The holiday season is fast approaching, but looking for a wheelchair-friendly destination can be a challenge. When you choose a holiday spot, look for somewhere that not only has accessible accommodation, but plenty of activities for people with limited mobility. Here, we look at four popular Australian holiday destinations that are very popular with people who use a wheelchair or another mobility aid.
1. Tropical North Queensland
North Queensland offers a whole world of unspoiled beauty for you to explore. The Wet Tropics are the oldest rainforests in the world, with plant species that existed millions of years ago. Head to the Daintree River Valley, where the rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef. It’s the only place in the world where you can experience two World Heritage sites. A Daintree River Cruise is a wonderful way to explore this amazing destination.
Cairns offers a wide variety of things to do and see for those with limited mobility. Beach-friendly wheelchairs are available at Palm Cove Beach in Cairns and Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas. Many of the tour boats travelling to the Outer Great Barrier Reef Pontoons are accessible for guests with mobility issues.
Kuranda Scenic Railway and Skyrail, Cairns Tropical Zoo, Rainforestation, The Rainforest Habitat, Cairns Wildlife Safari, Hartley’s Crocodiles Adventures and Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park are all wheelchair accessible. You can find out more about all of these amazing attractions here.
2. Gold Coast, Queensland
With its sunny, subtropical climate, famous beaches, theme parks and rainforest hinterland, no wonder the Gold Coast is a popular tourist destination. It also has lots of fantastic activities for people with limited mobility.
If you love the sand and surf, you can enjoy access to the beach, using one of the beach wheelchairs and beach mats now available. You can find out more about the locations for beach access equipment here. You can also learn more about beach access points, viewing platforms, mobility maps and ‘Let’s go surfing’ days at Currumbin.
If you’re the adventurous type, why not enjoy a fun-filled day at Movie World, Sea World or one of the many other theme parks on the Gold Coast. Lots of rides and attractions are accessible by wheelchair, and you can find out more by clicking on the links.
There’s also a plethora of wonderful dining options on the Gold Coast to tantalise your taste buds. You can check out some of the best restaurants on the Gold Coast with disabled access here.
3. Coffs Harbour, New South Wales
Coffs Harbour is ideally located on the north coast of New South Wales. With its tropical climate, this popular coastal centre offers pristine beaches, abundant wildlife, coral reefs and seasonal whale watching. It also has a variety of wheelchair accessible activities to keep everyone entertained!
A trip to Coffs isn’t complete without a visit to The Big Banana. There are lots of things to do and see including ice skating, tobogganing, a water park and an educational experience about all things ‘bananas’. Wheelchairs can even go on the ice rink!
For a beautiful view overlooking Coffs Harbour and surrounds, drive up to the Forest Sky Pier at Bruxner Park. The drive winds through many banana plantations, giving you a great insight into how bananas are grown. The 21-metre long suspended walkway is completely accessible. The car park is opposite, with barbecues, picnic shelters and a disabled toilet nearby.
The Butterfly House lets you stroll amongst hundreds of Australian butterflies in an indoor subtropical rainforest setting. There are educational displays, a café and maze to explore. Enjoy spotting the beautiful butterflies, and if you’re lucky, one or two might even land on you!
Stretching from Coffs Harbour to Armidale, Waterfall Way is a spectacular 185km drive winding through five gorgeous national parks, with breathtaking waterfall views and accessible viewing platforms. It’s a fantastic road trip!
4. Sydney, New South Wales
One of the most iconic and vibrant cities in the world, Sydney is best known for its harbour-front Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
A visit to Sydney isn’t complete without a trip on the harbour. A ferry ride to Manly gives you breathtaking views of the city, the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Manly has a fabulous selection of cafes, restaurants and fish and chip shops, and there’s even a beach wheelchair for loan at no cost from the Surf Life Saving Club, if you’d like to head down to the beach.
Take some time to visit the amazing Taronga Zoo, with its unique collection of tortoises, African elephants and Komodo dragons. It’s in a spectacular harbourside location, with gentle ramping and lifts in some areas to make access easier. But please note that some parts of the zoo are still very steep. You can find out more about the zoo’s accessibility here.
Home to an abundance of sea and wildlife including dugongs, koalas, kangaroos and wombats, Wild Life Sydney and Sea Life Sydney are side by side at Cockle Bay. Both have ramps that will require pushing if you’re in a manual chair.
Brunch or sunset dinner at the Opera Bar is a great way to start or end the day, with a view that’s hard to match! Plus it has a generous wheelchair accessible restroom.
Looking for a great travel wheelchair?
If you’re looking for a lightweight power chair that’s perfect for travelling, check out the new Jazzy® Passport from Pride. This compact power chair folds in just a few simple steps for effortless transport. With convenient storage, the Jazzy® Passport makes getting around easier than ever before.
Power Mobility has a comprehensive range of mobility equipment including power chairs, manual chairs, scooters, lift chairs, plus much more. Drop into our huge showroom at Geebung or call us on 07 3265 4663 to find the best solution for your mobility needs.