Cairns is for everyone!

By James Dixon | 19th August 2015

cairns-for-everyone

Cairns is a progressive city that has ensured that those with a disability are also able to enjoy many of the tours and facilities on offer in this great tourist capital. From Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest adventures, to scenic flights and adrenaline pumping tours, the best of Cairns can be experienced by the aged and disabled and their families and carers, amid some of the most magnificent scenery in Cairns and Far North Queensland.

Great Barrier Reef Tours

Green Island is the most viable option for people visiting the Great Barrier Reef with a disability. Green Island has its own jetty, unlike many of the other islands, where transfer from the boat to a motorised dinghy is required. Advanced booking can ensure your passage on a wheelchair accessible boat. Push wheelchairs are preferred over motorised chairs, as motorised chairs are sometimes too wide to accommodate. Rest room facilities and the boardwalk leading into the rainforest on the island are wheelchair friendly, but some mobility is necessary to board the glass-bottomed boats and semi-submersible submarine, as there are a few steps to negotiate.

Pontoons on the outer reefs are generally very accessible, with the boats pulling up alongside the platforms. When making your advance booking, please advise your level of mobility, so that you can be booked on the appropriate tour.

The Daintree Rainforest

The Daintree can best be explored on Self Drive Tours for those in wheelchairs, with all boardwalks wheelchair accessible. For those with some mobility, coach transfers are available.

Kuranda Village, Scenic Railway and Skyrail

Both the Railway and Skyrail travel through some of the most scenic landscape of the Far North. The Railway has PWD facilities and the Skyrail has access ramps and assistance for loading chairs. Beautiful mountain retreat, Kuranda Village, has ramps to accommodate all visitors.

Other Attractions

Other great Cairns attractions that are wheelchair accessible include Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures, Rainforestation, Cairns Tropical Zoo, Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, The Dome, Kuranda Heritage Markets, Birdworld, The Koala Gardens, Kuranda Butterfly Sanctuary, Cairns Scenic Flights and The Rainforest Habitat.

Disabled visitors can also enjoy Cairns Skydiving, Cairns Bungy Jumping and Cairns Hot Air Ballooning.

Helpful Hints

Book in Advance – Booking in advance is critical for disabled tourists and their carers, to ensure that any special requirements can be arranged. Advance bookings also allow tour operators ample time to ensure that the necessary assistance can be provided on the day, with a view to ensuring their guests receive the optimum experience. Operational consideration can result in some facilities not always being available on a daily basis – advanced booking will ensure your needs are met on the day.

Contact us for helpful assistance in booking disabled and wheelchair friendly day tours and accommodation.

Transfers – For those confined to wheelchairs, a wheelchair taxi can be booked, with travel available to and from local tours and attractions. A metered cost is charged around Cairns, whereas trips to Cairns Beaches and Port Douglas are at a set rate. Prebooking 24-48 hours in advance is essential, with payment made to the taxi service on the day. Contact Cairns Taxi Service on 131 008, or visit their website at www.cairnstaxis.com.au.

Passengers able to negotiate three stairs can use normal coach transfers to Cairns, Port Douglas and Cairns Northern Beaches. Height to the first step from the ground is approximately 30cm.