Mia & Leo Go Wild - Children's Book

An outdoor adventure awaits Mia and her younger brother Leo – their first family overnight tramp to Whiowhio Hut. As they set out on their journey through New Zealand’s native forest, their family meets an assortment of fellow adventurers, each facing an outdoor obstacle of their own.

Can Mia and Leo’s family help the other trampers and still make it to the hut before dark?

Award-winning children’s author, Gillian Candler, has teamed up with illustrator Gavin Mouldey to create this beautifully illustrated adventure story, packed full of practical tips and advice to help you and your family get outdoors and explore. 

Available from

Published by Potton & Burton.

Get Outdoors and Go Wild - Activities

  • ‘Guess how long’ game 
    While out on your next bush walk or tramp, using a map, find upcoming features along the track and get your group members to guess how many minutes it will take to  reach the feature. The features could be anything from a bridge, track junction or clearing, or a hut.  
  • Use all of your senses 
    During a break on the track, spend 5 minutes sitting in one place. First look around and then close your eyes: what can you see, hear, smell, feel?
  • Don’t forget to pack games for your next overnight adventure 
    Uno, Rummy, Zilch Dice, Bananagrams, Monopoly Deal. 
  • Write your own packing list for an overnight hike.
    Make sure you include clothing, food, safety equipment.

Colouring-in Competition

Share your finished artwork to go in the draw 
We have 4 outdoor adventure prize packs to give away each month until the competition closes!

x4 October prize packs 
Macpac kids sleeping bag, whistle, journal & pens, your very own copy of Mia & Leo Go Wild 

October winners...

Alex, age 4   Brenna, age 4
Farrin, age 7   Tilly, age 7

X4 November prize packs 
Torpedo7 first aid kit, warm beanie, binoculars, head torch, whistle, journal & pens, your very own copy of Mia & Leo Go Wild. 

November winners...

Aquila Tivola, age 5   Lilac, Plimmerton School, age 8
Manu Marks, St Josephs Primary School, age 8   Addison Page, age 8

X4 December prize packs 
Torpedo7 Backpack, head torch, drink bottle, whistle, journal & pens, your very own copy of Mia & Leo Go Wild. 

Eva Savesi, age 7

  Legacy Breeze Stevens Wilson, age 7, Irongate Schools Flaxmere
Libby Kavanagh, age 8, St Joseph's School, Hastings   Julia, age 8

X4 January prize packs 
Macpac kids rain jacket, warm beanie, whistle, journal & pens, your very own copy of Mia & Leo Go Wild. 

Esther Dodgshun, age 8   Hailey Foote, age 6, View Road School
Kaylee Zhao, age 8   Tui Quilla, age 8, Kaihere School

Download activity sheet here.

Colouring Contest

Colouring Contest

To enter, send to: 
NZ Mountain Safety Council  
Level 1 Harbour City Centre 
29 Brandon St Wellington, 6011  

Or, scan and email: gowild@mountainsafety.org.nz

Entries close 31 January, 2024. Winners will be contacted by NZ Mountain Safety Council on the details supplied in entry.

Terms & Conditions
One entry will be accepted per entrant. Competition starts 29 September 2023 and closes 31 January 2024.
Entrants must have consent of their parent or guardian. Entrants must be aged 1-13 years old. By entering the competition, the artist gives NZ Mountain Safety Council permission to use their artwork for promotional purposes including any feature online.
By submitting the colouring competition, guardians have read the terms and conditions. Contact email must be provided by the customer for the entry to be complete.
Entries will be viewed by the NZ Mountain Safety Council team throughout the promotional period and winners will be chosen across all of New Zealand only and contacted via the email provided.

Our Why

We know thousands of families love to get outdoors every year. If you're one of them, you'll already know that adventuring with children adds a whole new safety dimension to a trip. 
We hope Mia & Leo Go Wild will encourage families to get outdoors while also giving them the basic outdoor knowledge they need to explore safely. We also see this book as a great tool to help children get involved and own the planning of their adventures.

The adventurous storyline cleverly weaves in the NZ Land Safety Code and is packed with practical tips and advice to help families safely enjoy any land-based recreation in Aotearoa's outdoors. Additional activities at the back of the book and on the website mean the outdoor adventures and learning go beyond the book.    

From the NZ Mountain Safety Council team

Read More About Mia & Leo Go Wild

Find Some Outdoor Inspiration

Plan My Walk

Plan My Walk is a free app and website designed to help people plan safe and successful outdoor adventures. By planning an adventure using Plan My Walk, you can:

  • Find a walk or track to suit your abilities, time and location
  • Easily check the weather forecast
  • Read essential track information, including any alerts, weather warnings and watches
  • Access gear lists, and tick off items as you pack
  • Read reviews from fellow hikers
  • Create a simple trip plan and share it with a trusted emergency contact

    Head to the Plan My Walk website, or download the app. 

Plan My Walk Desktop