At times, getting around in a wheelchair, mobility scooter, or pushing an infant’s pram can be a challenge. And for people with sensory disabilities, visiting public spaces can be difficult too. We've found some of the top attractions to visit with level surfaces, lifts, accessible toilets, and more.
Whether you’re young or old, a day out at Melbourne Zoo is a fun, educational adventure. You'll find accessible parking at both entrances, and accessible trams depart from the city centre every six minutes. Say hello to the hippos and wave at the wombats along the easy-to-follow path system, which has seating at intervals. There are several accessible toilets, including a Changing Places facility. Book ahead if you want to use one of the zoo’s free wheelchairs. Note that whilst the main paths are all wheelchair-friendly, some trails are not. Always check ahead with the venue to make sure they can accommodate your individual access needs.
People with disabilities who hold carer or companion cards get free entry for their carers. Assistance animals are welcome. Just be aware that they aren’t allowed in some areas due to safety or quarantine concerns. To plan around busy, noisy, strong-smelling areas of the zoo, you can download the Melbourne Zoo Sensory map before going.
Old and new, beautiful and challenging, NGV International brings a world of art to Melbourne. The large, level gallery spaces are a breeze to get around. The Grollo Equiset Garden on the ground level is easy to navigate too. There’s lift access to each floor, with ramps and escalators throughout the building. And wayfinding signage that includes braille and raised letters.
Accessible toilets are on three levels. Free wheelchairs are available, as well as a mobility scooter, but ideally, book ahead. Companion card holders get the concession rate, plus a complimentary ticket for their helpful mate. Carer card holders also enjoy concession prices. Experiences and resources for people with sensory disabilities include relaxed sessions, social stories, sensory maps, and art-making resources. Audio-described and Auslan-interpreted tours are also available. Service animals are welcome too. Getting there is easy, with accessible platform super stops directly outside on St Kilda Road. Paid accessible parking is available at the Arts Centre, and Australian Ballet Centre Car Park.
Discover more than two centuries of homegrown art at the Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia. Like NGV International, this building is readily accessible, and complimentary wheelchairs are available. There’s the same helpful NGV pricing policy and more experiences and resources for visitors with sensory disabilities. The welcome mat’s out for assistance animals too.
For those with limited mobility, access is via the entrance on the Russell Street Extension or via the Fed Square atrium off Flinders Street. Paid accessible parking is available at Fed Square. And it’s easy to get to with public transport too, with Flinders Street Station and accessible platform super stops nearby.
The traditional art exhibition experience gets turned upside down at ArtVo. This immersive gallery is loaded with optical illusions. From the ocean to outer space, you can literally put yourself in the picture. Tickets are valid for the day so you can go at your own pace and take a break if needed. Seating is available near the entrance.
Located in The District Docklands, a lift from the ground floor takes you to the entrance on level one. The 1400 square-metre space is wheelchair accessible. There are accessible toilets throughout the precinct, the closest to ArtVo is at the Star Circus. The most convenient accessible parking is on the west side, off Pearl River Road. An accessible platform super stop is located right outside shopping centre. The District’s customer service lounge offers complimentary wheelchair hire.
Australian Sports Museum
There’s more to the MCG than the game going on in the middle. Its Australian Sports Museum lets you replay the past, from footy glory to Olympic gold. Dedicated to Australian sport, it has accessible toilets and one of the first Changing Places facilities at a Victorian venue. There’s also a sensory map showing quiet and busy spaces, and seating throughout the Museum.
Arrive via beautiful Yarra Park from the accessible platform super stop on Wellington Parade. Or use the accessible parking at the corner of Jolimont Terrace and Jolimont Street. There’s free entry for companion and carer card holders' attendants. Registered guide dogs and other service animals are welcome.
From films to video games, ACMI celebrates screen culture past and present. Originally known as the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, it's amazing fun. There are two entrances, but it's best to use the Flinders Street one. A series of lifts offer access to all levels of ACMI. Once inside, everything is accessible, including accessible toilets on two levels. Complimentary wheelchairs are available.
Carers accompanying companion card holders get free entry to ACMI’s ticketed programs. Registered assistance animals are welcome, and free hearing devices are available. ACMI also has relaxed visits and audio described tours for people with sensory disabilities. Getting there is easy, with Flinders Street Station and accessible platform super stops nearby. There’s accessible parking on all levels of the Fed Square car park, too.
Wonders of nature, science and history unite under Melbourne Museum’s big roof. This modern building was constructed with accessibility in mind. So it’s easy to get around, from the car park to the gift shop and the IMAX cinema, which has accessible seating and assistive listening devices for any film. Exhibitions have tactile components for people with low vision. The Forest Gallery and Milarri Gardens are easy to explore with ramps throughout. Hearing loops are in many spaces within the Museum. There are several accessible lifts, and accessible toilets are on all three levels.
Wheelchairs and a mobility scooter are available free of charge, but best to book in advance. Got a companion card? Your helper gets free admission. Visiting with a service animal? Come on through. This is an autism-friendly museum. Maps highlighting low and high sensory areas, and downloadable social stories are available to read before your visit. Getting there is easy too, with an accessible platform super stop on Nicholson Street.
SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium
Playful penguins. Colourful fish. Strange looking seahorses, weedy sea dragons and jellyfish. Even a five-metre crocodile. SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium has it all, and it’s all accessible, including the 4D cinema experience. You can get to each floor of the aquarium via either a lift or ramp and there’s seating available throughout. There’s an accessible cafe and you’re welcome to bring your own food, too.
Accessible toilets are at the entrance and on each level. Free wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Got a carer or companion card? Your attendant enjoys complimentary entry. A social script is online to help prepare visitors with autism. Noise-cancelling headphones are available upon entry and assistance animals are welcome. Getting there is smooth sailing, with an accessible platform super stop nearby on Flinders Street.
Explore the history of migration to Victoria, as well as identity, citizenship and community, at the Immigration Museum. All exhibition galleries and public spaces in this grand building have lift or ramp access. There are accessible toilets on the ground and first floors. And complimentary wheelchairs and a mobility scooter are available. It's a good idea to book ahead though.
Companion card holders can bring an attendant for free. This is an autism-friendly museum, with maps of high and low sensory spaces, social scripts and more. Service animals are welcome and exhibitions have tactile components to enhance visitors’ experience. There are two accessible entrances and an accessible platform super stop on Flinders Street.
Arts Centre Melbourne
From classical music to children’s theatre, Melbourne’s Arts Centre is a cultural feast. It comprises the theatres building – look for its iconic spire! – Hamer Hall and the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. All the centre’s venues have accessible seating, and accessible toilets are always close by. Hamer Hall also has a Changing Places facility for its patrons. Book ahead if you want to use a free wheelchair.
Your easy-access visit begins at the car park. Consider valet parking: Disability Parking Permit holders get a discount. There are also accessible parking spaces, and accessible platform super stops on St Kilda Road. Companion card holders receive a complimentary ticket for their attendant. Assistance animals are welcome in all buildings too. A range of events have relaxed, Auslan-interpreted, and audio description shows. Tactile tours are available for some performances in which audiences can feel key elements such as props, the set and costumes. To see if an event offers one of these options, check the event page. These pages include access icons to identify accessible experiences at a glance. All venues have assistive hearing systems.
Plan your visit
Information correct at time of writing – always check ahead with the venue to make sure they can accommodate your individual access needs.
Written and researched by an Access Consultant Cert. IV, with lived experience of disability.
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