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Places to stay and play this summer

Swimming, relaxing, even meeting dolphins! Make a splash this summer with this list of accessible places to stay and play around Australia.

Australians are an outdoorsy bunch, so with the warm weather approaching it’s good to know there are a variety of ways for people of all abilities to get out and enjoy the water. Beach wheelchairs are now readily available to loan for free at many beaches, but that won’t suit everyone – many people prefer swimming in a pool. 

A young man sitting in a wheelchair on a splash pad at Raging Waters Sydney.
Make a splash this summer with aquatic experiences such as Raging Waters Sydney. Credit: Julie Jones

While pools and spas in the United States are required by law to be equipped with a pool chair or hoist to ensure anyone can enjoy a swim, it’s not mandatory in Australia. However, across the country there are businesses that are seeing the value in being inclusive to all. We hope this list of places to play and stay encourages you to get out and enjoy the warmer weather this summer.

New South Wales

A water-safe wheelchair next to an outdoor pool at Byron Bay's Rainforest Resort.
Enjoy cooling off in Byron Bay’s Rainforest Resort swimming pool. Credit: Julie Jones

Victoria

  • The Peninsula Hot Springs on the Mornington Peninsula are equipped with a hoist and sling, chair and accessible bathrooms.
  • Parks Victoria has made boating access that much easier at Patterson River Wharf by providing a hoist and sling.

Queensland

  • Sailability Club Wharf Tin Can Bay in the Gympie region offers boat access with a Pelican pool hoist. 
  • Sea World Gold Coast offers access with a wheelchair platform and pool hoist for visitors keen to do the dolphin experience.
  • W Brisbane offers guest access to the pool with a hoist, sling and aquatic chair.
  • Magnetic Island Community Pool offers a hoist and sling – call ahead to book the equipment.
  • The Westin Brisbane offers Brisbane’s only accessible swim-up bar, with a Kingfisher seat providing pool access.
A group of four people in wetsuits and life jackets sitting in the water holding a ball out to a dolphin.
Not many people can say they’ve played with a dolphin! Enjoy the memory at Sea World. Credit: Julie Jones

South Australia

  • At Adelaide Aquatic Centre, Determined2 offers immersion therapy using scuba equipment, with access made possible thanks to a Pelican pool hoist with sling chairs and change tables.

Western Australia

This feature was created in partnership with Para Mobility, and appeared first in Travel Without Limits. To subscribe to the magazine, click here.

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