Are you in a wheelchair and looking for an accessible day trip in Canberra? ♿️ ♿️
Canberra is not only the capital of Australia, but it has lots to offer all types of people. As art lovers and history buffs know, there is a vibrant local arts scene and major heritage sites. There is also something for nature lovers, with popular lookouts, challenging hikes, and mountain bike trails in the inner suburbs.
Having said this as a company that believes in accessibility for all, we believe people in wheelchairs should have the same opportunity to explore this beautiful and historical city! 🏢 🍔 🎨 🌸
Which you can… 😍 😍
Mapped out below is the perfect wheelchair accessible day trip for anyone, who is a wheelchair user, visiting Canberra.
From museums and galleries, to yummy food and stunning natural lookouts, you are sure to have a fun day out that will make you want to come back for more! 😍
First Stop: National Museum of Australia
First stop is The National Museum of Australia. This Museum brings to life the rich and diverse stories of Australia through compelling objects, ideas and events. Their collection is linked to key moments, people and places in Australian history and culture. Entry is free though costs apply for some events and special exhibitions.
For more information about tickets, opening hours and special events go here.
Accessible parking spaces for visitors with mobility impairment and the required permit are available free of charge, about 40 metres from our main entrance. The route is not protected from the weather.
The Museum has a Changing Places accessible public toilet with adult change table and hoist, on the Lower Ground floor.
There are lifts throughout the building and you can hire a wheelchair on the premises if you need too. Just make sure to book 24hrs in advance!
Companion cards and most major concession cards are accepted for special events.
For more information on accessibility click here and to discuss your unique accessibility requirements call them on 1800 026 132.
Second Stop: Lake Burley Griffin
Next, head to Lake Burley Griffin. Lake Burley Griffin is an artificial lake in the centre of Canberra. It is the ideal water playground and attracts people from all over the city to enjoy water sports activities, such as rowing, sailing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding or fishing.
You will stop here before lunch to enjoy a relaxing stroll along the lake’s accessible paths, taking in the scenic views and fresh air.
Just keep in mind the lake is very big, taking over 4 hours to get all the way around. The west lake area has more parking and picnic areas, while the southern part of East lake has lots of restaurants. We suggest parking at the Canberra and Region Visitors Centre at Regatta Point. This Centre has ample accessible parking and an accessible bathroom. Plus, it’s location at Regatta Point precinct, boasts one of Canberra’s best views. Look out over Lake Burley Griffin towards a range of iconic national attractions including Parliament House, the National Gallery of Australia, the National Library of Australia and Questacon.
For more information go here.
If you have the time and if you have young ones looking for adventure and fun, explore the Boundless Playground. It’s just a 5 minute drive from Regatta Point and is Canberra’s first all accessible playground. Located at King’s Park, it also has easy car parking and great toilet facilities. No bookings required and it’s free.
For more information go here.
Third Stop: Lunch
Next we will head to NewActon Precinct for lunch.
It’s a precinct that blends cultural experiences perfectly with nature, where modern offices are draped in living greenery set alongside heritage buildings and the vast Australian National University campus. NewActon is the edgier hipster slice of this ‘hood and features hotels, bars, cafes and restaurants. You’ll find two of Australia’s social history museums here, too.
You will stop off at Mocan & Green Grout for lunch. Whilst it is a tight squeeze to get in, they are wheelchair accessible. Plus there is an accessible bathroom 3 minutes away at the Peppers Gallery.
For their menu, prices and location, go here.
To find out if they meet your unique accessibility requirements call them on 02 6162 2909.
Fourth Stop: Australian War Memorial
The Australian War Memorial is Australia’s national memorial to the members of its armed forces and supporting organisations who have died or participated in wars involving the Commonwealth of Australia and some conflicts involving personnel from the Australian colonies prior to Federation.
Entry is free, but you still need to book tickets!
For more information about the Memorial, what’s on, and opening hours click here.
Accessible parking spaces are located underneath Poppy’s Café in the P1 Visitor Carpark. Please note there is a small incline on the walk from the accessible parking spaces to the Memorial Entrance.
Lift access is available between the Memorial’s Galleries, located over two levels.
Accessible toilets are located at the Memorial Entrance.
For more information on accessibility click here.
Fifth Stop: National Gallery of Australia
The National Gallery of Australia is the national art museum of Australia as well as one of the largest art museums in Australia.
It is Australia’s national visual arts institution dedicated to collecting, sharing and celebrating art from Australia and the world.
Home to the most valuable collection of art in Australia, the national collection comprises over 155,000 works of art, including the world’s largest collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art.
Entry requires a free ticket, which can be booked online or in person.
For more information on tickets and opening hours go here.
The Gallery’s underground carpark has eight spaces reserved for visitors with disability. They are located close to lift access, which will take you to the main entrance of the Gallery.
Free parking is available for both carparks when the boom gate ticket is presented at the concierge desk in the main foyer for validation at the end of your visit. You may be asked to present a disability parking permit to verify your use of this space.
Accessible toilets are located on Ground level near the cloakroom, and on Level 1 near the James Fairfax Theatre.
For more information on accessibility go here.
Fifth Stop: Mount Ainslie Lookout
Just as the sun is about to set head to Mount Ainslie Lookout for an accessible paved observation deck with panoramic vistas & information plaques detailing distant landmarks.
For more information click here.
Sixth Stop: Dinner
Lastly, we are going to finish the day with a yummy dinner and scenic lakefront views at the Kingston Foreshore.
You will go to Beef and Barley, home of Canberra’s burger high tea 🍔🍔.
To see their menu, opening hours and location go here.
There is step free entry to the venue with easy access to the bar.
There is a disabled toilet onsite & closest accessible parking can be found at Canberra Glassworks.
For more information on their accessibility call them on 02-6199 3366.
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
- Essential back ups for your mobility device e.g. batteries, crutches, waterproof covering for your wheelchair, visibiliity LED lights just in case it becomes dark etc.
- Book reservations or purchase tickets for all restaurants and activities. Whilst doing this confirm all of your unique accessibility requirements, e.g. steps, accessible bathroom, corridor space etc.
- Look up and view the day trip route on your maps and print the map off or download it onto your phone
- Print off or download maps of all the venues you are attending (e.g. the museums and galleries)
- 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!)
- Verify parking options at each location
2 Day's Prior to Day-Trip:
- Check weather and organise essentials for changing weather conditions; e.g. an umbrella, extra layers, sunscreen, a waterproof jacket etc.
- Water bottle
- Confirm bookings and details with support worker, accessible vehicle hire company, restaurants and activities
- Collate back ups for your mobility device
- Personal Comfort and Supplies e.g. snacks
- Emergency contacts
- A camera or smart phone for photos
- Download relevant apps for navigation, accessibility information and communication
- Download copies of tickets and reservations
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