It was probably ambitious heading to the popular family-friendly Malabar Beach on a hot New Year’s day, but when one of our Accessible Sydney Facebook group members (thanks Christie) shared photos of the beach matting, we had to check it out ourselves. We welcome any accessibility to Sydney’s beaches.
Malabar Beach Access
We’ve never been to Malabar Beach so we had no idea what to expect. Malabar was exceptionally calm and filled with families enjoying the warm water on a sweltering hot summer’s day.
Interestingly, although beach matting is considered disability-specific equipment, we watched a stream of people of varying ages, abilities and needs using it. A sign that it would be well used in any beach location.
We arrived with BJ’s own beach wheelchair as there are no life guards on duty at this beach and no chairs available to loan. The matting is designed to allow a wheelchair user to use their own manual or power chair to access the beach however this matting was short of the water’s edge so may prove tricky for some.
We found a few challenges at Malabar with the beach particularly crowded to navigate with the beach wheelchair and a rocky bottom once in the water.
It was wonderfully calm and seemed a particularly safe swimming spot which we loved.
The beach is at the base of a hill so it is a bit of a push on the return from the water.
A MLAK key locked unisex stand-alone accessible bathroom is available.
Barbecue and picnic tables are dotted around the reserve above the beach with a fenced playground. The playground doesn’t have any specific accessible facilities.
Parking was a challenge when we visited but there are two accessible parking bays at the top of the path which leads down to the beach.
We welcome the beach matting being used at any beaches to increase access but would like to see it being installed at beaches which also have good general access. What do you think?
Julianne Kirby says
I took my son in a electric wheelchair on a Monday at midday a couple of weeks ago to this beach. The matting was covered in sand at places and in accessible. I also think the path should go to the waters edge. There were also repairs needed in the joins of the mat as there was parts sticking out of the sand that could cause a puncture. I have emailed Randwick council and sent photos to them. It was pretty disappointing.
Hi Julianne, I’m so happy you took photos to send to council and for them to hear from someone who should have been able to use it easily. Hopefully it will prompt action. Julie