We know that the availability of a hoist, an adult-size change table, or both, is often the deal breaker for a day out for many in our Have Wheelchair Will Travel community. With that in mind, we thought we’d put together a list of the Sydney beaches that offer a Changing Places style of bathroom with hoist and change table. The three beaches also offer a beach wheelchair on site and accessible parking, making these Sydney’s most accessible places to enjoy a day at the beach.
3 accessible Sydney beaches with a hoist & adult-size change table
Bondi Beach is located 9.3km east of Sydney’s CBD and can be reached by car or accessible bus. If you are visiting Sydney, this is the easiest of the three beaches to travel to if you don’t have a car and if you are staying in Sydney’s CBD.
Thanks to a major upgrade to Bondi Pavilion last year, Sydney’s most iconic beach is now one of the most accessible, with a Changing Places bathroom located within the Pavilion.
The bathroom is MLAK key locked but if you don’t have your own key you can borrow one from the information booth in the pavilion. If you are keen to know about how to get your own key, we share all the details in this story.
Inside the Changing Places bathroom there’s a height adjustable adult-size change table, ceiling hoist and shower (super handy at a beach location). The toilet is fitted with a back rest and rails on either side. The rails can be lifted out of the way to allow for transferring onto the toilet.
A privacy screen is available which I always think is an excellent inclusion for anyone using the bathroom with the aid of a support worker or someone else.
Bondi Beach access
Braeden has his own beach wheelchair but for anyone who is looking to borrow a beach wheelchair they are located in lockers on the promenade at the northern end of the beach. The lockers provide a secure place to store your own wheelchair while enjoying the beach (depending on the size of your wheelchair you may need to leave it in the Bondi lifeguard tower instead) Booking a beach wheelchair is essential by calling council on (02) 9083 8300 or email: email@example.com.
The easiest access to Bondi Beach is via ramp at the northern end of the beach (see photo above).
If you’d like more detailed information, I have a dedicated review of Bondi Beach and the Changing Places bathroom.
Collaroy Beach is located on the beautiful Northern Beaches of Sydney, approximately 26km from Sydney’s CBD. Depending on the time of day you travel, it’s at least 40 minutes by car. Buses also operate to the Northern Beaches.
Collaroy Beach provides lovely easy access with a combination of facilities including a beach wheelchair, accessible playground and picnic facilities and an accessible bathroom with hoist and adult-size change table.
The accessible bathroom at Collaroy Beach is fitted with ceiling hoist, shower and adult-size change table and is MLAK key locked. Unfortunately a beach wheelchair won’t fit inside the doorway at Collaroy. There are multiple accessible bathrooms facing the road but there is only one bathroom with hoist and adult-size change table and this one faces the beach. You can book the Freewheeler (same as the Sandcruiser) beach wheelchair by calling 1300434434 during weekday business hours or ask the lifeguards if they are on duty.
Collaroy Beach also offers good access to the ocean pool with a water wheelchair available to borrow (this must also be booked).
I would argue that Collaroy Beach offers the easiest access in Sydney for those wanting to get down onto the sand. The beach is not as steep as many of the other beaches and there is a shorter distance of soft sand to traverse. A gentle ramp onto the beach makes access from the car park to the sand easy.
If you’d like to learn more about the accessible playground, picnic area and ocean pool you can read about it in our review of Collaroy Beach.
Mona Vale Beach
Mona Vale Beach is also located on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, 31.9 kms from Sydney’s CBD. Depending on the time of day you travel it would take approximately 45 minutes by car.
Mona Vale Beach has a Hippocampe beach wheelchair located at the surf life saving club. The beach wheelchair would fit into the accessible bathroom so anyone needing a hoist to transfer to the beach chair would have access to one.
Mona Vale Beach has a spacious accessible bathroom which is MLAK key locked and features a hoist adult-size change table and shower.
The bathroom is located right in front of the access point for the beach and we tested the door width and a beach wheelchair can go inside. So, if you need to use a hoist to transfer from a regular wheelchair to the beach wheelchair it is possible at Mona Vale Beach.
Like the Bondi Beach Changing Places bathroom, the accessible bathroom at Mona Vale Beach is incredibly spacious.
We find the beach at Mona Vale to be hard work on the return trip to the car. It’s steep and even with the beach wheelchair’s big tyres it’s tough to push back to the top. Lifeguards are super helpful if they are around.
Last year the lifeguards spotted Hubby pushing the beach wheelchair and offered to give Braeden a ride back to the top in their buggy which we gratefully accepted. This is okay for us but it isn’t a solution for anyone who is unable to do a standing transfer. It’s just something to keep in mind if you choose Mona Vale Beach.
So, which beach is the best? Well, that really depends on what you need to make a day at the beach accessible and whether you have transport to get there. As an all-round accessible beach, Bondi comes out in front because a beach wheelchair can fit into the accessible bathroom for anyone who needs a hoist to transfer to the beach wheelchair, beach wheelchairs are available to loan and there is a gentle ramp down onto the sand making access easier.
I can guarantee that nothing beats a day at one of Sydney’s beautiful accessible beaches and we hope this blog helps more people to do so. Happy beach days for all!
We have a blog filled with information on Sydney’s other accessible beaches, but keep in mind, they don’t have a hoist or adult-size change table.