Best bushwalks: 23 wheelchair-accessible and pram-friendly walks in Australia
Wheels are no barrier to traversing Australia’s great outdoors. Here are some beautiful wheelchair-accessible and pram-friendly walks across Australia, listed by state.
Aussies love the great outdoors, and as our population ages, the proportion of us with a disability is increasing, meaning we’re seeing greater demand for outdoor facilities that accommodate different levels of ability. In recent times a good batch of bushwalks have been adapted to allow for wheelchairs, prams and mobility scooters with activities such as beach swimming and fishing now more readily accessible on wheels.
Here are our top wheelchair-accessible and pram-friendly walks in your state:
Walks on wheels in New South Wales:
- For spectacular views, you can’t go past the Three Sisters walk in the Blue Mountains. This 0.8km trail starts from the Echo Point Visitor Information Centre, giving soaring views of the Three Sisters rock formations, ending on a boardwalk at Oreades Lookout. Parts of the walk are steep, so we recommend having some assistance to hand.
- South of Campbelltown at O’Hares Creek, a longer accessible walk (2.8km) on a bitumen track cuts through the rugged Dharawal National Park.
- For a slightly more adventurous option, visit the Lane Cove Weir to Boatshed track, a 1.3km dirt trail. Depending on your chair or pram’s capabilities you may wish to avoid the rough section.
Walks on wheels in Victoria:
- On Melbourne’s outskirts, the accessible Margaret Lester Forest Walk, starting at the Grant’s Picnic Ground visitor centre, is a 30-minute loop walk through ancient Dandenong forest teeming with birdlife.
- Further away from Melbourne (three hours northwest), the famed Grampians National Park has TrailRider (all-terrain) wheelchairs to traverse some of its walks – with volunteer ‘sherpas’ available to assist with lifting and pushing (advance bookings required).
- Kayaking and canoeing fans will love the accessible canoe launcher and ramp at Psyche Bend in Mildura.
- And just out of Geelong at Ocean Grove Beach, the Disabled Surfers Association of Australia teaches people with mobility issues to surf, utilising the beach wheelchairs and permanent ramp to the sand.
Walks on wheels in Queensland:
- One of Brisbane’s best-kept secrets is the Toohey Forest, which includes the 5km Toohey Ridge Track – a paved and boardwalk path through majestic eucalyptus trees.
- A quicker jaunt is on offer at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, where an accessible tree-top walk with suspension bridges affords breathtaking views.
- To cool down with a swim, beach wheelchairs are available to hire for free at some of the Surf Life Saving Clubs on the Gold Coast.
Walks on wheels in South Australia:
- Nestled in the Adelaide Hills, Woorabinda Bushland Reserve is loved by koalas and locals alike – soak up the serenity on the wheelchair-accessible Loop Track, comprising boardwalks and dirt tracks.
- Cool off in Whyalla, where beach-accessible wheelchairs and sand matting allow you to dip your feet in the ocean.
- At Granite Island, 80 minutes south of Adelaide, the 1.5km loop walk can be strenuous in parts, but the Instagram-able granite boulders and Victor Harbour views are a fabulous reward. It’s best to go anti-clockwise (turn right after the causeway); the path at the end is steep, so you may prefer to go back the way you came.
Walks on wheels in the Northern Territory:
- For a memorable Uluru experience, the wheelchair-accessible Lungkata walk, which is less crowded than other Uluru tracks, gets you so close you can touch the rock – particularly magical at dusk when you can feel the rock’s warmth. A 4km return track from the Kuniya to Mala carparks, it’s only wheelchair accessible in dry weather.
- Between Uluru and Alice Springs is the Watarrka National Park, where the sealed 2.4km Kathleen Springs track will take you to a spring-fed waterhole. Bring your own water and be sure to venture out in the early morning, to avoid the heat, if visiting between September and March.
Walks on wheels in the Australian Capital Territory:
- The beauty of Canberra is that nature-immersion opportunities are so plentiful, and the many accessible paths around Lake Burley Griffin, including the 2km RG Menzies Walk, are an easy everyday option.
- About 45 minutes out of town, the Sanctuary Loop at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is a 2.1km accessible walk alternating between bitumen and boardwalk and dirt. It’s a wetlands walk in which you can spot platypus, long-necked turtles and waterbirds. A TrailRider wheelchair is available for some of the other walks at the reserve with steep sections.
Walks on wheels in Western Australia:
- In Margaret River, Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park’s Cape to Cape Track includes a 3.8km wheelchair-accessible section. Starting at Cape Naturaliste and flowing downhill to Sugarloaf Rock, the wildflower-dotted track is lovely, but its slope may make the return trip difficult without assistance.
- Further south, the Big Brook Dam track near Pemberton is a 4km sealed trail along the dam shores, with accessible fishing platforms if you fancy fresh trout for dinner.
- And although it’s 9 hours from Perth, Monkey Mia Reserve affords a rare chance to get within metres of bottlenose dolphins, thanks to its beach wheelchairs and timber ramp into the water.
Walks on wheels in Tasmania:
- A highly recommended way to get fully immersed in Tasmania’s spectacular beauty is at Russell Falls, 70 minutes west of Hobart, where a 30-minute sealed walk in deep forest will loop you water-spray-close to the falls.
- At tranquil Lake St Clair, the Watersmeet Trail, starting behind the visitor centre and skirting the lake, takes 45-60 minutes – bear in mind some wheelchair users may need assistance.
- In Freycinet National Park, the wheelchair-accessible Cape Tourville circuit walk affords dreamy views over Wineglass Bay. It takes only 30 minutes, but some manual wheelchairs may need assistance to tackle the moderate slope.
*These walks vary in levels of accessibility (eg. slope, terrain) and may not be suitable for all users of wheelchairs and prams. Please check that the walk is suitable for your individual circumstances.
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