Selwyn has a great range of family walks ranging from short paths for toddlers to half day hikes for beginner trampers. The beauty of the Selwyn district is the diversity of its landscapes. From wetlands at Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere, to riverside tracks, to the mountains of Arthur's Pass, there really is a walk for everybody.
Harts Creek Track is a lovely leisurely walk along the creekside to a bird hide overlooking Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere. The track is very easy for toddlers and preschoolers as it is mostly grass, but there are a couple of boardwalks where they may need their hands held.
It is completely flat and takes about 20 minutes each way depending on how fast the kids walk. There are a few access points to the creek where local fisherman seek out their dinner.
Kids will enjoy spotting birds, swans and ducks on the lakeside and having a rest in the sheltered hut. A good spot for a little picnic and a great walk for new walkers.
To get there, follow the signs towards the Lakeside Domain on Timber Yard Road and follow the yellow signpost from the road marked “Bird Hide”.
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The Willows has a 4km shared walking and mountain biking track that is relatively flat, apart from some humps and hollows in the first section. The track is a little windy to start making it great for little feet to run up the small little hills and back down again, before it pops out in the forest area.
The Willows forest section is a great area to explore, is flat and has plenty of nettles to tumble in. Parents will enjoy walking this short walk taking around 45 minutes while the kids pedal their balance bikes or explore by foot with you.
One of the benefits of the Willows is that it sidles alongside the Waimakariri River. This is a great place for a picnic or to have a swim during the summer. You can also fish in the Waimakariri, but do be aware that you need a fishing licence to do so.
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The Lincoln Wetlands Walk is an easy flat walk that is also dog-friendly, so you can take every single member of your family on this great little weekend wander.
The best part of this short walk for kids is jumping across the stepping stones through the reeds in the Wetlands. You can then walk around the “wetlands lake” on the grass or path, or take a picnic and a ball as it's a lovely grassy space.
The whole Lincoln Wetlands Walk will take between 30-40 minutes.
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The Trig M Track is a good beginners hike just over Porters Pass near Lake Lyndon. While it is a beginners hike, it is uphill most of the way and there are some steep sections, however it is not too long (just 90-100 minutes to the summit) After the first 30 minutes, the incline is not quite so bad. If you are looking for a bit of a challenge with the kids, then this is a great hike.
The track is well-exposed to the elements so choose your day carefully, but when you do hike it, you will be well rewarded with views over Lake Lyndon, over Christchurch out to the ocean and the surrounding mountain ranges.
Allow 2½-3 hours for the return walk, plus a stop at the summit for a snack break. Once you are finished head down to Lake Lyndon to explore. There are bathroom facilities and a shelter here. Or head further down the road to climb the rocks at Castle Hill if you still have energy to burn.
Ready for more adventures around Selwyn?
Selwyn is home to many amazing, family friendly walking tracks. If you're looking for more fun inspiration, you'll find some more Selwyn walking tracks here.