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Accessible outdoor adventures for adults and kids

To celebrate the end of lockdowns, dawn of daylight savings and warmer weather, why not get familiar with Victoria’s accessible beaches and national parks?

With the easing of lockdowns and travel restrictions and summer on our doorstep, there’s no better time to explore Victoria’s great outdoors – from vast golden beaches to lush national parks. Greater Melbourne and regional Victoria boast an array of natural locations and facilities that have been tailored to accommodate visitors with varied needs and abilities. In fact, Victoria has 10 ‘accessible beaches’ and is home to three beaches with 24/7 matting for wheelchair accessibility. For those who prefer to get off the beaten track and escape the heat under the canopy, greater metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria also boast a number of national parks with free use of motorised and manual all-terrain wheelchairs that enable access and exploration of terrain that would otherwise be inaccessible in a wheelchair. 

Accessible beaches

Victoria is home to 10 accessible beaches – eight of which are within greater metropolitan Melbourne. The beaches in our accessible beaches category offer various features, from ramps and wheelchair beach mats to accessible change rooms and/or showers.

WILLIAMSTOWN BEACH

Distance: 15 minutes west of Melbourne

Features:

  • 24×7 accessible beach matting
  • Mobi-Chair beach
  • Wheelchair and Davinci wheelchair
  • Accessible bathroom
  • Accessible shower and change room
  • Accessible parking

ALTONA BEACH

Location: 22 minutes west of Melbourne

Features:

  • 24×7 accessible beach matting
  • Sandcruiser beach wheelchair
  • Mobi-Chair beach wheelchair
  • Accessible bathroom, shower and change room
  • Accessible parking

MORDIALLOC BEACH

Location: 25 minutes south of Melbourne

Features:

  • Accessible beach matting
  • Accessible bathroom
  • Accessible parking

MT MARTHA BEACH

Location: Mornington Peninsula

Features:

  • 24×7 Accessible Beach Matting (until Easter)
  • 2 x Mobi chairs (weekends only)
  • Accessible bathroom, shower and change room

ST KILDA BEACH

Location: 10 minutes south of Melbourne

Features: 

  • Accessible beach matting
  • Mobi-Chair beach wheelchair
  • Accessible bathroom/changing facilities

PORT MELBOURNE BEACH

Location: 5 minutes south of Melbourne 

Features:

  • Accessible beach matting
  • Mobi-Chair beach wheelchair

HALF MOON BAY

Location: 35 minutes south of Melbourne 

Features:

  • Mobi-Chair beach wheelchair
  • Accessible bathroom, shower and change room
  • Accessible parking

HAMPTON BEACH

Location: 35 minutes south of Melbourne

Features: 

  • Accessible beach matting
  • Mobi-Chair beach wheelchair
  • Accessible bathroom, shower and change room

CARRUM BEACH

Location: 40 minutes south of Melbourne

Features: 

  • Accessible ramp
  • Accessible bathroom and change room
  • Accessible parking

LORNE BEACH

Location: 2 hours from Melbourne

Features: 

  • Accessible matting
  • Accessible hoist
  • Accessible change room
  • Accessible parking

For details of accessible beach facilities or to find an accessible beach in another Australian state, click here.

Accessible parks and trails  

While national parks might conjure images of steep, unmade trails and wheelchair tyres lodged in mud, there are a number of Victorian parks that offer free use of all-terrain wheelchairs that enable visitors with mobility limitations to explore areas and terrain that are not wheelchair-accessible. TrailRider all-terrain wheelchairs have adjustable seating and supports and are suitable for adults and children with varying abilities. Local staff can advise on the best trails and routes for chairs and provide assistance in safe use (the chairs do require a minimum of two operators). If you need extra support, at the Dandenong Ranges and Grampians National Parks (which also offer motorised TrailRider chairs, as does Wilsons Promontory National Park), you can enlist the assistance of a Parks Victoria TrailRider volunteer, who is trained to push and pull the chair. Use of TrailRiders and assistance are free but you do need to book a chair and/or volunteer at least a week in advance. Click here for booking details. 

Motorised TrailRider locations

  • Grampians National Park, Brambuk the National Park and Cultural Centre, (03) 8427 2058
  • Dandenong Ranges National Park, Grants on Sherbrooke Restaurant at Grants Picnic Area, (03) 9755 2888 
  • Wilsons Promontory National Park Information Centre, (03) 8427 2122

Other TrailRider chair locations

TrailRiders can be borrowed free of charge at the following shires and information centres, located near parks (chair can be transported in most standard SUVs and vans).  

Colac Otway Shire (Manual TrailRider)
Great Ocean Road Visitor Information Centre, 100 Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay, 1300 689 297 or gorvic@colacotway.vic.gov.au
Website: www.visitotways.com

Hepburn Shire (Manual TrailRider)
Daylesford Regional Visitor Information Centre, 98 Vincent St, Daylesford, 1800 454 891 or events@hepburn.vic.gov.au
Website: www.visitdaylesford.com.au

Kinglake National Park (Manual TrailRider)
Parks Victoria Office, 2970 Heidelberg-Kinglake Rd, Kinglake, (03) 8427 2066

Loddon Shire (Motorised TrailRider)
Loddon Visitor Information Centre, 24 Wilson Street, Wedderburn, (03) 5494 3489 or loddonvisitorinformation@loddon.vic.gov.au

Moorabool Shire (Manual TrailRider)
Lerderderg Library, 215 Main St, Bacchus Marsh, (03) 5366 7100 or info@moorabool.vic.gov.au
Website: www.moorabool.vic.gov.au

Howmans Camp Alpine Centre (Motorised TrailRider)
2587 Bogong High Plains Road, Falls Creek, (03) 5758 3223

Surf Coast Shire (Manual TrailRider)
Surf Coast Sport & Recreation Centre Beach Road, Torquay (next to the Visitor Information Centre and Surf World Museum), (03) 5261 4606 or surfcoastsrc@surfcoast.vic.gov.au
Website: www.surfcoast.vic.gov.au

Warburton Visitor Information Centre (Motorised TrailRider)
3400 Warburton Hwy, Warburton, (03) 5966 9600 or info@visitwarburton.com.au
Website: www.visitwarburton.com.au

To find accessible parks in other Australian states, click here.

If you’re looking to get out in the great outdoors and unsure of what you can safely manage with your current chair or capacities, an NDIS-registered occupational therapist can provide advice and evaluate your current assistive technology and resources against your goals and needs.

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