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21 Excellent Adventures – Have Wheelchair Will Travel

When it became clear that BJ would need a wheelchair as his main mode of mobility there was a feeling of being limited. I was worried that BJ wouldn’t experience all the things I’d imagined we’d do as a family and that he’d miss out on so much. Feeling limited isn’t a good feeling. With determination and a can-do spirit, we’ve tried to give BJ as many opportunities as possible and I thought I’d share 21 of BJ’s excellent adventures (in no particular order).

1.       Tahune Airwalk Tasmania

21 Excellent Adventures
Tahune Airwalk Tasmania

One of our favourite experiences is cable hang-gliding at Tahune Airwalk just outside of Hobart in Tasmania. After watching Hubby have a go BJ was keen to give it a go himself. I felt excited for him and only had a moment’s hesitation when I saw him dangling above the river waiting to speed back to us. The two wheelchair accessible walks were also a highlight. You can read about Tahune here.

2.    Fire Engine tour San Francisco

21 Excellent Adventures
Fire Engine Tour of San Francisco

The whole family loved our time in San Francisco but for BJ the highlight was definitely riding in an Old Mack Fire Truck to tour the city. Wearing fire fighter jackets and singing funny ditties made it a fun and memorable way to see the city. You can read all about it here.

3.     Dolphin experience Gold Coast

21 Excellent Adventure
Sea World’s special needs dolphin experience

BJ isn’t fond of furry animals but he doesn’t mind reptiles and dolphins. When we found out that Sea World on the Gold Coast have a special needs dolphin experience we signed him up. BJ, AJ and Hubby had the opportunity to interact with a specially trained dolphin. BJ loved it so much we did it again a couple of years ago. You can read all our tips for Sea World here.

4.       Sydney Tower Sky Walk – This experience is currently not operating.

21 Excellent Adventures
Walking on the wild side at Sydney Skywalk

I was thrilled to find that there was a specially designed wheelchair accessible experience at Sydney Tower where wheelchair users can experience the sky walk by going outside the Sydney Tower. Harnessed up the boys went outside and even experienced the glass platform at 268 metres up.

5.       Disneyland

21 Excellent Adventures.
Accessible Dumbo carriage

We’ve been lucky enough to visit Disneyland 3 times now and it has been a highlight of our visits to the US each time. Both kids absolutely love it. Access and staff understanding of the needs of guests with a disability is beyond anything we’ve experienced at any other attraction. I’ve written extensively about my Disneyland tips and how to use the Disneyland Disability Access Service Card.

6.       Trike ride Uluru

21 Excellent Adventures
Trike ride Uluru

BJ loves trike rides and has done several with the most recent one at Uluru. As long as the trike has a footplate he can ride quite comfortably and it is something he can do with Hubby and AJ. Read all our tips on what to do at Uluru here.

7.       Dune Buggies Hill End – this particular dune buggy experience has now closed.

21 Excellent Adventures.
Dune Buggies Hill End

We had the best day at Hill End. BJ just loved the steep inclines, going through the water and going over the rough surfaces. AJ and I had one buggy and Hubby and BJ had the other.

8.       US Intrepid Sea, Air Space Museum

21 Excellent Adventures.
Checking out the ship US Intrepid

It is rare to find ships accessible but we were thrilled to learn that the US Intrepid in New York would give BJ a glimpse at what a war ship is like. I wrote about our experience here.

9.       Roar and Snore Taronga Zoo

21 Excellent Adventures
Roar and Snore Taronga Zoo

Staying overnight in a zoo is a unique experience and we had a fantastic time doing Roar and Snore. Meeting the giraffes inside their enclosure was definitely a highlight. You can see all the accessible features of this experience here.

10.    Wheelchair accessible cave

21 Excellent Adventures
Exploring Caves Beach

Caves are not generally wheelchair accessible and beach caves would normally be impossible but using a beach wheelchair we managed to explore the caves at Caves Beach. After our great experience I researched wheelchair accessible caves and found a few around the world which I popped into a blog here.

11.       Toboggan Hill Park

21 Excellent Adventures
Toboggan Hill Park

We’ve been visiting Toboggan Hill Park since BJ was little. He loves the rush of the ride and we discovered earlier this year that Hubby and BJ can still manage the ride. You can see all the pics and info here.

12.     Accessible bush walks

21 Excellent Adventures
Hitting the trails in the TrailRider

Once BJ outgrew the back carrier we thought it was all over red rover as far as exploring Australia’s beautiful bush. However, we were wrong. The TrailRider arrived in Australia and gave us the joy of returning to bushwalking. I’ve written about the feeling of liberation and the locations of Trailriders around the world here.

