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10 healthy activities for the park this summer

Summer is the perfect time to gather your friends and family for outdoor fun and games in one of New Zealand's many beautiful parks. Here are 10 heart-healthy activities you can try right in your local park.

Family going on a run together

Walking, jogging and running

Walking is a fantastic way to get active and improve your heart health. New Zealand's parks provide a beautiful natural backdrop for getting out and about. If you're looking for a walk, there's always a national park or nature reserve not far away – just make sure to check the difficulty before going. Joining a local Parkrun is another option for those looking for a weekly 5K challenge

Outdoor workouts

Many parks in New Zealand now feature free-to-use outdoor gym equipment like pull-up bars, step-ups and static bikes. Just like a giant playground for adults, these are great for getting active and if you're looking for park activities for kids, you can let them enjoy the actual playground while you work out!

Cricket and softball

Both cricket and softball can be enjoyed with minimal equipment and are perfect for group play – just grab a bat and a tennis ball and you're all set! Gather your family and friends for a friendly match or check with your local council for organised games in your park.

Tennis and badminton

Many parks offer tennis courts for hire, and some even provide them for free. Try short tennis or soft tennis for a more accessible introduction to the sport. If you're looking for more creative things to do at the park, you could also search for parks offering modern adaptations of racket sports such as pickleball. Badminton is also an enjoyable outdoor racket sport as long as it's not too windy!


Similar to bowls, pétanque is a fun and low-intensity activity that can be played on grass. All you need are some pétanque balls and a "jack" to aim at. It's one of the most popular outdoor park activities and is an ideal game for all the family.

Boating and pedal boats

Parks with lakes or rivers often offer rowing boats, kayaks and pedalos for hire. Rowing and pedalling can provide an excellent workout while enjoying the serenity of the water. Many lakes, beaches and water bodies in New Zealand now offer water bikes and paddle boards as well as boats near some of the most popular tourist destinations.

Outdoor classes

smiling senior people

You may have been strolling in the park recently only to see people with rollup mats doing outdoor yoga, tai chi or Pilates. These activities promote physical and mental wellbeing and while they involve things you can do at home, experiencing them in the fresh air is a thousand times better. They're a great way to enjoy nature with others while staying active.


Don't underestimate the joy of a simple game of frisbee. All you need is a frisbee and a few friends. You can adjust the intensity to suit your preferences, from leisurely throws to fast-paced action. You can also find parks with baskets for playing frisbee/disc golf.


Volleyball is a fantastic team sport that can easily be improvised on the grass. Gather your friends for a friendly game, and don't worry about fancy equipment. All you need is a light ball and a marked-out court. Some parks also offer built-in volleyball nets and host regular competitive games, making volleyball one of the most popular park activities for adults.


playing football with the family

A classic game of football requires nothing more than a ball and some goal markers, which could be as simple as jumpers or bags. Make sure you have the right footwear for the surface you’re playing on and then you can get kicking! For a gentler and more accessible version, consider ‘walking football.’

Remember that staying active in New Zealand's parks not only provides fun and entertainment but also contributes to a healthy lifestyle. Enjoy the outdoors and keep your heart in top shape this summer!