It’s been an anxious time for many wheelchair users during the COVID-19 social isolation period. But as restrictions start to ease, we’re fortunate to be able to explore our local sights again. I’ve revisited nearby locations around Sydney that I haven’t been to in years, and others that I’d explored only without a power assist device for my manual wheelchair. With my trusty SmartDrive® in tow, I explored the best of Sydney with fresh eyes.
When I first started out in a wheelchair, I always heard friends and family rave about Sundays spent wandering through this historical precinct and its bars and restaurants. It’s a shame that the steep laneways and colonial-era cobblestones spell disaster for many self-propelling wheelchair users.
With a power assist attachment, I could finally enjoy this corner of the CBD. A FreeWheel® front wheel attachment made short work of rougher terrain.
Some restaurants are housed in heritage buildings with a front step up at the entrance. But others, such as the well-known Munich Brauhaus, are easily accessible in a wheelchair.
The famous Rocks Markets are open on weekends from 10am to 5pm and are also accessible along the northern end of George Street.
Another reason to visit The Rocks is the recent opening of the Harbour Bridge accessible lift, making Sydney’s biggest landmark finally accessible! The lifts are on Cumberland Street, or on Broughton Street, Kirribilli if you are coming from the north.
This was a place I hadn’t visited since childhood. The Fairfax Walk is wheelchair accessible thanks to gentle, paved surfaces and accessible parking at the entrance. The path follows a scenic clifftop loop. There are some hilly gradients, so a power assist device meant I could reach the lookout points while keeping my head up and the views in full sight. Don’t forget the binoculars for whale watching and bird watching!
The nearby Memorial Walk honours our military history and is accessible via a specially paved pathway. I was craving a good coffee and a light lunch, so the Bella Vista Café perched in between the two walks made a great rest stop.
Even with international travel ‘up in the air’, having the right equipment means we can still explore our beautiful regions and cities.
Thank you to Sergei Lazarev for sharing his Sydney adventures on behalf of Permobil! If you’d like to learn more about your mobility equipment options, visit the Permobil website.