Australian international and domestic airports are equipped with accessibility measures to support all travellers, with on-the-ground friendly airport staff who can assist you when required. Domestic airlines – and the majority of international flights – have an extensive list of accessible support services. Before booking your flights, read through this advice for flying with a disability in and around Australia. Flying with a service animal? Service animals can enter Australia, but are subject to quarantine rules.
Daintree Rainforest, Queensland © Tourism and Events Queensland
Accessible travel around Australia
Australia is committed to accessible tourism, providing equal opportunities for every traveller to play, explore and discover the wonders of the country.
The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard supports individuals with disabilities that aren’t visible. The Sunflower is recognised across thousands of global venues including Australian airports: Adelaide, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. Wearing the Sunflower lanyard discreetly lets staff and health professionals know that you may need additional help. You can collect a lanyard from any of these airports (before going through security).
Australia’s public transport system is widely used across the country – particularly in major cities. The majority of transport (including buses, trams and ferries) provides wheelchair access. For more information, you can find specific information about the state you are visiting on their website (see below).
Most Australian capital cities offer a mobility map which can be downloaded from their state’s official website. These maps display useful information including disabled parking zones and toilets, steep gradients and rest areas.
Road trips around Australia are always a good idea, and travelling with a disability won’t stop you from enjoying the open road. Most major car hire companies offer mobility-friendly vehicles, including Hertz, Europcar, Wheelaway, Wheelie Campers, Brazier Mobility and for larger groups, AAB Rentals and Hire Mobility.
Overseas disability parking permits regulations differ from state to state. See each state’s official website for more information.
Accommodation across Australia varies from boutique hotels to eco-friendly retreats, most of which have accessible services to accommodate all traveller’s needs. From the Great Ocean Road’s luxurious Alkina Lodge to Sydney’s sparkling Hyatt Regency and the Great Barrier Reef’s Intercontinental Hayman Island Resort, there are plenty of incredible accessible-friendly places to stay. Start planning your trip with the Accessible Accommodation tool.
Adventure is accessible to all in Australia. You’ll find wheelchair-accessible tracks across national parks all over the country, enabling everyone to experience some of the country’s most iconic walks and natural wonders. Check out All Trails’ collection of best wheelchair-friendly trails in Australia.
Most of Australia’s major museums and art galleries offer a wide range of inclusive experiences, catering for all accessibility needs. These can include quiet morning sessions for those who require a reduced-sensory and supportive space, tactile tours, audio description tours and customised programs for visitors with disabilities.
Enjoying the ocean is part of the Australian way of life, and across the country we’re passionate about making this an experience that’s inclusive for all. Dotted along the coastline are a number of accessible beaches with beach matting, lead-up pathways, hoists, beach wheelchairs, accessible parking and shower and changing room facilities. Use the Accessible Beaches Directory to find your nearest accessible beach in Australia.
Accessible tours and experiences can be found across Australia. You can find a range of accessible experience with this directory, or download the free Vacayit app to get in-depth audio guides designed to give blind and low-vision travellers rich sensory descriptions to help them best experience a destination.
For further support, visit your nearest Accredited Visitor Information Centre for local advice.
If you’re looking for additional information, have specific questions or would like to read reviews from fellow travellers, Travel For All (a free-to-use guide) provides members with extensive information, giving you the chance to make informed decisions prior to booking. For those seeking extra assistance during travel experiences or tours, care services like Out There Travel Care in the Cairns region offer special assistance tour companions who can aid individuals or families on the road.