Phillip Island, Victoria, is the first tourist town in Australia to be officially designated ‘sensory inclusive’, making it the perfect travel destination for people with sensory sensitivities.
Dozens of businesses on Phillip Island have had their staff undergo training in identifying sensory overload, and supporting people who live with autism, dementia, PTSD, and other conditions that affect their sensory processing.
“This might mean dimming the lights in a shop, turning down music or interactive displays, or avoiding loud noises like grinding coffee machines at certain times of day,” says Peta Wittig (General Manager of Tourism Operations at Nature Parks). “It can be as simple as providing paper towel in bathrooms so they can avoid the noise of a hand dryer.”
Businesses that have jumped on board with the initiative include Wild Coast Cruises, Ripples & Tonic, Time Out Cottage, and Phillip Island Helicopters.
KultureCity has partnered with organisations on Phillip Island to provide training and suggestions on how to make their environments more sensory inclusive. They have certified The Penguin Parade, Churchill Island, Antarctic Journey at the Nobbies, and the Koala Conservation Reserve as Australia’s first official sensory inclusive tourist attractions.
Don’t forget: Phillip Island also offers free entrance to all attractions for Companion Card holders, and they have a Changing Places facility, among other accessibility must-haves for tourist destinations.
To prepare for your visit to Phillip Island, you can find social stories and sensory features on the Nature Park website, or check the free KultureCity app for a preview of what visitors can expect at each location.