to go with the Astro Vest in 600 loft duck down. I will be honest – I am also a little jealous of the honeycomb design. Yes, they do a pink, and no, we don’t want to cover her head to toe in pink. We know she is a girl already. She looks rather snappy in it.

Claudia-Nature-Baby-(2-of-7)

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Kerry Adams
Kerry Adamshttps://thebloke.co.nz
A constant learner with an inquisitive mind, Kerry created Precision Shooter as a way to share what he was learning from the community of experts he found himself surrounded by. Somewhere along the line, he picked up one or two things himself. But don't call him an expert.

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