Celebrating Some of Sydney’s (and Australia’s) Most Accessible Places

As many Australians look forward to emerging from lockdown conditions, and the resulting freedom of mobility and access to venues and locations we’ve all missed, it is worth reflecting that a significant number of the population have their mobility and access restricted in various physical and social ways every day. 

Making more of society accessible for everyone should be a joint priority, now more than ever. 

In the spirit of positivity, let’s take a look at some of the attractions, accommodation and day-to-day venues with accessibility provisions, as well as some of the helpful resources that are available for those with access requirements when choosing where and how to explore. 

Sydney’s Best Accessible Attractions 

As Sydney’s most iconic venue, Sydney Opera House schedules Auslan-interpreted, captioned, sensory- and  Autism-friendly talks, events and performances throughout the year, including a daily access tour designed for people with limited mobility. There are also a number of wheelchair and companion seating locations in all theatres. In addition, Sydney Opera House offers a quarterly accessibility newsletter, which you can sign up to here. 

Accessible Beaches Australia offers a helpful state-by-state directory of wheelchair-accessible beaches,  so people with access disabilities can assess and plan trips to Australia’s best beaches throughout the upcoming Summer. 

Scenic World in the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains offers a range of experiences found nowhere else on Earth. With a scenic railway, skyway, cableway and various lookouts, Scenic World is a must-see for breathtaking views over the Blue Mountains. Thankfully, it’s also an inclusive, accessible attraction, with the skyway and cableway both wheelchair accessible, along with many of the scenic walkways. Contacting in advance is recommended to discuss individual requirements. 

Most of Sydney’s museums and galleries also now offer mobility access, plus some accessible tours and programs, including the Art Gallery of NSW, Museum of Contemporary Art, and Museum of Sydney

Accessible Accommodation and Day-to-Day Life 

In recent years, there have been further useful websites and resources established that detail in an easily accessible format, and with regular updates, venues, hotels, attractions and other facilities that provide adequate accessibility provisions. 

Websites like Can Go Everywhere, Disabled Holidays, and Accessible Accommodation, for instance, provide comprehensive, up-to-date information on accessibility within hotels and holiday venues, including filtering for rails, wheelchair access ramps, visual aids and hearing facilities, and more. 

Accessible Australia is an exceptional interactive website that allows users to view accessible locations on a map. The site allows users to submit venues, rate and leave reviews, and browse their immediate surrounds for the most accessible locations, including food and drink venues, health providers, shops, and entertainment venues; Sydney-based WheelEasy similarly reviews attractions, accommodation, parks,  pools, beaches, cafés, restaurants and more for wheelchair users, including details about parking and facilities; while the National Public Toilet Map is a useful, interactive map of public bathrooms, including  clear guidance on accessibility. 

As air travel becomes a possibility once more, hopefully, further innovations are likewise made to make air travel more comfortable and convenient for those who require access provisions, including the further development of products and resources. Haycomp, as one example of a company making important progress in the industry, is an Australian company that has developed aviation ramps and lifters, used by airlines to lift travellers with mobility needs more comfortably. 

These kinds of resources, products, and initiatives are vital to ensure access is not only ensured physically  (once people arrive on-site), but in advance (so those who require them can plan their movements online and over the phone before they arrive).  

Importantly, the extension and funding of these resources and initiatives will also further increase awareness that access is a shared right, and the promotion of accessibility a shared responsibility. 

Exploration is one of life’s joys, for everyone. 

As many of us gear up to return to — at least a version of — normality, and embrace the ability to explore  once again, let’s keep in mind that everyone deserves as much access to our natural and built environments as possible.  

In a world that’s still quite unequal in this respect, it’s worth keeping our eyes open to where accessibility can be improved and, where possible, encouraging discussions that can facilitate further change. 















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