As a person born in Sydney, but whom spent most of her life in Melbourne, I can attest to the magic Melbourne’s city has to offer! Known as Australia’s Mecca for all things tasty and trendy, this city has some of the most unique and trendy neighbourhoods, one of the most multicultural and delicious foodie scenes, and is a place full of mystery to explore with an abundance of hidden laneways with cobblestone paths casing old enchanting churches, hip vintage stores and an immersion of graffiti walls. 🎨🍕⛪️
One of my favourite areas of Melbourne is Fitzroy. This neighbourhood is known for it’s bohemian vibe, with it’s eclectic bars and restaurants, it’s narrow backstreets covered in graffiti and where small galleries sit alongside corner pubs and terrace houses. This place has to be seen to be understood! 👀
I would hate to think people in wheelchairs have to miss out on this hip and eclectic neighbourhood just because a building didn’t have a lift or instead of a ramp there were stairs!! 😤
So below I’ve curated the perfect day trip for wheelchair users in Fitzroy, so you too can immerse yourself in the hip culture and buzzing energy of this neighbourhood.
Get ready and be prepared to enjoy a day of adventure, shopping, art, and lots of yummy food! 😍
A Day Trip for Wheelchair Users In Melbourne
First Stop: Breakfast
Your first stop for the day will be Industry Beans for a delicious breakfast!!
Industry beans offers a trendy roastery in a former warehouse, plating innovative brunch options and pouring house blends.
For more information on the cafe click here.
They are wheelchair accessible, have flat grounds except for a few divots in the pavement, they have an accessible bathroom and on-street parking.
Call them on 03-9417 1034 to find out if they meet your unique accessibility requirements.
Second Stop: Rose Street Artists' Market:
Next, head to the Rose Street Artists’ Market. This artist market is both indoor and outdoor, and features arty, handmade goods, plus a diner & rooftop bar.
Shop directly from Melbourne’s best artists, designers, crafters, and makers!
They are wheelchair accessible and have a wheelchair accessible bathroom on the premsis.
There is on-street parking and there are some disabled parking spots nearby, but not directly outside the market.
This market, however, is only open on the weekends. If you want to visit Fitzroy during the week you can visit the SOL Gallery.
Its primary mission is to not only support local emerging and established contemporary artists but also to bring the vibrancy of emerging Asian artists to the Australian art scene.
They are wheelchair accessible however they do not have a wheelchair accessible bathroom.
A Day Trip for Wheelchair Users In Melbourne
Third Stop: Fitzroy Gardens
Next, we are heading to Fitzroy Gardens. A world of green, with such marvellous features as tiny doorways of the historic Captain Cook’s Cottage, the carved Fairies Tree, the model Tudor Village, the conservatory, myriad fountains and statues, and shady avenues of grand trees.
This garden is a magical wonderland!
This public park has accessible entrances from all surrounding streets. The pathways are smooth, however there are some gentle slopes. A pond is located in the middle of the park with bench seating – but please note there are some gravel and stone paths leading to it. There are accessible toilets within the park. And there are accessible parking spots close to the entrances.
Fourth Stop: Lunch
Next, we are heading too the Napier Hotel for lunch.
This hotel is one of those rare pubs that possess a warm, inviting exterior glow most common to its legendary British counterparts. They have an open, fire-lit pool lounge, cosy rear dining rooms and a cool bricked courtyard for the warmer months.
Whilst their hotel is not accessible as they would like they have a side door they can specially open for people in wheelchairs to gain entry. They do not have a wheelchair accessible bathroom so you will need to go to the bathroom before you get there and they offer on-street parking.
To find out if they can meet your unique accessibility requirements call them on 03 – 9419 4240.
Fifth Stop: Collingwood and Fitzroy Street Art Tour
Collingwood and Fitzroy are renowned for their street art so why not join a guided street art tour that offers accessible routes?! You’ll discover amazing murals and graffiti while learning about the local art scene.
