Rollin' Down Under: Sydney's Top 5 Wheelchair Friendly Attractions
By Cory Lee, CurbFreeWithCoryLee.com
Australia is one of the world's most sought after travel and vacation destinations. Oftentimes that is great for ambulatory people, but wheelchair users might be hesitant to visit if tourist spots are not easily accessible with a wheelchair. Fortunately, Australia is also one of the most wheelchair friendly places in the world. Following are the top five wheelchair accessible attractions in, and near, Sydney. Keep them in mind when planning your next trip!
Scenic WorldThis wheelchair accessible attraction boasts some of the most stunning views of the Blue Mountains. Though there are three different experiences that you can take advantage of, the cable way is the most wheelchair friendly way to experience the valley. You will board the southern hemisphere's steepest aerial bucket car as you relish the scenic mountains that surround you. Bonus: you can enjoy several photo ops on your way down since wheelchair seating is in the very front of the car.
When you hit ground level in the valley, you will be able to take advantage of several meandering trails that lazily wind through the beautiful rain forest. All restrooms are also wheelchair accessible throughout the attraction. It is a fun and casual way to enjoy a day outdoors with the family.
Sydney Tower Eye
If you are feeling daring and do not have a fear of heights then Sydney Tower is the perfect attraction for you. See the city from the top of the world! The view from the observation deck is unlike anything else in Sydney. It has lower rails and binoculars that are on shorter mounts specifically for people who use wheelchairs. The touchscreen system allows easy access to information about different buildings in the city that you are able to see from the viewing platform. All restrooms are wheelchair accessible as well. Stop in at the gift shop if you need a snack or desire a souvenir of your experience.
For a few extra dollars you can brave the accessible Skywalk experience. Go outside the tower for this one and feel the wind in your hair as you push your bravery to its limits. Be sure to book in advance since these guided tours offer a limited number of participants.
Wild Life Sydney Zoo / Sydney Sea Life Aquarium
This is a great way to spend the day and is accessible by ferry or a short 'roll' from the center of town. Here you can see the day-to-day life of some of the animals that call Australia their home. Observe creepy crawlers such as some of the world's most deadly snakes and spiders or cuddly critters like koalas and kangaroos. These animals are sure to delight.
Your entry pass also grants you access to the Sydney Sea Life Aquarium. The Aquarium boasts a grand display of wildlife from Australia's surrounding oceans and other bodies of water. These majestic creatures are sure to capture your heart. You can even spy the rare Dugong, an Australian exclusive!
After you have worked up an appetite you will have no problem finding a delicious meal. There are a number of great restaurants and bars that are wheelchair friendly. Have a bite to eat and grab a drink before your continue your visit.
Manly Beach Ferry
If you want to find a relaxing way to sightsee and be able to take pictures of some of the wonderful views of the city, then a ride on the ferry to Manly Beach is fantastic. While on board you can spy the iconic Opera House and snap a few photos to make everyone back home a little jealous. The spectacular Sydney Harbour Bridge also makes for an amazing photo op while on board.
Upon arrival at Manly Beach you can rent a beach wheelchair if you like, although it's not completely necessary. There is a wonderful pedestrian boardwalk that meanders along the coast going to Shelly Beach. Here you will see a bit of the local nautical wildlife such as water dragons and the like. Cafés dot the boardwalk along the way making it easy for you to stop for a cold drink or some ice cream.
After a leisurely walk along the coast you will find several wonderful full-service restaurants to satisfy your appetite. Hop back on board the Ferry for your return. All restrooms are wheelchair accessible on board the ferry. The same goes for the pedestrian walkway on the beach. The ferry and beach are a great way to spend a lazy afternoon.
The Royal Botanical Gardens
A short jaunt from Wildlife Sydney, the Botanical Gardens is a vibrant and beautiful way to spend a few hours. There are multiple wheelchair accessible restrooms dotted about the gardens for your convenience. The Gardens have many places to stop and just enjoy the view and take pictures of all the magnificent vistas. Surrounded by the harbor, there are many glorious sights and sounds to take in. You can enjoy learning about the beautiful plant life that is abundant and native to Australia. There are many trails that wind through the gardens making it easy to navigate. You will also be able to take breathtaking pictures of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House in case you missed them on the ferry.
For more on sharing the world from a wheelchair user's perspective, visit www.CurbFreeWithCoryLee.com.
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