New South Wales has some of the best beaches and parks in the world, and going to the beach is very much a part of the Australian culture and identity. While our beaches are visited by millions of people each year, yet it can be a challenging visit for those who are using a wheelchair or are less mobile and require a disability support worker. With the summer holiday break just around the corner, in this article we delve into some of the top beaches and parks around the state for accessibility and inclusiveness.
Malabar Beach in East Sydney
If you are in east Sydney and would prefer to keep away from the crowds and tourists, then Malabar Beach just south of Maroubra is the place for you. The first beach in Sydney to offer permanent wheelchair access, Malabar Beach is a calm and protected swimming spot with beach matting provided all year round. The Malabar Ocean Pool is also completely wheelchair-accessible for anyone keen to dip their toes in the water!
The iconic tourist hot spot Bondi Beach does usually offer beach wheelchairs and accessible beach matting. However, the local council is currently building a new access ramp and therefore accessibility is limited until this is complete.
Raging Waters Sydney in Western Sydney
Formerly known as Wet’n’Wild Sydney, another option to keep cool other than the beach is Raging Waters Sydney - the biggest family water park in Australia. Located off the M4 via the Reservoir Road Exit (about 40 minute drive from the centre of Sydney), Raging Waters has accessible parking near the main entrance ramp for guests with a valid disabled parking permit, as well as accessible toilets located throughout the park. Water wheelchairs are available to loan from Guest Services and The Nickelodeon Beach Splash Pad, Dinosaur Lagoon and The Beach are all wheelchair-accessible. Companion Cards are accepted, and people with a disability are offered a discounted admission rate.
Avoca Beach in Central Coast NSW
While beach wheelchairs are available at a number of beaches on the Central Coast, such as Lakes Beach, Terrigal and Umina to name a few – Avoca Beach offers three different surf wheelchair types to choose from, such as the Sand Cruiser and Hippocampe. It also has disabled parking, large disabled toilet facilities as well as beach matting across a fairly horizontal trip to the water. Avoca Beach café and kiosk is open next to the lifeguard tower, and there is an accessible picnic area nearby if you are looking for somewhere shady.
South Cronulla Beach in South Sydney
Being a relatively easy and short distance from Cronulla train station, in addition to having disabled street parking nearby, South Cronulla beach is another option to explore. While it is recommended that you book in advance, the located does have beach wheelchair availability, beach matting and a shady park with cafes nearby.
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