City skyline of Brisbane

City skyline of Brisbane
Photo by: Graham Ironside (Stock Exchange)

Howdy, mates!

Today’s installment of our Australia access guides brings us to beautiful Brisbane, capital of Queensland.

Located on the east coast, and bisected by the Brisbane River, it is the third-most populated city anywhere in Australia.

Being coastal, its climate is less arid and more hospitable for handicapped travelers visiting Oz from afar. The Central Business District is largely walkable, and the city is known for its burgeoning live music scene, which incorporates new and classic flavors.

Off we go …

TransLink is the public transportation service for the Queensland area, including Brisbane. Services available include trains, buses, and ferries, on par with any global city. New bus lines have recently gone into service with greater accessibility features, and future implementation is expected to focus on providing a barrier-free experience. Wheelchair taxis are also available and may be even more convenient in the Central Business District, which is also where many hotels are found. The local Yellow Can Company has provided tips for catching a taxi near major attractions. Though the buses have a strong reputation, no word on the quality of trains in the area.

As for ferries, no trip through Brisbane is complete without riding one, and all CityCat ferries are highly accessible. The local handicapped organization DisabilityLifestyles has detailed information on all public transport, though the rest of the site is not oriented to the needs of visitors. However, there are some tips about accessible towns and suburbs off the beaten path that you might choose to visit if basing your trip in the big city is not your cup of tea.

Lately, we just cannot get away from Eatability, a fantastic website that seems to index just about every eatery in Australian towns and give us the lowdown on accessible restaurants in an easy-to-digest format. Of course, they are ahead of the curve in Brisbane, rating a whole slew of area restaurants. Top accessible picks include The Fix Restaurant and Bistro Allure, with many more to choose from. Seafood, Indian, Italian, and French cuisine, among others, are well represented throughout the area. Naturally, you will need a place to sleep between delicious meals, so visit Stayz, PleaseTakeMeTo, and AOL Travel for over three dozen accessible hotels and vacation rental properties.

Queen Street is the historic “main street” of Brisbane, and the top shopping venue anywhere around is the Queen Street Mall. A veritable explosion of stores for every taste, “QSM” also has disabled access features including wheelchair ramp and elevator access and a Braille trail running the complete course of the mall on both sides. Looking to soak in a little culture? Brisbane Information lists the top museums and galleries, including the Maritime Museum and World War II buffs’ favorite, the MacArthur Museum, with basic disabled access facts and where to find out more. (Do not forget the historic Castlemaine Perkins Brewery, equivalent to Dublin’s renowned Guinness Brewery in importance!)

Last but not least, nature lovers shouldn’t miss Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Considered one of the best zoos anywhere in the world, the Sanctuary offers a unique “Keeper-For-A-Day” program and prides itself on visitors’ ability to get up close and personal with the animals. (The FAQ even specifies that “Yes, you really do get to hug a koala.”) Owls, eagles, indigenous snakes, kangaroos, wallabies, and freshwater crocodiles are also eager for your visit. The Sanctuary is a fully wheelchair accessible attraction, and wheelchairs are available for rental at the entrance.

Wait, there’s more! We are not quite done with Australia; there are a few hot spots left to hit, and a lot of great handicapped travel resources that may not fit anywhere else ‘til the end. Just where will we be next? Well, that is a matter for next time, and I hope you will tune in! Until then, adventure on!

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Comment by Motorized Wheelchairs

Posted on July 17th, 2010

I was looking around for travel sites for the disabled because I’m thinking about taking a trip this summer and need to find places to go which accommodate disabled travelers. Glad to find your site. Actually I had just finished writing an article about an amusement park in Texas which is called “Morgan’s Wonderland – the Wheelchair Accessible Amusement Park.” on my own site at where I write reviews on different power chairs, insurance information and travel news for handicapped people. Great for kids of all ages and INCLUDES everyone. Reading about Australia as a travel destination for handicapped travelers is very encouraging, indeed.