Just one hour from Melbourne, the Warburton Valley is life at nature’s pace. Always green, Warburton is where the Yarra River runs clear. 🌳
Warburton is a popular tourist destination with a number of attractions and activity choices for all. This attractive town is nestled on the banks of the Yarra River and positioned between the valley and heavily forested mountains.
Whilst some of this is unfortunately inaccessible to people in wheelchairs, I have gone through and sought out the most perfect activities that ARE wheelchair accessible. Delivering a day itinerary for people in wheelchairs that is both fun, relaxing and full of yummy food! 🏞️
Pretty, tranquil, and with more than a hint of ‘ye olde worlde charm’, Warburton’s fresh air and natural beauty is sure to take your breathe away! 😍
First Stop: Visitor Information Centre
First, you are to visit the Waterwheel Visitor Information Centre to pick up maps and brochures about Warburton and its accessible attractions. Don’t forget to ask them about the Warburton River Walk or the route from Warburton to Yarra Junction! They will be able to show you exactly where you can start and stop each walk, just tell them how long you want to walk for and what your unique accessibility requirements are.
They have a ramp and a wheelchair accessible bathroom.
You can find plenty of parking up near the police station, and then it’s about a 1-3 minute walk away to the information centre.
Second Stop: Breakfast
Your first stop will be at Three Sugars Cafe, nestled in the Charming town of Warburton.
The cafe boasts a lovely atmosphere with indoor and outdoor seating options, including a spacious deck overlooking the Yarra River.
The interior design is raw and pretty, with a fireplace adding to the warm and comforting ambiance.
The menu offers a variety of dishes, including the popular Big Breakfast, Mushroom Bruschetta, Hash Brown Stack, and Three Little Piggies Melt. For those with dietary restrictions, the cafe is accommodating and kind when it comes to alterations to the menu.
Click here for more about the cafe.
They support people in wheelchairs accessing the cafe by putting out a ramp at the front to get inside.
They have a disabled toilet and are more than willing to move chairs and tables around to help bigger wheelchairs get through.
Contact them on 03-5966 9521 to find out more about their accessibility.
Third Stop: Yarra River Walk
Next, cross over to the other side of the main road. Walk down to the Yarra river behind the shops and follow the walking tracks that have been created along both banks of the Yarra River.
The Warburton River Walk is the most popular walk for those who are less familiar with the area. Click here to find out more information. It crosses over 5 or 6 bridges, but you can stop and return back to the main town whenever you want, so it can be short or long as you like.
Alternatively, a longer great wheelchair-accessible route is from Yarra Junction, journeying 8.5km to Warburton (average 2 hours walking time). This predominantly sealed section skirts the river and road through ferns and thick forest.
If you would prefer to take a harder, less accessible trail, the TrailRider can be booked at the Warburton Waterwheel by calling 03 5966 9600 or by emailing the Waterwheel. Click here for more details.
Fourth Stop: Lunch
Next, head to River View Café for a delightful lunch.
They are situated in the township of Warburton in the Upper Yarra Valley and enjoy a unique position on the edge of the Yarra river. Their facilities include a rear balcony and deck where you will see the foothills of Mt Donna Buang and listen to the river meandering through the valley.
Their menu is changed seasonally and where possible local produce is sourced to bring you the very best the Yarra Valley can provide. The food is wholesome and fresh and servings are generous.
Alternatively, you can get take away from this cafe and eat on the river bank.
Click here for more information about the cafe.
They are on level ground and have no steps at the front entrance to get in. You cannot get in the back with a wheelchair.
They do not have an accessible bathroom.
Whilst parking out the front is usually full, you can park around the back, just make sure to walk around the front to get in.
Call them on 03-5966 5888 to confirm your unique accessibility requirements.
Fourth Stop: Duna Boang
Take yourself for a scenic mountain drive up to the picturesque Donna Boang. As you drive towards the summit, watch out for Superb Lyrebirds which can often be seen foraging on the roadside, particularly in the cooler months.
Take time to admire views of Warburton and the Yarra Valley from the vantage points located along the way.
For more information on Mount Duna Boang click here.
Fifth Stop: Upper Yarra Reservoir Park
Next go to the Upper Yarra Reservoir Park to enjoy the sunset. Popular with day-trippers and campers, Upper Yarra Reservoir Park offers natural wonders, historical sites and built facilities to enjoy getting into nature.
Click here to find out more information.
Drive up to the Upper Yarra Dam wall Lookout, which is fully wheelchair accessible, and which offers spectacular views of the reservoir and surrounding woodlands.
Call Parks Victoria on 13 19 63 to find out about your unique accessibility requirements.
If you would prefer not to drive the distance why not check out The Redwood Forest in Warburton?!
This is a small forest of towering redwood trees, with several well-marked trails, picnic spots & a creek.
Whilst, the accessibility of the grounds is questionable, it does seem possible to navigate this area on a wheelchair… as long as you have a strong support worker to push you around.
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:
- Have a look at Parks Victoria All Abilities Access
- 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 and lunch cafe. Whilst doing this confirm all of your unique accessibility requirements, e.g. steps, accessible bathroom, corridor space etc.
- Check opening hours of parks you are visiting
- Look up and view the day trip route on your maps and print the map off or download it onto your phone
- 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, sunhat, sunglasses, 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 and first aid kit
- 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
- MLAK Disabled Key
- International Day of Disabled Persons
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- What does it mean to be Wheelchair Accessible?
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