Summer is just around the corner, and you’re probably excited to finally get out after these past few months of lockdown. And what is summer without a trip to the beach? We’ve put together a list of our favourite accessible beaches to visit this summer and enjoy the Aussie sunshine!
New South Wales:
- Australia’s most famous beach, Bondi, is now wheelchair accessible! On Thursdays and Saturdays from 8:30am to 2pm, beach mats are laid out at the north end ramp. Beach wheelchairs are also available, subject to booking, so get it quick! For more information, visit https://accessiblebeaches.com/nsw-bondi-beach.
- The Northern Beaches are located between Palm Beach and Manly. Over the past few years, the Northern Beaches Council has focused on making the beaches accessible. Not only are the beaches equipped with beach mats, but they have established some accessible beach-side playgrounds too. If you head to Collaroy, Manly, Bilgola or Newport, the council also loans out beach wheelchairs free of charge. Head to their website to find out more about these beaches. https://www.northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au/services/disability
- Located just a 15-minute drive west of Melbourne CBD, Williamstown Beach is Victoria’s first 24/7 accessible beach. During the operating season, beach mats are laid out all the way down to the shoreline. Davinci beach wheelchairs and floating wheelchairs are also available for free bookings. For more information, visit https://accessiblebeaches.com/williamstown-accessible-beach.
St Kilda Beach
- Only 10 minutes from Melbourne, this iconic beach is equipped with accessible matting, changing facilities and also beach wheelchairs. Surrounded by the famous Acland Street and Luna Park, St Kilda is the perfect spot for a day in the sun.
- Henley Beach is a 23-minute drive from Adelaide CBD and offers plenty of accessible parking spaces. Beach mats are laid out from Thursday to Sunday (weather permitting) during the summer season. Plenty of seaside cafes and restaurants line the beach, making it perfect for an entire day out. For more information, visit https://accessiblebeaches.com/sa-semaphore-beach-1.
- The iconic Seacliff beach is one of Adelaide’s top attractions, and should be top of your list for a South Australian road trip. Decked with floating wheelchairs and salt-based beach access ramps, this is a beach not to be missed. If you’re planning to head down south this summer, head to https://www.seacliffslsc.com.au/the-club/wheelchair-request/ for more information.
- If you’re looking for a quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city, Sutton’s Beach is the perfect spot. Located just 40 minutes away from Brisbane CBD, it offers plenty of accessible facilities. From beach matting, accessible ramps, wide footpaths and cut-out picnic tables made for wheelchairs. It is truly a fully accessible beach. For more information, visit https://accessiblebeaches.com/qld-suttons-beach.
Burleigh Heads Beach
- One of Gold Coast’s most famous and picturesque beaches is also wheelchair friendly. Featuring beach matting, accessible bathrooms and floating wheelchairs you wouldn’t want to miss this if you’re heading north. If you want to find out more about Burleigh Heads, head to their website https://accessiblebeaches.com/qld-gold-coast
- At beaches scattered throughout Tasmania, Surf Life Saving Clubs offer free beach access wheelchairs. One of our personal favourites is Long Beach. Picturesque views are only a 15-minute drive south of Hobart. For the complete list of accessible beaches, visit https://www.slst.asn.au/be-safe/beach-access-wheelchair/.
- As part of the City of Cockburn’s initiative to work towards an inclusive community, Ngarkal Beach is one of many upgraded to become accessible. Beach mats are rolled out from October to Easter time, beach wheelchairs are available for booking, and accessible toilets, ramps & water fountains have been installed. For more information on Western Australia, visit https://accessiblebeaches.com/north-coogee-wa.
- Mindil Beach is Darwin’s most well-known beach, located a quick 5-minute drive from Darwin’s city centre. While wheelchair access to the beach itself is limited, the Mindil Beach Sunset Market is a great place to visit for a laid-back summer evening. Complete with wide concrete paths. The market runs every Thursday and Sunday in NT’s dry season, May to October. For more information, visit https://havewheelchairwilltravel.net/mindil-beach-sunset-markets-wheelchair-accessible-activites-darwin/.
Going to the beach is an integral part of Aussie culture, and every Australian should have that opportunity. Grassroots organisation, Accessible Beaches Australia are well on their way to making this a reality. By working towards ensuring all patrolled beaches are accessible for people with a disability and in a wheelchair. Head to their website to find out how you can support this initiative. Because let’s be honest, an Australian summer is not complete without a trip to the beach!
Keep a lookout for our Accessible Activities: Summer Series over the next few months for some great accessible activities to do with your friends and family this summer.