When new mum Karina McBride decided to take her son Isaac for a walk and get some fresh air and exercise in the process, she realised that having a pram and a baby required some extra thought and a few new ideas on where to go and what would be “child friendly”.
The advertising and marketing executive was enthusiastic to embrace her new lifestyle, wanting to keep active and involved both with part time work and meeting friends for social activities with her new baby.
Her solution was to put together an extensive list of pram-friendly walks on the North Shore and other areas of Sydney which she has now shared with other North Shore mums.
“Since Isaac was born a year ago, I have gone through so many pram tyres,” she laughs, when North Shore Living catches up with her and another North Shore mum, Rachel Chappell on a walk in Kirribilli.
“Having a child I realised how important it was to get out of the house for me and for him. He does his morning sleep in the pram and I do my exercise so everyone wins. So many mothers and dads walk out of their door, thinking where should I go today?
"Going for a walk is great for your mental health and it's something I can do with him that's special and it's good for the mind, body and soul.
When we are on our walks I sing to him and I talk to him - children can get so bored indoors."
Both mums agree that getting out with a pram can be "tricky".
Rachel Chappell who is the founder of website and Facebook group - North Shore Mums, and who has also published the walks on her site, says the feedback she has received has been very good.
"I have been on the walks myself and I love the idea of knowing which are the best places to take the family with a pram," she tells North Shore Living.
"You don't realise that some areas are just not suitable for prams, but all these walks are tried and tested and completely safe. Mums have to do so much multi-tasking, but it's great to do things for yourself."
Karina says she is "mesmerised" by the water and so many of the North Shore pram walks follow Sydney Harbour.
Her local walks include:
Balmoral Beach Loop
Start at the south end of The Esplanade at Balmoral Beach and follow the promenade which offers a stunning beachside stroll. Park at the southern end and head to the oval that you can loop around with the pram and then follow the beach towards iconic Bathers' Pavilion. The cafe has a fireplace in the back room for cooler days and there are also many other cafes along the foreshore to visit.
Lavender Bay to Kirribilli
From Lavender Bay follow the waterside path overlooking the city all the way to Luna Park and continue past the Olympic Pool until you arrive under the Harbour Bridge. Catch your breath from the last two kilometres before pushing up Alfred Street to Milsons Point railway station and the delights of Kirribilli.
Bradley's Head Road, Mosman
The elevated harbour views surrounding Bradley’s Head provide the perfect backdrop for this walk. Drive down to the peninsula and leave the car and then walk up Bradley’s Head Road to Taronga Zoo and continue all the way to Middle Head via the Headland Park and Gunners Barracks for a spectacular ﬁve- kilometre round trip.
Ku-ring-gai Wildﬂower garden walk
This is one of Karina's favourite pram walks. She says it’s an oasis and "really beautiful” to be in nature and in a quiet secluded natural environment. "This is an urban oasis, so pack a lunch-to-go and take the kids exploring through 123 hectares of bushland, including ponds, waterfalls and gullies.
Karina says it has been great to go on a pram walk with other women in her mother's group. "We exchange views and laughs and even if we are tired it’s great to get out of the house in the fresh air," she tells North Shore Living.
"I feel like there is a baby boom among my friends at the moment and many people are living in apartments and units and they don't have a garden or outside area to relax in so that’s why the pram walks are so enjoyable,” she smiles.