It makes me so excited to see a destination listing an extensive range of accessible and inclusive activities. I was really happy to receive the following release regarding access and inclusion in the Mornington Peninsula region of Victoria ahead of International Day of People with Disability.
The Mornington Peninsula offers a variety of accessible venues and attractions enabling both people with a disability, their family, friends and support staff to enjoy a break in the region this summer and throughout the year. With plenty of balmy days ahead, it’s the perfect time of year to escape to one of Victoria’s most beautiful coastal regions. An abundance of easily accessible activities are on offer along the Mornington Peninsula.
These attractions are all operating with COVID-safe measures in place for the health and safety of guests.
Arthurs Seat Eagle
Soar from the Dromana base station to the summit and take in the best views of the Mornington Peninsula region and across Port Phillip Bay to the city skyline. On board the Eagle’s aerial gondolas, some of the best photo opportunities can be found in brilliant shades of blue with the backdrop of native bushland. Open from Friday 4 December, Arthurs Seat Eagle is located a little over one hour’s drive from Melbourne.
Everyone has a space at the Eagle; the entire site is wheelchair and pram/stroller friendly with accessible gondolas and car parking. The attraction’s slow-moving aerial gondolas allow level access for wheelchairs and walking frames from the base and summit stations to board easily.
You can read our full review of Arthurs Seat Eagle here.
At the base, award-winning restrooms cater for visitors with disabilities and mobility limitations. Awarded ‘Best Accessible Toilet’ in 2017 by MyTravelResearch.com (which runs the inaugural International Toilet Tourism Awards), the restrooms provide world’s best practice accessibility including an adult-size change table and hoist.
To ensure a COVID-safe experience, tickets must be pre-booked for an allocated time slot and can be made online.
Mount Martha Beach
Enjoy a breath of fresh sea air with 2 km of pristine sand and sea at Mount Martha Beach. Iconic, colourful bathing boxes set the perfect back drop for a relaxing swim or a quiet afternoon with your favourite book. Beach matting is rolled out each weekend over the warmer months of the year, allowing for easy wheelchair access. Accessible all-terrain beach wheelchairs are also available to borrow throughout summer from the Mount Martha Life Saving Club. Plenty of car parking is available along the Esplanade and excellent accessible amenities are at the Surf Life Saving Club.
You can see the variety of beach wheelchairs available to borrow in this post, along with some other accessible Melbourne beaches.
Located: along the Esplanade, Mt. Martha
The Briars Park
A visit to the Mornington Peninsula is hardly complete without an immersive experience in natural bushland. The Briars Park is rich in history and natural beauty with a wildlife sanctuary, heritage homestead, nursery and Eco-Living Display Centre as well as a number of walking trails, eateries and interesting artefacts to discover. The Briars Visitor Centre is a great place to start for a comprehensive overview of the best spots to take in.
Wheelchair-accessible walking trails include the Wetland Walk (300m) and the Balcombe Creek Walkway (800m), which feature comfortable boardwalks and a number of ‘bird hides’ for spotting wildlife along the way. Both the Angus & Rose Café and Josephine’s Restaurant allow for all-abilities access and the Visitor Centre also has an accessible bathroom available.
Located: Nepean Highway, Mt. Martha
Get right up close to Australian animals with a unique encounter at this award-winning wildlife park. Learn something you didn’t know about native birds, reptiles and dingoes or interact with them – experiences such as feeding the kangaroos or patting the koalas can be found. More than 70 Australian species are waiting to get to know you. Moonlit Sanctuary is easily accessible with flat boardwalks throughout the sanctuary and amenities on site including ramps, accessible toilet facilities and car parking. The animal enclosures have large viewing windows allowing for wheelchair users to have a great view of the animals.
*Please note that the Sanctuary has changed their ticketing process in compliance with a COVID-safe plan. A pre-purchased, contactless ticket system is now in place. Please pre-book your entry online as attendance caps and staggered entry times apply to keep all visitors safe.
Hastings Liberty Swing
Not just for kids, a Liberty Swing offers wheelchair users the ability to enjoy an exhilarating swing on a playground swing set and allows able-bodied and non-able-bodied children to play together in an inclusive environment. An enclosed Liberty Swing ensures a safe and enjoyable experience for children and is available at the Hastings Foreshore Reserve. A key to operate the swing can be borrowed from the nearby Pelican Park Recreation Centre, simply by presenting a photo ID.
Located: 2 Marine Parade, Hastings
Green Olive at Red Hill
Green Olive at Red Hill offers a unique and exceptional farm and food experience. This includes growing olives, grapes, herbs and veggies, raising sheep and chooks, as well as using fresh produce from other local farmers to produce a range of tapas, wine and body products. The quality of this experience has been recognised with awards for excellence in Food Tourism (winners of this category for the RACV Victorian Tourism Awards and Qantas Australian Tourism Awards from 2014 – 2016). Green Olive is an inclusive tourism destination with level surfaces and a flat deck area providing ample accessible seating options both indoor and outdoor. The restaurant counter is at a suitable height for wheelchair users and there are accessible bathroom facilities and car parking on site. The farm tapas and wine menu is available every day from 9am until 4pm, with coffee, wine and dessert on offer until 5pm.
Check out the package deal combining a flight experience of Arthurs Seat Eagle followed by lunch at Green Olive via Red Balloon.
Located: 1180 Mornington Flinders Road, Main Ridge
Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery
This is one of Australia’s leading regional art galleries embracing traditional and contemporary art with a year-round exhibition program celebrating both Australian and international artists.
Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery often curates exhibitions which explore a connection to the local area including the history and coastal environment of the region.
The gallery is suitable for wheelchair access with accessible bathrooms on site and free accessible car parking.
Located: Civic Reserve, Dunns Road, Mornington
Congratulations to the Mornington Peninsula on putting together this fab list. We would love to see more destinations and regions putting together a list of accessible and inclusive activities to do for locals and visitors. How much easier would it be as a family, or as a person with a disability, to plan a day out or trip with good accessible information.