When I was a child travelling around the world for six months with my parents, we visited Venice. I was entranced by the gondolas and their singing guides, but our budget didn’t stretch far enough to use one to explore Venice’s canals. I badly wanted to go on one but now as an adult I understand a travel budget. Still, I’ve always given my parents a hard time about how we missed the gondolas. So, when we were offered the opportunity to take a ride on one of the Gold Coast Gondolas I jumped at the chance.
Gold Coast Gondolas – review of accessibility
Riding in one of the Gold Coast Gondolas is a wonderfully relaxing way to enjoy the waterways of the Gold Coast. After seeing the city from Skypoint Observation Deck it was interesting to see it from a different view point and to have the opportunity to do some window shopping for a waterfront mansion for the future.
As I said to the kids, normally there is probably some good old smooching and romance happening in the gondolas. Instead, I did some bad singing, there were lots of giggles and some concern from Braeden at times when it was a bit choppy when the gondola was navigating the wake of other boats (this was minimal)..
We were booked on the sunset dinner cruise and an assortment of meals had been ordered for us, including chicken parmigiana, fettuccine alfredo, a seafood basket and calamari and chips. Everything was really delicious and wonderfully hot. It’s BYO wine to fill the gold goblets which were able to be secured to the table. You can take a look at the menu offered by Gold Coast Gondolas on their website.
The seating is incredibly comfortable and blankets are provided in case guests get chilly. I found between my enthusiastic singing along to the song That’s Amore, and the wine, I stayed warm enough without a nana blanket. Can you believe that there was even an inquiry into the lyrics I was singing? Some in the boat, that shall remain unnamed, didn’t believe that the lyrics include the words, “when a moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore.”
Sunset is a beautiful time to take this boat ride because the waterways are relatively quiet and it’s magic watching the changing colour of the evening sky.
When the sun did set the lights of the skyscrapers of the city skyline sparkled in the distance and we settled in to sticky beak in the mansions we were passing. One even had a helipad. What kind of job does one have to have a helipad in the front yard?
Gold Coast Gondolas accessibility
Some mobility is required to access the Gold Coast Gondolas.
As with most jettys, there is a variance in the steepness of the ramp leading down to the floating wharf according to the tide.
It was pretty steep when we visited and required a bit of extra push power from Hubby to get Braeden’s wheelchair back to the top at the end of the evening.
Once on the floating wharf we were able to wheel Braeden’s wheelchair to the side of the gondola. He then transferred out of his wheelchair into the gondola which required two steps from him. He needed to step down onto a step within the gondola and then down to the floor. A staff member from Gold Coast Gondolas held the gondola as steady as possible as Hubby assisted Braeden into the gondola and I assisted from inside the gondola. Braeden was a little unsure for a moment when the gondola moved as he entered but once seated he was super comfortable. Braeden’s wheelchair was able to be stored in the office at the floating wharf.
When seated Braeden was well supported in the comfy bench seating and once in the gondola there is no moving around.
This is also a great low sensory way of exploring the city.
I loved our evening in the gondola. It has only further fuelled my desire to go back to Venice and fulfil my childhood dream of riding a Venetian gondola with a singing guide. Something tells me the singing will be way better than mine!
You can read more about Gold Coast Gondolas and the packages they offer on their website.
We were hosted for our evening but as always our opinions are our own.
JEN NELSON says
Thankyou so so much yet again Julie, for providing such valuable and informative info.
I have told so many people [workers, agencies, friends] about HWW.
I’m going for a loooong awaited rip to the gold coast to see family & friends and I was at a loss as to what’s available for a w/c, but you have given me plenty of ideas as to what’s available.
HWWT is my goto guide for accessible destinations, & it was there that I had a good look at your accessible activities on the GC that you wrote back in Aug 2018.
I know I’ve said this before, but please keep doing what your doing Julie, we all find your info priceless!
Jen you have made my day. It’s always our hope that our reviews will help inspire and assist with the right information so people travelling can work out what may be accessible to their needs. Thanks for your message, it means the world.
Hi Julie, my family are going to the Gold Coast in September and I am super interested in the Gondola. What time of night did you go and was it dark early?
We booked the sunset gondola cruise in July so it was dark about an hour into the cruise from memory. It was extremely peaceful and a unique view of the Gold Coast.
Enjoy if you go.