Accessible Beaches - Australia
With over four million people in Australia living with a disability, there is a need for attractions and recreational activities to be accessible.
In Australia’s dry and hot summer, there’s nothing better than enjoying the fresh ocean breeze and cold water on your skin.
As everyone’s needs and aspirations are different when it comes to beach accessibility, below are some of the great features of Australia’s accessible beaches to look out for when planning your next beach day out.
Accessible bathrooms are essential on a day out. Features of an accessible bathroom include;
- single handed/sensor taps for hygiene
- wall rails to ensure safety is kept
- large space for mobility
- sufficient amount of light
Accessible parking spots allow for safe and easy access to the beach.
Beach access matting
Victoria is currently leading the way with its western suburb Altona and Williamstown beaches, being the two only beaches in Australia that offer a beach matting for users 24/7.
The newly designed accessible beach matting is portable and made from recycled plastic. It allows mobility aid users the ability to join their friends and family on the sand, and experience the crisp wind and subtle splashes from the sea.
Users that are able to make the most of access matting include:
- mobility aids
Beach accessible wheelchairs
An exciting and innovative product that has started rolling out to accessible beaches is the beach accessible wheelchair. Yes, you read right, a beach wheelchair! There are a variety of beach wheelchairs with different features and benefits that include:
- A floatation beach wheelchair that allows access into the water (waist height)
- A beach wheelchair that enables users to enter shallow waters to dip their toes in
- beach wheelchairs suitable for children and people who require smaller chair options
All wheelchairs have larger wheels that enable mobility through and on the sand. Note: Each wheelchair user will require someone to push them and the floatation wheelchairs require a minimum of two support people. Beach Wheelchairs needto be booked. Please contact your local council to book beach wheelchairs prior to your arrival.
Quick tip – When considering accessibility, it is easy to forget your beach basics. Sunscreen and suitable swimwear are crucial to anyone looking to enjoy a day out to Australia’s beaches. The SunSense sunscreen range offers many fantastic options for a variety of different skin types.
Hoist for wheelchair transfer
Some accessible beaches including St Kilda and Altona (VIC), are starting to provide a hoist to assist with transfer into the beach wheelchair for extra support.
Note, please ensure you bring your own sling.
Accessible public transport
Accessible public transport allows for easy transportation to beaches. To check your states public transport services, please click here
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This article is sponsored by Independence Australia, a social enterprise that provides choices for people living with a disability or other personal need, enabling them to regain and retain their independence within a supportive community.