We’re pretty lucky to have such a diverse range of landscapes so close to home. Harbour shores, snow-covered mountains, lush rainforests, desert dunes… when it comes to nature, there aren’t many places like NSW. And with so many of our adventures being wheelchair accessible, you can explore them all. Ready to start making a list?
Nestled between the grand homes of the eastern suburbs and the glistening harbour is Nielsen Park, at Vaucluse in Sydney Harbour National Park. It’s the perfect spot to relax with a picnic, or grab lunch at the nearby café. Nielsen Park has an accessible toilet, as well as easy wheelchair access to Shark Beach promenade and Bottle and Glass loop walking track.
Fairfax walk at North Head is another favourite, offering postcard-perfect views of the ocean and the Sydney CBD. It’s also a great whale watching spot in winter.
Ranger Tip: The best time to visit our most popular national parks is a weekday visit and before 11am or after 2pm.
If you’re looking for a picnic spot only a short drive from the Sydney CBD, try Davidson Park picnic area and boat ramp in Garigal National Park. The area is fully accessible and there are large grassy areas, free BBQs and a wheelchair-accessible launching ramp that makes it easy to get in and out of your boat or canoe.
Need some fresh mountain air? Kosciuszko National Park is great at any time of year. Stay at the accessible suite in Yarrangobilly Caves house, a heritage building surrounded by tall forests in the northern part of the park, one hour drive from Tumut and Adaminaby.
A thousand metres above sea level, Scammells lookout is one not to be missed. With its picture-postcard views of the western fall and main-range, this fully wheelchair-accessible spot with parking and toilets makes it a popular stop along Alpine Way, near Khancoban.
Ancient rainforestsView this post on Instagram
Rising through the coastal rainforest into the canopy is Sea Acres Rainforest boardwalk, near Port Macquarie. It’s fully accessible for wheelchairs, prams and visitors with limited mobility, with places to rest along the way and accessible toilets nearby. Keep an eye out for rainforest birds like the scarlet robin, as well as goannas, diamond pythons and other wildlife.View this post on Instagram
Back at Sea Acres Rainforest Centre, you can tuck into a delicious meal with fresh treats at the Rainforest Café. There are regular art exhibitions and a gift shop in the centre, as well as plenty of information from the friendly staff about the Aboriginal history and culture of the Birpai People and surrounding rainforest environment. Bush tucker tours, rainforest meditation classes and other events are also held during the year.
Further north near Coffs Harbour is Dorrigo National Park, part of the World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforest. Start at Dorrigo Rainforest Centre where you can learn about these ancient rainforests, take a guided tour, or head out to the Skywalk lookout along an accessible boardwalk. You’ll enjoy spectacular views over the ancient rainforest, into the deep gorges of the Bellinger Valley and to the coast. The area is accessible and there’s a free wheelchair available.
From the mighty Murray River to the desert dunes of Outback NSW, some of our most iconic landscapes rest on the sandy edges of NSW.
In Murray Valley National Park, you can spend the day paddling past majestic river red gums and stunning wetlands on the Edward River Canoe and Kayak trail, which has a wheelchair-accessible kayak launch at Edward River Bridge picnic area. The picnic area has wheelchair-accessible parking, toilets, picnic and barbecue facilities—perfect for a day out with family and friends.
The Walls of China viewing platform in Mungo National Park is a must-see if you’re heading into Outback NSW, especially at sunrise or sunset. The dramatic formations have been sculpted by wind and water for millennia, embedded with Aboriginal relics believed to be over 36,000 years old. It’s hard to believe this desert landscape was fertile during the last ice age.
Red Top lookout and boardwalk is a short drive from Mungo Visitor Centre and features a 50m timber boardwalk that’s wheelchair accessible and has railings and seats at the lookout. It’s a great spot to view the eroded dunes and dried lake beds of the World Heritage-listed Willandra Lakes Region. If you’re staying overnight, Mungo Shearers’ Quarters is a former sheep station with easy wheelchair access.
Other accessible experiences
Hire the TrailRider—an all-terrain wheelchair—for free if you’re visiting Kamay Botany National Park, Dorrigo National Park or Kosciuszko National Park. The chair allows you to access walking tracks that are not wheelchair accessible, including those with stairs (with some help from two friends)
If you have a significant and permanent disability, you can apply for a Companion Card through your State Government, so your carer can access tours and attractions in NSW national parks free of charge.
So which part of NSW will you be exploring next? Grab your crew, set a date and get out and enjoy the accessible adventures in NSW national parks.