Compared with many other major cities, Sydney has great access for citizens and visitors with disabilities. Central districts and suburban centres are well endowed with kerb cuts and tactile pavement indicators.
Download Lonely Planet's free Accessible Travel guide from http://lptravel.to/AccessibleTravel.
Hearing-impaired travellers Most of Sydney’s major attractions offer hearing loops and some can arrange sign-language interpreters. To make sure your needs can be met, contact venue staff in advance.
Vision-impaired travellers Many new buildings incorporate architectural features that are helpful, such as tactile floor indicators at the top and bottom of stairs. Sydney’s pedestrian crossings feature catchy beep-and-buzz sound cues.
Wheelchair access Most of Sydney’s main attractions are accessible by wheelchair, and all new or renovated buildings must, by law, include wheelchair access. Older buildings can pose some problems, however, and some restaurants and entertainment venues aren’t quite up to scratch. Most of the National Trust’s historic houses are at least partially accessible.
Parking permits Contact Roads & Maritime Services, who can supply temporary parking permits for international drivers with disabilities.
Central Sydney’s transport hub, Circular Quay, is well served by accessible ferries, buses and trains. Wheelchair users will need the assistance of bus drivers and train guards for access and should note that not all buses nor train stations are accessible; check on bus timetables and train maps. If using a train, contact station staff, who will place a ramp for you and arrange for alighting. If there is nobody available, wheelchair access points are marked on platforms and the train guard will assist.
- First Stop Transport (http://firststop.transportnsw.info/accessibility.html) NSW's main public transport provider, and you will find most information you need on their accessibility landing page. Their online trip planner has a useful filter for accessible services and maximum walking time.
- Parking Sydney has lots of parking spaces reserved for drivers with disabilities; see www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/explore/getting-around/accessibility/mobility-parking for information. You can also stay in time-limited parking spots for longer. Provided it is current and valid, an interstate or overseas disability parking permit can be used in NSW.
- Transport NSW (https://transportnsw.info/travel-info/accessible-travel) Offers a comprehensive accessible travel webpage covering all modes of transport and including useful tips on planning accessible trips in the state.
- Zero200 A reliable wheelchair-accessible taxi service that can be booked by phone or online.
Deaf Society of NSW (02-8833 3600; www.deafsocietynsw.org.au) Lists upcoming events and current news, as well as hosting information about resources and equipment. Much of the information is presented in Auslan as well as text.
Easy Access Australia (www.easyaccessaustralia.com.au/sydney) Hosts detailed access reviews of about a dozen accommodation providers in Sydney.
IDEAS (www.ideas.org.au) An information portal for people with a disability, with a very useful ‘Out & About’ tab as well as innumerable links to disability-related service providers.
Sydney for All (www.sydneyforall.com) Maintained by Destination NSW, this is the most comprehensive source of information regarding accessibility in Sydney. In addition to relatively detailed access information for Sydney’s main tourist sites, there’s information on getting around, including downloadable PDF access maps for the main central tourist areas.
Vision Australia (1300 847 466; www.visionaustralia.org) Lists latest news and events and has an online shop for assistive devices.