Sydney Harbor Bridge

Sydney Harbor Bridge
Photo by: Claire Cresswell (Stock Exchange)

Good day, everybody!

Disabled Travelers’ Australia access guides are shaping up nicely, as we’ve hacked through the Outback and visited the capital, Canberra.

Now we have what’s arguably the most famous city in Australia in our sights: Sydney!

Home of the world-famous Sydney Opera House, now the most recently constructed UNESCO World Heritage Sites on Earth, situated in the city that’s easily the biggest tourist draw on the whole island. Without further ado, let’s explore!

It seems only fair to begin with the Opera House, which has its own comprehensive accessibility page. Virtually everything in the Opera House is accessible to some extent (usually a great extent!) and maps and detailed information about getting there, getting around, and enjoying what’s on offer is available from the main site.

Sydney’s Accessibility Test is an enlightening endeavor by The Sydney Morning Herald and former wheelchair tennis champion David Hall, who teamed up with the paper to lead an adventurous tour through the city’s transportation system, attractions, and restaurants. The result is a five-minute video that gives a good, street-level view of the accessibility situation in Sydney. Getting around is made easier for handicapped travelers by Zero200, the centralized service for wheelchair taxi booking in Sydney. You’ll also want to know about the local accessible buses, and learn all about accessible cruises from Matilda Cruises. (Psst: public ferries are accessible too!)

Wheelchair Accessible Sydney is an established tour operator that provides customized sightseeing and shopping tours through the city. Some of their most beloved itineraries include views of Sydney’s Harbor, the towns and attractions of the nearby Blue Mountains, and the Hunter Valley Wine Tour. Australia has many fine and historic vineyards, but accessibility conditions are checkered, so this may be the best way to enjoy this part of the complete local experience! Also check out the Wheelchair Accessible Tours listed over at Australia in Style.

If you’re going to Sydney, you’ll be spending a lot of time in the Central Business District, which is the at the heart of a major accessibility initiative. Accessible transportation, parking, and other handicapped travel resources are available through the City of Sydney website linked above. Local train stations that are wheelchair friendly are listed as part of The Rocks Wheelchair Accessible Self-Guided Tour, a private site. For wheelchair accessible attractions, check out My Fun, the centralized database of info for Sydney’s best parks, resorts, and points of interest. The search function gets you at-a-glance results on which sites meet your needs. For example, a quick search reveals that famous Sydney Tower Skywalk is now accessible.

Next time on Disabled Travelers, we’ll take another big bite out of Australia with a journey to Brisbane, the third-most populous city! We’re not going to be done until we’ve been everywhere and done everything in Oz … so just think of July as “Down Under” month, and adventure on!


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