13.   Skyrail Kuranda

21 Excellent Adventures
Skyrail gondola

Riding high above the rainforest in Cairns and getting out at the accessible stops along the way was amazing. BJ loved the ride and enjoyed the ranger talk at one of the stops. We did the gondola ride up and back but we took a peek at the train and it is also accessible. You can take a peek at both experiences here.

14.    Accessible maze Tasmania

21 Excellent Adventures
Tasmazia maze

We were amazed to find that nearly all the mazes at Tasmazia are accessible. We had a wonderful day getting lost, having the joy of finding our way out and looking at the whimsical displays.

15.  Ice skating

21 Excellent Adventures
Ice skating fun

Ice skating in a wheelchair? Really? Yep, BJ has had many wonderful outings at ice rinks. In the school holidays he loves the social interaction the games bring. Ask your local rink if they allow wheelchairs on the ice.

16.     Accessible mini-golf

21 Excellent Adventures.
Indoor mini-golf

Playing mini-golf as a kid seems like a rite of passage. Finding accessible venues is another story. BJ loves any ball games and mini-golf is no exception. We have made the best of trying inaccessible course but finally found an accessible indoor course at Putt Planet in Sydney and Aqua Golf which is also accessible.

17.  First flying fox

21 Excellent Adventures.
First flying fox ride

Flying foxes are always a hive of activity at a park but sitting on a small disc swinging from a rope wasn’t possible for BJ until the harness seat became available. It was so wonderful to see BJ and AJ both zipping along the flying fox together. Even I had a go proving you’re never too old. You can find a list of great accessible playgrounds here.

18.      Statue of Liberty

21 Excellent Adventures
Visiting the Statue of Liberty

We were all so excited to be in New York and given that the Statue of Liberty is so symbolic of the city we were keen to go to the island. We were even happier to know that the Statue had undergone major work including the installation of elevators meaning we could go inside the statue and make it up to the viewing platform. Ironically on the day we visited the elevator was broken but that didn’t stop us getting BJ to the platform. You can see the gallant effort he put in here.

19.       Luge in Queenstown

21 Excellent Adventures
The boys on the Luge

We caught the gondola in Queenstown and had the most magnificent view all the way. When we got to the top and saw the luge ride and the fun everyone was having we decided we had to get BJ on it. Hubby carried BJ and I bumped the wheelchair to the top and he was absolutely delighted with every minute. I think he could have done it all day but one go was our limit as I was pregnant with AJ and it wasn’t easy getting to the top.

20. Helicopter flight over Barrier Reef

21 Excellent Adventures
Helicopter ride over Barrier Reef

We’ve done two helicopter flights with BJ. Last year we did a flight over the barrier reef because we thought that both he and AJ would find the 2-hour boat ride out to the reef too much. It gave everyone a good view and BJ thought the helicopter ride was an absolute highlight. We also did one years ago over Kings Canyon when we could not do the rim walk. The view was the highlight for Hubby and I and BJ just loved the ride.

21. Jet boating in New Zealand

21 Excellent Adventures
Jet boating in New Zealand

The boys headed off jet boating in Queenstown New Zealand and although BJ was the smallest passenger in the boat he had the biggest grin.

Phew, that’s 21! I limited myself to 21 excellent experiences to keep with the theme of BJ’s 21st birthday but there have been many more.  I can honestly say I my fears of him living a limited life have been unfounded. BJ is living a full and adventurous life and loving it.

Have you had an excellent adventure that we should try? We’d love to hear about it.

Don’t forget to keep up with us on Facebook where we share our daily tips.

21 Excellent Adventures.
Argo ride in New Zealand

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “21 Excellent Adventures – Have Wheelchair Will Travel”

  1. Hi my name is Emma, I’m going on a holiday to New Zealand next year and was wondering if you could help with some fun Activities that I could do as I am in a wheelchair. Was looking at a helicopter Ride.

    Reply
    • Hi Emma,

      We have a few questions from readers so I’ll pop them all into a post on Facebook and see if we can get a list of cool accessible activities for you.

      Julie

      Reply
  2. Hi my daughter is taking me on a little road trip up as far as the lower barrier reef. I think Seven seventy or there abouts would be as far as we will go
    We’re leaving from the Gold Coast and as she has a toddler and me in a wheelchair I was wondering if you know of any places that are best for wheelchair access. I can stand and walk a few feet with support but mostly in the wheelchair as I am on oxygen so walking any distance is impossible for me. I recently was on life support and lucy to be alive so my daughter wants me to do and see things while im able to. I’ve never seen further than Caloundra and that was b just a drive through visit. Any info on sights and accommodation would be much appreciated. Thank you

    Reply

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