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10 Ideas for Wheelchair Accessible Activities This Summer

This week we shared a story to our Facebook page about two Melbourne beaches that are now water wheelchair friendly allowing more people with disability to enjoy the sea, and it got us thinking... what else is there to do in the summer that’s accessible and fun for everyone?

 

Now that summer is well and truly upon us, and the silly season has almost passed, why not venture out and enjoy the sunshine? Here we have compiled our 10 top ideas for wheelchair accessible activities this summer.

 

1. Accessible beaches

There is nothing like the fresh salty sea air to fill your lungs, and touch your skin. In Australia, we are spoilt for choice, however if you’re in a wheelchair, accessible beaches can be tricky to find. Here are some of the top wheelchair accessible beaches in Adelaide as suggested by our Facebook community:

Brighton in front of the surf life saving building is a ramp onto the beach. Also Seacliff and the end there is a boat ramp suitable.” – Mike Pickering

Port Hughescaravan park has a beach wheelchair for hire. It's awesome.” – Deb Johnstone

Christies Beach (at the surf club) and Pt Noarlunga (north of the jetty) have cement boat ramps to the waters edge. ” – Jenny Messenger

“I know Port Elliot Life Saving club are fundraising this Christmas for a ramp to the water for wheelchair access.” – Georgie Steel

“Wallaroo and Moonta Bay have accessible wheelchair hire for their beaches.” – Karin Tunbridge

Seacliff have an accessible beach mat which is apparently rolled out on weekends and public holidays from 1pm to 5pm.” – Julia Moretti



2. The Zoo

Zoos are enjoyable for people of all ages, you can spend a day watching a monkeys swing from vine to vine, or maybe hear a lion roar!

Zoos are designed with accessibility for wheelchairs and prams in mind. Adelaide Zoo, in particular offers a next level experience for those in wheelchairs with low interactive touch screens, also ramps and hand rails throughout. They have even recently opened the ‘nature’s playground’ a socially inclusive space for people of all ages. The playground specially caters for wheelchair accessibility and has play opportunities for children with physical, sensory, cognitive and intellectual disabilities. The area also has brand new disabled friendly toilets.

For more information about ticketing prices and parking click here.


3. Moonlight Cinema

Watching a movie on a warm summer’s night under the stars can be an unforgettable experience. Moonlight Cinema is a pop-up outdoor cinema held at Botanic Park, so BYO chair, picnic rug and snacks! Rather than the lights going down, you wait for the sun to set. Sit back, relax and enjoy a under a movie under the beautiful night sky. Moonlight Cinema’s run all across the country and show a variety of new releases and classic movies.

The open-air cinemas are run in nearly every capital city all throughout summer. To find out more about local accessibility and also session times, head over to their website.


4. A Maze

Looking for something completely different? Why not try a maze! There are a handful of mazes across the country to get lost in. The Mintaro Maze is located about two hours out of Adelaide and offers hours of entertainment with their large ‘living’ maze. The maze itself is made up from manicured hedges and offers wide space and solid ground, so a wheelchair can be easily navigated around. You can even bring a packed lunch and have a picnic on their gorgeous grounds.

To find out a little more, try their website.


5. New cafe or restaurant

A lot of us tend to stick to our own neck of the woods, but exploring a new area of your own city can be a great way to break the monotony and learn more about your own city. An easy way to do this is to try a restaurant or cafe in an area you may not have been to before. The Australian Good Food & Travel Guide has a long list of restaurants offering disabled access for every city in Australia. Click “Disabled Access” in the facilities option to filter results. Who knows, you may just find a hidden gem!


6. ‘Stay-cation’

They say that change is as good as a holiday, so why not try a holiday in your own city this summer?

A ‘stay-cation’ is quickly becoming a great option for people wanting a break without the hassle of travel. In Adelaide, why not take a break by the beach at the Stamford Grand. The ‘Grand’, as it’s known to locals, has rooms with plenty of space for wheelchairs and en-suites designed for ease of use. At Glenelg you can enjoy the promenade, take a stroll up the jetty or just sit and relax in the sun.

Or, maybe shopping is more your idea of relaxation? Ibis Adelaide has 12 rooms specifically designed with accessibility in mind. Located just a street back from Rundle Mall and located in the heart of the city you can shop until your heart’s content!


7. Local weekend markets

Speaking of shopping, local markets can be a really great way to soak up a community atmosphere. With stalls selling an array of local goods, a great variety of food options and local music acts, markets can be a fun day out for the whole family.

Often pop up markets are located at primary schools, in car parks and on closed off roads; providing flat and easy access for wheels. A couple of the most popular re-occurring markets are The Gilles St and Flinders St markets. Links to their Facebook and event pages are here and here.


8. Museums and Art Galleries

Australia is home to some amazing museums and art galleries. Most museums in Australia are inclusive spaces and have been designed to support access for everyone. Here in Adelaide we are spoilt with the amazing Art Gallery and Museum of South Australia. Set among the gorgeous old buildings on North Terrace in the Adelaide CBD, both buildings have the facilities to accommodate wheelchair accessibility.

The Art Gallery of South Australia is hosting a major exhibition this March called Colours of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay which will feature works from Renoir, Manet, Morisot, Pissarro and Cézanne. The exhibition is running from the March 29 to July 29 and is definitely not one to miss.

You can find a link to the Museum of South Australia’s website here, and The Art Gallery of South Australia here.


9. Ice skating

Summer sun isn’t for everyone, if escaping the heat is more your style, try ice skating!

Across Australia most ice-rinks host special sessions for ice-play and skating. These sessions allow for wheel chair access as well as other disability access. In Adelaide, The Ice Arena at Thebarton hosts free sessions every Tuesday for people disabilities and special needs to enjoy the ice rink. Organised by Ice Factor SA, volunteers are there to support with snow play, run skating lessons and even allow wheelchairs onto the ice. For more information about session times and booking, head over to their website.


10. Escape to the Murray River on a Houseboat

Lastly, why not take advantage of one of SA’s gorgeous natural treasures and enjoy a luxurious float on the Murray River.

SACARE offers a 5 bedroom wheelchair friendly houseboat that’s available for anyone to hire from Mannum Waters. Enjoy peace and tranquilly as you take in the Murray’s breathtaking scenery. SACARE will even help find support workers for you if you need them, as well as a wheelchair accessible bus to and from your home, and food delivery.

Bookings are filling up rather quickly for January and February, so get in quick if you want to escape Adelaide’s Mad March. Head to this page for more information and call 1300 145 636 for bookings.


We wish you a wonderful, safe, relaxing and FUN summer and hope these tips come in handy!

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