The beautiful state capital of Sydney, Australia offers something for every kind of tourist, whether it be for a thrill seeker or a quiet sightseer.
Getting around Sydney, Australia is thankfully quite easy. There are many wheelchair-user-friendly options for getting from A to B in Sydney, and there are many fun stop-off points along the way. A few ideas for accessible attractions are included below but more can be found via Sydney for All and this site has a list of accessible hotels.
A recent renovation of the Sydney Trains System has ensured that all carriages and platforms offer ample disabled access. All stations are marked with level, ramp, or lift access signs to platforms. Moreover, many stations offer continuous handrails, while the trains themselves offer wheelchair spaces, with up to two seats during off-peak times, though wheelchair users should be aware that spaces can be limited during rush hour.
- Fees: Concessions are currently only available to students, pensioners, blinded soldiers, and war widows, providing concession cards are shown.
- Where to: Where you choose to go is up to you – although some options are better than others. Consider a trip to Hyde Park, which can be easily found by the wheelchair-accessible Town Hall station. If interested in history, consider visiting the Town Hall – a huge landmark on the Sydney skyline, it dates back to 1889 and was considered Sydney’s most ‘controversial building.
For those who like to travel in style, the Circular Quays Ferry Tours give you a glimpse of some of the most beautiful sights in Sydney. Travel from the Circular Quays to Manly, and then take a look around the amazing Scenic Walkway, which will take about three hours to visit if you want to take it all in. Disabled access is available on the majority of Sydney Ferries, offering ramp access from a number of destinations on the network. Wheelchair users should be aware however that some older wharves do not yet offer disabled ramps, see a full list of accessible ferries.
While the Circular Quays Ferry Tour is just one of the ferry journeys available, there is also disabled access on general ferry transportation, see timetables and schedules. Wi-Fi is also available on board the ferry.
- Fees: The same concession rules apply here as the State Transit Sydney Buses.
- Where to: Once you’re on board, there’s no end to the destinations to which you can travel. One is the hugely decadent Star Resort and Casino, promising a world of games and other entertainment.
Staff at State Transit Sydney Buses pride themselves on the wheelchair access within the bus network, offering step-less, low-level floors, largely brightly colored handrails, and wide doors and aisles, which can fit two mobility aids including wheelchairs and scooters.
- Fees: At present, only those with a Vision Impaired Person’s Pass, Companion Card or Assistance Animal Permit can travel for free. Concessions are available to those in receipt of Disability Support Pension and Carer Payment.
- Where to: For somewhere relaxing to go, take the bus from Campbell town Railway Station to the Royal Botanic Gardens, which offers 416 hectares and is expanding to offer 25,000 plant species. The gardens offer accessible restrooms and disabled access pathways, so you can plan your day without a hitch.
For those who are travelling to Sydney, Zero200 Taxis provide taxis with ramps and larger cabins. For Sydney residents, the Taxi Transport Subsidy Scheme is available to residents in Sydney who are unable to use public transport due to a severe or permanent disability. It entitles cardholders to vouchers of 50 percent off for journeys up to a total of $30. Holders must present their card to the driver before their journey and can apply for a concession card by downloading an application form.
- Where to: Anywhere in Sydney! There are a plethora of tourist attractions available from the Sydney Opera House to the Sydney Harbor Bridge.