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Disability-inclusive things to do in Sydney

Whether you’re looking for adventure or culture, there are plenty of activities in our city.

Get a sense of Sydney from another angle

At 268 metres above the city centre, with views that stretch right out to the ocean on one side and toward the mountains on the other, Sydney Tower Eye SKYWALK is wheelchair accessible – just book ahead.

Prepare for hair-raising fun! Many of Luna Park’s rides and attractions are suitable for people with disability. Service animals are allowed to accompany riders where possible.

Did you know BridgeClimb offers Auslan guided tours twice a month and hearing loops are installed on the bridge? Those with vision impairment are also well looked after, with continuous hand rails throughout the climb. Plus, coming soon for people with mobility impairments: a lift to the Sydney Harbour Bridge walkway. Construction is scheduled within the next 12 months.

Jade ‘Red’ Wheatley, pro-adaptive surfer, and organiser of Walk for Waves at the summit of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Image: BridgeClimb

Check out live performance

Sydney’s top venues are programmed with inclusion in mind.

  1. Sydney Opera House runs accessible tours and offers Auslan interpreting, low vision access, relaxed performances, closed captioning and audio descriptions on select performances. There are workshops and performances created especially for those with a disability such as audio-described tours of Vivid LIVE and Oddysea: a highly specialised interactive theatre experience for young people with special needs, including multiple disabilities. Also, make sure you check out Accessible Baby Proms!
  2. Sydney Theatre Company offers hearing enhancement systems in all theatres, captioned and Auslan interpreted performances, accessible parking and wheelchair seats.
  3. On the other side of the bridge, Ensemble Theatre partners with Vision Australia to provide an audio description service at designated performances for patrons with low vision, and offers a hearing loop for those with hearing aids or hearing impairment, as well as wheelchair seating and level access.
  4. City Recital Hall offers a hearing loop for performances, and accessible seating. Access is at street level and accessible toilets are located on each floor.

Vivid audio described viewing for visually impaired. Image: Dan Boud/Sydney Opera House

Many of Sydney’s live music venues are wheelchair accessible and offer low-vision access. We’re also proud to support Gig Buddies, a pilot program pairing people with learning disability with volunteers who take them to shows around the city.

Explore parks and gardens

Many local and major parks cater for people with mobility issues.

  1. Explore the rose garden or soak up the sun on the Bennelong Lawn in the Royal Botanic Garden. The garden has 2 accessible toilets and 8 accessible entrances.
  2. Escape to a secret garden in Darling Harbour. The lower level of the Chinese Garden of Friendship is accessible to wheelchairs and prams.
  3. Take advantage of Sydney Park’s playground, designed for children and parents, including kids with hearing and vision impairments and anyone who uses a wheelchair.
  4. Pirrama Park has an accessible spinner so kids in wheelchairs don’t miss out!

Get active with disability-inclusive sports

There are heaps of disability-inclusive sports happening in Sydney, from netball to chair yoga. What’s On has things to do.

Australian Paralympic Team at Sydney Town Hall farewell event, July 2016

Indulge in world-class art and culture

Museum of Contemporary Art’s Bella program offers free opportunities for adults, young people and children with physical, intellectual, and sensory access requirements to experience the gallery and engage in creative activities. The MCA also runs a 10 week Art & Dementia program, to engage people with dementia through gallery explorations and hands-on creative artmaking sessions. In addition, Auslan interpreters are available during all programs (with a prior booking) and the museum runs regular Auslan interpreted and audio-described tours.

See artworks by Margaret Olley and Tony Albert in the same afternoon as Monet and the Impressionists. Art Gallery of NSW is wheelchair accessible and has 4 free dedicated accessible parking spots. Carers receive free entry to ticketed exhibitions, and an audio-induction loop is available in the Domain Theatre and Centenary Auditorium. Auslan interpreters can be provided for tours when booked in advance.

AGNSW’s In Touch program provides sensory tours for people who are blind or vision impaired – you can touch selected bronze and marble sculptures alongside an experienced guide. The gallery also runs an art and dementia program, and tours for children with physical and intellectual disability.

Participant in the 2016 Bella Room Commission, The Koala Room, 2016, Kathy Temin, commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia for the Jackson Bella Room, 2016, image courtesy and © the artist. Photograph: Daniel Boud

Auslan storytime for pre-schoolers

Kids ages 3 to 5 years can join a weekly free storytime program in Auslan and English at Glebe Library. Presented by library staff and the Deaf Society, this fun session combines storytelling and craft to help foster an early love of reading and social interaction in readiness for school.

Auslan storytime

Celebrate in a big way

Sydney’s major events are designed with inclusion in mind. Vivid, for example, offers audio descriptions of all installations.

And if you’re starting to consider plans to see in the new year, consider Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks, which offer accessible vantage points and audio descriptions of the fireworks displays. Auslan interpretations are projected on the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons.

Vivid offers audio descriptions for those with vision impairment. Image: Destination NSW

Sydney prides itself on accessibility and inclusion