10 outdoor activities to make the most of your local green space

Publish Date : 16 Mar 2023
Scavenger Hunt, Gettyimages 618983888

Everybody knows that time spent outside benefits your mental and physical health. Even a few minutes in a park can lift your mood and improve your outlook, inspiring you to spend even more time in the great outdoors. It’s a win-win. Here are some easy activities to make the most of your local patch of grass.


This ancient Hindu discipline uses body postures, meditation and breathing control to increase muscle strength, flexibility and tone. It also promotes a feeling of calm, so it’s the perfect activity to try at your local park. Grab your mat and water bottle and look for a beautiful space to unwind. We just love Milford Beach Reserve for its flat expanse of grass, trees for shade and the sound of waves to accompany your practice. 

Yoga at Milford Reserve

Yoga at Milford Reserve

Rollerblading and rollerskating

Nothing beats the feeling of gliding along the pavement with the wind in your face and adrenaline pumping. Ready for the next challenge? Try one of Auckland’s skateparks. Waterview Reserve has a great space with easy gradients for kids – and their incline and obstacle-challenged parents. Barry Curtis Park is another great choice, with its wide concrete promenade. Pack your safety gear and you’ll soon be performing tricks, grinds and jumps with the rest of the teens.

Early evening picnic

Stock up on your favourite snacks and head to one of Auckland’s many beachside parks for a picnic with family and friends, or just a little peace and quiet. Point Chevalier’s west-facing Coyle Park is one of our top spots for sunset picnics.

Ultimate Frisbee

It’s a sport for all ages, and you need zero experience to play. The classic flying disc slides so easily into any bag and means hours of family fun at the park. Craigavon Park in Blockhouse Bay has bags of space to play Frisbee, as well as nature trails, a playground and even a dog training course.

HIIT workout

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) involves short bursts of super-intense exercise with periods of rest and is known to improve stamina and strength. Want to include a run up a volcano into your exercise routine? Cornwall Park is the perfect place to intersperse your burpees and mountain climbers with high knees up Maungakiekie / One Tree Hill.

Make your local park your own personal gym...

Make your local park your own personal gym...

...or see what you can discover as you play Nature Bingo

...or see what you can discover as you play Nature Bingo

Nature bingo

Get up close and personal with the natural world by heading to your local park for a game of ‘nature bingo’. Get the kids to make the bingo cards on a rainy day, drawing pictures of things they might find at a park or beach, such as leaves, bark and shells. Then head somewhere like Ōmana Regional Park to play. It has a path that’s easy to cycle and a variety of environments – coastal rocks, tree bark and waterways – that will keep the kids entertained. They can tick each item off on their card as they find it, or they might like to collect their findings in an egg carton.


When it’s time to say 'ohmmmmm', there are some beautifully remote spaces to chill. Tāpapakanga Regional Park overlooks the Firth of Thames, and while it’s a little more out of the way, the trip is definitely worth it as it’s completely stunning. Go off grid. Breathe. Recharge.

Family scavenger hunt

Similar to nature bingo but less prescriptive for kids is a scavenger hunt. It’s simple to organise. Make a list of what everyone needs to look for but keep it general to allow their brains to fill in the gaps: something up high, something quiet, something with long legs. Let their imaginations get a work out – there are no wrong answers!


Just a 40-minute drive north, at the tip of the Whangaparāoa Peninsula, sits the stunning Shakespear Regional Park. This 500-hectare patch of paradise is a mecca for birdlife. Follow walking trails into Waterfall Gully and be immersed in regenerating forest that attracts korimako (bellbirds), kākāriki, kererū, rosella, tūī, herons and oyster catchers.

The Shakespear Open Sanctuary Society has an app available with two self-guided tours to help you make the most of the area.

Fun and games

You don’t need equipment or fancy gadgets to play games at your local park. Hide-and-seek, sardines, stuck in the mud and red light, green light all feel delightfully nostalgic and deserve to be passed on to the next generation. Head to the open spaces of Western Springs Lakeside Park or Grey Lynn Park and get playing.

Back to News