Download Lonely Planet's free Accessible Travel guide from http://lptravel.to/AccessibleTravel.

  • Levels of disability awareness in Australia are high and increasing.
  • Legislation requires that new accommodation meets accessibility standards for mobility-impaired travellers, and discrimination by tourism operators is illegal.
  • Many of Australia's key attractions, including many national parks, provide access for those with limited mobility and a number of sites also address the needs of visitors with visual or aural impairments. Contact attractions in advance to confirm the facilities.
  • Tour operators with vehicles catering to mobility-impaired travellers operate from most capital cities.
  • Facilities for wheelchairs are improving in accommodation, but there are still many older establishments where the necessary upgrades haven't been done.

Australian Resources

Deaf Australia (www.deafaustralia.org.au)

e-Bility (www.ebility.com)

National Information Communication & Awareness Network Australia-wide directory providing information on access, accommodation, sports and recreational activities, transport and specialist tour operators.

Vision Australia

International Resources

Access-Able Travel Source (www.access-able.com) US-based site providing information on disabled-friendly tours and hotels.

Mobility International USA (www.miusa.org) In the US, advising disabled travellers on mobility issues. It primarily runs educational exchange programs, and some include Australian travel.

Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality (www.sath.org) In the US; offers assistance and advice.

Air Travel

Qantas entitles a disabled person with high-support needs and the carer travelling with them to a discount on full economy fares; contact National Information Communication & Awareness Network for eligibility info and an application form. Guide dogs travel for free on Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Australia and their affiliated carriers. All of Australia's major airports have dedicated parking spaces, wheelchair access to terminals, accessible toilets, and skychairs to convey passengers onto planes via air bridges.

Train Travel

In NSW, CountryLink's XPT trains have at least one carriage (usually the buffet car) with a seat removed for a wheelchair, and an accessible toilet. Queensland Rail's Tilt Train from Brisbane to Cairns has a wheelchair-accessible carriage.

All of Australia's suburban rail networks are wheelchair-accessible and guide dogs and hearing dogs are permitted on all public transport.

In Victoria, PTV offers a free travel pass to visually impaired people and wheelchair users for transport around Melbourne.