Tag Archives: covid-19

7 creative walking ideas for covid-19 lockdown

As we enter the second half of our Covid-19 lockdown in New Zealand, we thought it might be a great idea to put together a list of some creative ideas you could try while walking!  Of course, all this must be completed locally, in your bubble, with 2m physical distancing and not touching objects such as park benches.

Here are 7 ideas we thought you could try with your Bubble!

1. GPS Walking Pictures

My sister sent me a Facebook post of a guy in the Hibiscus Coast who took to making pictures as he walked using his GPS and running app Strava. 

You can use your GPS enabled sports watch or an App on your phone such as Google Maps or MapMyRun.

Scavenger Hunt

Construct a list of items you and your bubble must find and ‘collect’ on your walk.  This can include physical collection that you can put in a bag or a photo collection using your phone to record your ‘find’. 

A sample list of ideas could include:

  1. Collect a leaf
  2. Take a photo of a house with at least 3 teddy bears in the window
  3. Collect a piece of rubbish
  4. Find and photograph a red car in your neighbourhood.
  5. Find and photograph a bird
  6. Find signs around your neighbourhood that start with every letter of the alphabet
  7. Collect a seed, nut or cone or similar that has fallen from a tree
  8. Photo of a road sign
  9. Collect a random object like a discarded ball, sock, pen, tin or similar – anything random that should not normally be just lying around on the footpath, park or roadside
  10. Photo of a rubbish bin
  11. Photo of a power transformer or phone exchange box
  12. Photo of a sign in your area related to Covid-19 eg. Playground closed due to Covid-19 etc

Orienteering Locally

Orienteering is a fantastic family event and while its not quite the same around your local streets, it can still be accomplished.  Your unique ‘Bubble’ orienteering can be organised as follows:

  1. Print a Google Map of your immediate area.  An example produced for my local area can be found here.
  2. Number various stations on your map where you feel you can place a marker.
  3. Prepare a list of clues for each station that provides participants with a little more information about where the Station is located.  You can choose to mix up the numbers for various participants, so they are not simply following each other eg. One list goes numbers 1 to 15, the other list is numbered 15 to 1.  An example of our sheet can be found here.
  4. Determine what you will use to identify your stations – small flags, cones, stones, wood, tin cans or other things you can find.  Try to make them a little bright if possible and then add the ‘Station Number’ and a ‘random 2-digit number’ to each marker.  The participant must write the random number on the form for the correct Station as evidence they located the correct point.
  5. Take a walk and set-up the course, dropping your station markers at each location.
  6. Give the participants their Map, Station List and Pencil.  This could be done as individuals or pairs/groups depending on the ages of the participants.
  7. Explain the orienteering rules and reiterate the Covid-19 lockdown walking rules and send them on their way.

Click here for examples of the Orienteering Map and List of Orienteering Course Points.

Photography Walk

Pick up your phone, camera or ipad and head outdoors for your walk and focus on recording your lockdown walking experience in pictures. You will be amazed at the extra things you notice in your neighbourhood as you look more closely.

Perhaps you can then produce a presentation using your favourite photo or presentation app/software.

Add Exercises into your Walk

During your walk, simply add in a range of exercises to complete.  This provides variety and extra health benefits.  Some exercises can include:

Image by Terri Sharp from Pixabay 

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Press-ups
  • Backwards jog
  • Butt-kicks
  • Sideways skips
  • High knees
  • Jumps
  • Plank
  • Single leg balancing
  • Short jog or sprints

Nature Walk

Take a sheet of paper (or record on your phone) to spot and record as many types of trees and birds as you can find in your area. 

The NZbirds website https://nzbirdsonline.org.nz/ has superb tools to assist in identifying birds found in NZ.  This can easily be done using your phone while walking.

Trees and plants are much harder as the variety is almost endless.  For native trees, try DOC or Terrain.net.nz



Walk Every Street In Your Area

Use one of your walks to explore every street in your area – you may just find something you never knew existed!

For additional information about walking during the Covid-19 Lock-down, read this post.

Further walking update for covid-19

covid-19 logo

The Government provided further clarification regarding outdoor activities and walking under Level-4 Lockdown.

The government reiterated the importance of people adhering to Level-4 Lockdown to ensure the maximum effectiveness is achieved. They confirmed once again that people can walk (and bike) locally to assist with peoples physical and mental health, reiterating the importance of walking in your bubble and maintaining 2m physical distancing.

Activities now specifically prohibited in Level-4 are boating, fishing, hunting, surfing and other water sports and tramping. The emphasis seems to be the prevention of accidents and rescue which will take resources away from other areas of important need.

As a walking community, we need to be aware that tramping is not lawful under Level-4. It is important that when we are out walking, ensure it stays as a local walk that has minimal risk with no need for rescue if someone should injure themselves – maybe sprain an ankle or similar.

It is important to consider if any bushwalks you are engaging in meet the new criteria. For example, some bushwalks can have wide pathways similar to a dirt road, while others are narrow, steeper and uneven.

Level-4 walking guidelines
Walking in Level-4

Walking Loop Tracks only?

One of our walking community wrote in a comment to the walksinauckland website that “we should encourage circular walks, rather than out and back so we do not have contact points at narrow parts in the walkway, bridges etc.”. Liz went on to suggest we could place arrows that ensure people follow a certain direction when walking.

This seems to be a great idea and perhaps one we should try and get some momentum. Maybe we could try using chalk on some of our walks to encourage people to walk in one direction.

Any other ideas on this?

Walking during covid-19

covid-19 logo

Wow – never thought I would ever see NZ in lockdown, but here we are, as we join together as a Nation to fight Covid-19.  This brings change and challenge to us all, but it is a sacrifice we all must make for the greater good of society.  So, what does walking look like during the COVID-19 lockdown?

wide path with grass
Paths with wide spaces for physical distancing

As we are all isolated with our bubble for the next 4 weeks or more, we have been allowed at least the simple privilege of heading outdoors for some walking.  It is important for our own sense of well-being and fitness that we make the most of these limited opportunities and enjoy some fresh air and nature. 

The government have been very clear on some distinct rules around walks:

Current advice from the covid19 NZ website (3rd April 2020):

“As long as you’re not unwell, you can leave your house to:
– access essential services, like buying groceries, or going to a bank or pharmacy
– go to work if you work for an essential service
– go for a walk, or exercise and enjoy nature.

If you do leave your house, you must keep a 2-metre distance from other people at all times. Police may be monitoring people and asking questions of people who are out and about during the Alert Level 4 lockdown to check what they are doing.”

Helpful guidelines that assist in enjoying your walk and staying safe :

  1. Walks must be local – they do not want people driving to locations such as beaches and parks.  There is some discussion about whether it is okay in some situations to drive a little distance.
  2. You can only walk by yourself or those you are isolated with (in your bubble).  You must not have others outside your isolation group join you for walks during the lockdown period.
  3. While walking, you must maintain at least 2 meters from any person that is not in your isolation group.
  4. Be aware not to touch common surfaces – playgrounds are closed.
  5. Keep in touch with the latest and more specific information on www.covid19.govt.nz

The Auckland Council website (https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/Pages/covid-19.aspx) provides information on parks during the crisis.

Playgrounds Closed Keep children off equipment.
Regional parks Open for excercise ​Maintain social distancing from other visitors and do not use equipment in the park. No vehicle access.

Please note that the information in this blog is not an official government document but designed to assist people in understanding their walking opportunities. Please visit the covid19 website for the most current information.