- Explore the diverse suburb of Collingwood and learn how it has evolved into the hipster area of Melbourne
- Visit a social enterprise café that employs and supports, disadvantaged youth
- Enjoy a great coffee baked an in-house
- Discover some of the best street art in Melbourne
Call them on 02 4708 9546 to discuss your unique accessibility requirements.
Whilst, this tour is wheelchair accessible feel free to find another wheelchair accessible tour that suits your preferences.
A Day Trip for Wheelchair Users In Melbourne
Sixth Stop: Shopping on Brunswick Street
Next it is shopping on Brunswick Street. This Street is famous for it’s cafés, live music venues, bookstores and alternative and vintage fashion shops.
The fact that you can stand at the point where Brunswick Street curves towards Fitzroy North and behold both the historic bluestone steeples of the Hungarian Church of Australia (reformed) and St Patrick’s Cathedral on the city edge, speaks to a street with a fascinating history and a strong multicultural base.
In fact, if you could distil the essence of Melbourne into one thoroughfare, it might well be Brunswick Street…. so let’s go shopping on it!
Whilst, some of the shops on Brunswick Street are not fully wheelchair accessible (due to the age of these buldings!) below are some accessible stores;
- Hunter Gather – call them and they will put out a ramp for you
- Assembly Label – entry way has a small ledge, not a ramp, but they can help you get in if you have a manual wheelchair
- OTC Vintage – yes
- Olga De Polga – they are moving to a wheelchair accessible venue
- Skin and Threads – flat on the ground, and can definitely fit a standard wheelchair through the door
- Hemley Store – downstairs is accessible, go through the double door
Seventh Stop: Dinner and Live Music
Stop off for dinner and live music at The Workers Club.
With live music 6 nights. a week, plus good vibes and excellent food.. what more could you want?!
Excluding Mondays, the venue is wheelchair accessible with a ramp access from Gertrude Street and a front area with lower tables.
They have an accessible uni sex bathroom with ramp access and disabled parking 50m down from the venue.
Call them on 03-9415 6558 to discuss your unique accessibility requirements.
What to Prepare?
Make sure to prepare for your trip! Below is a rough guide for you to follow, however there will be things that you need to prepare specifically for your needs. Try to write these down and organise them in advance to have everything perfect for your trip, and to avoid unnecessary stressors.
Look at guide below ↓ ↓ ↓
2 Week's Prior to Day-Trip:
- A support worker to push you around on your chair and to drive you to the different locations
- A wheelchair accessible vehicle (if you do not have a vehicle you can drive and need a wheelchair accessible vehicle, have a look at our vehicles here, we would love to support you on your day out!)
- Disability Parking Permit
- Make sure your chair is in good working condition and that you have essential back ups for your mobility device e.g. batteries, power bank, crutches, waterproof covering for your wheelchair, visibiliity LED lights just in case it becomes dark etc.
- Book reservations at your breakfast, lunch and dinner venues. Whilst doing this confirm parking and all of your unique accessibility requirements, e.g. steps, accessible bathroom, corridor space etc.
- Call each activity and confirm parking and your unique accessibility requirements, their location, opening hours and prices
- Check weather and consider any potential impact on outdoor activities. (do this a few times leading up to trip and organise a plan b if its predicted to be bad weather!)
2 Day's Prior to Day-Trip:
- Print of a map or have ready a map on your phone for use, and directions to the different locations (check out Melbourne’s accessibility map here designed for people with mobility issues)
- Check weather and organise essentials for changing weather conditions; e.g. an umbrella, extra layers, a waterproof jacket etc.
- Water bottle
- Confirm bookings and details with support worker, accessible vehicle hire company, restaurants and venues
- Collate back ups for your mobility device
- Personal Comfort and Supplies, e.g. snacks
- Personal Medications
- Emergency contacts
- Your ID, Insurance information and any other medical documentation you need
- A camera or smart phone for photos and binoculars
- A reusable bag for any items you purchase along the way
- Ensure your phone is fully charged
- Download relevant apps for navigation, accessibility information and communication
- Download copies of reservations
- Make sure your wheelchair is fully charged
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