Have pram, will travel
Prams. They’re absolute lifesavers. But when you’re forced to navigate a staircase or busy walkway with one, they just feel like more trouble than they’re worth. If pram-related anxiety is keeping you from getting out and exploring, don’t fret. We’ve compiled three pram-friendly day trip itineraries for your next family day out!
Brisbane’s cultural hub must have been designed with pram-pushing families in mind, as it’s linked by a wide pathway that takes pedestrians past some of Brisbane’s best landmarks.
Start at the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), where you can see an ever-changing yet always impressive collection of modern art and try your hand at some kid-friendly workshops, then walk towards the Queensland Museum (it’s the one with the life-sized dinosaurs out the front) to learn about creatures past and present.
When you’re done, head south, passing the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) and the towering Wheel of Brisbane. As soon as you hear laughter and splashing water, veer left – you’re getting closer to the Southbank Parklands and, further up, Streets Beach. Sink your toes into the sand or wade into the water of Australia’s only man-made, inner-city beach, or watch your kids as they play in the many playgrounds in the surrounding area.
If you’re visiting on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, be sure to pop into the Collective Markets, which see the Stanley Street Plaza overtaken with hundreds of stalls selling everything from designer dog collars to crystals and coffee.
With abundant parking and plenty of restaurants and cafes, you’ll be hard-pressed trying to fit everything into one day – Southbank stay-cation, anyone?
Gold Coast Oceanway
At 36km long, we’re definitely not suggesting you tackle the entire Gold Coast Oceanway, pram-in-hand, in one go – in fact, we’d recommend you stay around the Surfers Paradise/Broadbeach section, with its many parks, shops and cafes to try out.
No matter where you hop on, the Oceanway offers you spectacular ocean views right from the world-famous Gold Coast coastline. With the city skyline on one side and fish, dolphins and even whales on the other, it’s quite easy to push your pram a considerable distance along this stretch of pathway without even realising.
We’d suggest starting south, getting the tram to or parking your car near Pacific Fair Shopping Centre – you can pop in there for a shop or a bite to eat if you’re so inclined – and then starting the 13-minute walk to Pratten Park. The large foreshore park boasts a pirate ship, pedal-powered monorail, an all-abilities playground, a sandpit and plenty of barbecue spots, making it a great place for an ocean swim and a picnic. When the kids (read: you) are all parked-out, head north along the Oceanway, ducking on and off of it as you fancy but heading toward Surfers Paradise. Once you arrive at the Esplanade – at the ocean-end of Cavill Mall – if you time your trip right, you’ll come across one of the Gold Coast’s most unique shopping and cultural experiences – the Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets. Every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday afternoon, the markets bring Surfers Paradise to life with live entertainment providing the perfect background music as you negotiate the pram-friendly markets strip.
Brisbanites seem to jump on the motorway and drive north or south for family downtime but if you trek out west, there are a great many parks, museums and cafes around Ipswich to explore.
Given that it’s just 50-minutes away by train, you’ve got no excuse not to add this different mode of transport to your western family adventure. Jump on at Brisbane Central or your nearest train station and enjoy the scenic ride out to Ipswich Station. From there, it’s just a six-minute walk to Riverheart Parklands, Ipswich’s answer to the Southbank boardwalk. This 1.2km stretch of pram-friendly pathway takes you through a mini rainforest, past a waterfall and sculpture pond and all the way to Bob Gamble Park, which features a zero-depth water park perfect for your little ones to run around and cool off in with loads of play equipment and even a 25m flying fox.
When they’re done running amuck, head back towards the city centre and cross the bridge, past Riverlink Shopping Centre (or step inside, if retail therapy calls your name) towards the famous Workshops Rail Museum. Here, history is brought to life with hands-on exhibits, huge steam trains and industrial machinery, as well as colourful stories told through multimedia displays.
Then, heading back toward Ipswich Station, pop into the Ipswich Art Gallery, which features plenty of kid-friendly art installations and programs.