Telstra Tower in Canberra, Australia

Telstra Tower in Canberra, Australia
Photo by: Nafrea (Stock Exchange)

Welcome back to Disabled Travelers!

We have been wandering around the Australian outback for a few posts now, and it is time to check out accessibility in some great cities.

Sydney may be the most famous, but the capital of Australia is actually Canberra, in the southeast corner of the continent.

Called the “Bush Capital” for its lush greenery and wide-open public spaces, it has some of the country’s oldest and most distinguished museums and art collections, plus all the historic government sites you would expect from a world capital.

A huge database of wheelchair accessible restaurants is available at, a new and very promising directory for dining venues that offer mobility impaired access. Major cities throughout Australia are covered, including Canberra, Brisbane, Sydney, and others. For places to stay, a number of bed and breakfasts and guesthouses are listed at Stayz’s Wheelchair Access Accommodations in Canberra. There are a few more accessible hotels at AOL Travel’s Canberra listings, for a total of about 20 options.

If you are staying in Canberra for a while, you might find yourself in need of wheelchair rental. Look no further than The Wheelchair Factory, one of Australia’s oldest wheelchair providers, which can arrange rentals to suit your needs in Canberra and around the South Coast. For general “getting around” purposes, two companies offer wheelchair taxis throughout Canberra: Canberra Elite and Cabxpress. Both offer extensive online booking with fare estimation, and Canberra Elite can even give you a tour. The local airport is (suitably enough) Canberra Airport. Though wheelchair accessible parking is available, there is lamentably little information about conditions in the terminals!

The National Museum of Australia is equipped with a variety of accessibility features including wheelchair-friendly exhibition designs, audio tours adapted for the blind, wheelchair and scooter rental available free on the premises, and large-print text suitable for those with mild to moderate vision loss. The National Gallery of Australia, focused on the painterly arts, has designated parking for handicapped visitors. There are also wheelchair accessible elevators on the grounds, and wheelchair rental is available. Australia’s one and only combined zoo and aquarium, The National Zoo and Aquarium, has limited accessibility but might be amenable to visitors who use walkers or crutches.

Disabled accessible restrooms, elevators, parking, and other facilities are peppered throughout the historic Australian War Memorial. Another “can’t miss” cultural site that’s friendly to handicapped travelers is the Parliament House of Australia, which offers a slew of guided tours and other special events virtually all-year long except for Christmas Day. For real political junkies, you can also visit the Australian High Court and the Royal Australian Mint.

Our next stop is world-famous Sydney! Adventure on!


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