(The following guest post was written by Olivia Bourke, a writer and blogger who describes herself as “an adventurous traveller who simply wants to explore this incredible world we call our home. Originally from the States, I now call Australia my home. I’m loving every minute exploring this ever so scenic country, one state at a time.”)
Sydney is a beautiful city with lots of natural attractions and iconic tourist spots. In this modern day and age there are a multitude of great locations that are easily wheelchair accessible with lots of space. From gardens to iconic landmarks there are some top places around Sydney Harbour that I have noticed with great accessibility and ease of transport. You can enjoy a day out or even weekend getaway with the ease of transport and accessibility around the Sydney Harbour. Read on to find out more about the top 5 accessible places in Sydney to check out!
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House is one of Sydney’s biggest draw cards, so I was happy to learn that the building is committed to making it accessible to all! The big concrete steps at the front of the building can be intimidating for some visitors, but don’t be put off! There are lots of other ways to enter the famous Opera House. I found the entrances to the Studio, Playhouse, Drama Theatre and the Utzon Room were all wheelchair accessible. There was also a public lift that operates through the Lower, Ground and Upper Levels. The surrounding area also offers superb views of the harbour with many shops and dining experiences close by.
Art Gallery NSW
The beautiful sandstone Art Gallery NSW can be found by taking a stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens, which is also wheelchair accessible! The gallery is home to a range of contemporary international and homegrown artworks alongside colonial and 19th century pieces. The building may look daunting, but the gallery has loads of accessible points for wheelchair users, including:
- Two permanent ramps at the front and the rear of the building
- Ramps and lifts in all public areas inside the building (apart from the research library and archive.)
- Free to use wheelchairs and mobility scooters
- Sensory accessibility options
Chinese Garden of Friendship
Located in Darling Harbour, the Chinese Garden of Friendship is a beautiful tranquil pocket in a busy part of town – though is very spacious and room for movement enroute. The garden is also quite wheelchair friendly. The pathways and pavilions on the lower part of the garden were easy to navigate, but the higher areas were quite steep. There was still a lot to see on the lower level, and the experience was very peaceful and serene. It makes a great stopover attraction for a big day out.
NSW State Library
If you enjoy a great novel or love peace and quiet from time to time. The NSW State Library is a great place to find references, read books and also study. Ideal for an afternoon of quiet reading, you won’t have a problem accessing the library. The ground floor of The Macquarie building is home to the Metcalfe Auditorium, the Macquarie Room, a cafe and the library shop. You can access the galleries on level 1 using the wheelchair-friendly lifts and take the glass walkway to The Mitchell building. This is where you can find the beautiful Mitchell Library Reading Room as well the Dixson Room, Shakespeare Room and the Friends Room and Gallery Room.
The Manly Ferry
Everyone I know who has visited Sydney has raved about Manly, and I can only agree. The Manly ferry offers disabled access so you could experience the harbour sights on water. One notable path is the pedestrian-only promenade towards Shelley Beach, it had stunning ocean views. With beautiful shorelines, great eateries and an array of walks and attractions, it is a great place to spend a sunny day out.
Moved from the States not too long ago, Olivia now calls Sydney Australia home. She spends her spare time exploring the many great hidden gems that are within reach. Enjoying the golden sandy beaches, lush forests, and cool climate of the Land down under, she occasionally writes for Great Lost.