There are plenty of events, facilities and attractions in Perth for wheelchair access or people with disabilities.
Whether you love art, music, history, outdoor activities or simply want a meal somewhere different, Perth caters for diversity and inclusion, allowing those of all abilities to enjoy what’s on offer. The best part? You won’t need to worry about accessibility.
Newer developments, like Optus Stadium set the benchmark for convenience. But if you want something low key, slightly offbeat or fun, here are the top activities for people with disabilities in Perth.
Perth Zoo | South Perth
Perth’s fully wheelchair-accessible zoo has a collection of 171 species and more than 1,300 individual animals.
To get the full experience, book at least half a day for this attraction. Perth zoo has a mix of indoor and outdoor enclosures which are easily accessible. The exhibits are designed to be as natural as possible, which encourages usual animal behaviours and interactions. Dine at the café or bring your own food and picnic in the shaded BBQ areas.
Fun Fact: Perth zoo came first in advocacy for disability services in 2015. They offer ACROD parking, mobility scooter and wheelchair hire. They also have drinking fountains that are wheelchair friendly.
Riding for the Disabled Association of Australia | Carine
RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association) is a not-for-profit organisation that provides equestrian activities for people with a disability.
There are five centres across Western Australia, with over 300 volunteers giving up their time to teach disabled children how to ride.
Fun Fact: Annual competitions and events are held for riders to participate in, including the RDA National Championships. Riders have the opportunity to win the industry-recognised Mary Ferguson trophy, named after the woman who started the RDA centre in Carine and dedicated her to life her students.
Fishability | Multiple Locations
Love to fish?
Fishability helps fishers with disabilities enjoy recreational jetty and vessel-based fishing regardless of ability.
Participate through the group or check out the Fishability map to choose your own location. Spots marked with green pins have designated disabled parking, toilets and easy access facilities.
Fun Fact: After setting up in Perth, Mandurah, Albany and Busselton, Fishability now have a fifth program in Geraldton. Follow their events calendar for monthly fishing activities across all wheelchair-friendly locations.
Elizabeth Quay | Perth CBD
This waterfront attraction was designed for entertainment and leisure.
Since opening early 2016, the public area has come alive with bars, restaurants, shopping, an interactive waterpark, ferry terminal, island and bridge with universal access. Explore The Promenades circuit for outstanding views, visit The Landing for pop-up attractions and to wine and dine, or relax at the family-friendly café by The Island.
The closest ACROD parking bays are on Riverside Drive, Geoffrey Bolton Avenue and The Esplanade. Pathways are also interconnected with boardwalks and ramps, with accessible toilet facilities including Perth’s first Changing Places toilet for people with disabilities.
Fun Fact: Look out for local marine life in the river when you visit. Dolphins have been seen during the warmer months.
Image by Rob Walker: http://mofmusic.com/
Araluen Botanic Park | Roleystone
Perth’s outdoor lifestyle is a top reason for living or visiting here.
To take full advantage, visit Araluen Botanic Park located in the scenic Perth hills and one of the city’s best hidden gems.
Head 40 minutes’ drive from the CBD to explore 59 hectares of native gardens. Although spring is the best time for the full magnificent display of blooms, the manicured landscapes and waterfalls are excuses to visit anytime.
The park has special needs access, wheelchair hire and mapped pathways which are easily accessible by scooters or electric wheelchairs.
Foodies in the area should also check out the Roleystone Sunday markets, which have over 100 stalls, or why not visit the local vineyards.
Fun Fact: Follow the online countdown to the park’s annual Tulip Festival. If you love spicy food and avocado, the Araluen’s Avocado Chili Festival is a must as well.
WA Shipwreck Gallery and Maritime Museum| Fremantle
Housed in an 1850s-era Fremantle building, the shipwreck museum is now restored with some of the most fascinating under-the-sea exhibits on display.
Immerse yourself in ancient submarines, peal luggers and remains from ships wrecked along WA’s coastline. If you enjoy maritime history, it’s the perfect place to discover more about the local oceans and their vessels.
Wheelchair hire is available, with ACRDO parking and specialised tours available for people with disabilities.
Fun Fact: You can also explore the famous Dutch shipwrecks Zuytdorp, Zeewijk and Vergulde Draeck. Whilst you’re in Freo, head to the Fremantle Prison which is also disability-friendly. Convenient access, parking and discounted entry available. People with hearing disabilities also have access to Australian Sign Language handheld guides free of charge.
Wheelchair-Friendly Movies and Parks
Want to see the latest movie on the big screen or spend the afternoon at the park? Perth’s top wheelchair-friendly movie theatres, parks and other activities include:
- Grand Cinemas, Armadale
- Ace Cinemas, Midland
- Event Cinemas Innaloo, Morley and Whitford City
- Hoyts Garden City and Southlands
- Luna Leederville
- Millennium Cinemas, Fremantle
- Sorrento Quay Boardwalk, Hillarys
- Piney Lakes Reserve Sensory Play Park, Winthrop
- Kings Park, Perth
- Wireless Hill Reserve, Ardross
- Shipwreck Park, Sienna Wood (near Hilton)
This article is written by Jayde Walker (Ferguson), a local content writer who recommends Lifeplan – helping people with disabilities get out and about. Catch her on LinkedIn.