About Accessible Tours
This website was built for you.
Accessibility is not one size fits all. Valueable information about accessibility is scattered and hard to find. Our vision is to provide transparent resources to help you find and book accessible tours.
What Accessibility means to us:
- Clear, Concise, Facts.
- The whole story; What is and what is not accessible.
- Visuals! So you can decide on your version of accessible.
- Maps for accessible parking, So you can plan ahead.
- Maps for locating wheelchair-accessible toilets.
- Information on free and accessible things to do.
- The Sunflower Hidden Disability Program and its supporters.
Accessible Tours collects, organizes, and promotes this information, making it easier for travelers to find the information they need to plan their holidays independently.
Accessible Tropical North Queensland
Tropical North Queensland offers a wealth of natural and cultural attractions.
Cairns, known as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, holds a unique distinction. It's the place where two UNESCO World Heritage sites meet: The Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest.
Cairns has the largest Braille and tactile street name program in regional Australia.
250 Braille and tactile signs with street names and directional information are located above every pedestrian button in the Cairns City Centre.
Majority of the Cairns City hotels are close to local restaurants, the Esplanade, Cairns Lagoon and the Reef Fleet Terminal.
This is useful to keep in mind when planning your accommodation, if a person wanted to avoid having to organize accessible transportation around town.
Cairns City also has an extensive network of shared off-road paths.
The Top Three Attractions for Cairns & Port Douglas
1. Great Barrier Reef:
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Queensland.
Many tours leave from Cairns and Port Douglas to the Great Barrier Reef, but some are more accessible than others.
The Quicksilver pontoon, which departs from Port Douglas, is one of the most accessible options to visit the Outer Barrier Reef. Featuring a hydrolic lift to assist a person who uses a wheelchair into the ocean!
You can also visit the reef via one of the Islands.
Fitzroy Island vs Green Island:
- Both islands offer beautiful clear blue water and snorkelling directly from the beach.
- Green Island has fine white sandy beaches, while Fitzroy Island has pebbled coral on the beach that makes a pleasant chiming sound when you walk on it.
- Both islands offer half-day and full-day tours.
- Both offer snorkeling and glass-bottom boat trips.
- It takes 45 minutes on a ferry to either Island.
Deciding which is better really depends on your level of mobility.
Fitzroy Island, which is a mainland island, is a 45 minute ferry away from Cairns.
Fitzroy Island is accessible to those with some mobility, and if you are up for the challenge, it can be done.
Fitzroy Island offers activities such as stand up paddle boards and kayaks, and some very unique walks through the national park such as the Lighthouse track or The Summit track which offers 360 degree views of the Coral Sea surrounding the Island.
The active nature of this Island makes it popular with the Cairns Locals.
Green Island, a 6000-year-old coral cay on the Great Barrier Reef, is much more wheelchair-friendly. Although it's smaller than Fitzroy Island, it has easy-to-use pathways for self-guided walks to see native plants and wildlife.
Green Island also offers a Semi Submarine experience that allows you to view the reef through windows beside you, unlike a glass-bottom boat where you observe the reef below you.
Green Island has a free beach wheelchair available from the life guard station.
Accessing the Semi Submarine can be challenging due to steep steps leading into it. Additionally, it's important to be aware that the interior is a confined space with echoing acoustics, which may be loud and potentially uncomfortable for individuals with sensory sensitivities.
2. Kuranda Train and Skyrail:
A very well known experience in Cairns is the Historic Kuranda Scenic Railway and the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.
The tour is a combination of travel up the mountain to the rainforest village of Kuranda which is famous for it's alternative laid back lifestyle and famous heritage markets.
Kuranda Scenic Railway
The Kuranda Scenic Railway takes you through World Heritage-listed rainforest, past stunning waterfalls, and into the breathtaking Barron Gorge with informative commentary along the way. Your adventure includes a souvenir booklet and the opportunity to upgrade to Gold Class for added comfort and refreshments. It takes about 1.5 hours to reach Kuranda.
Kuranda Scenic Railway accommodates various mobility devices, including wheelchairs, walking frames, and mobility scooters. Each station may have different facilities, so it's essential to review accessibility information for individual stations when planning your journey.
Station Accessibility Information
- Freshwater Station: Accessible toilet, ramp access throughout the station, hydraulic lift boarding device platform to carriage, weight limit: 230 kg, mobility device size limit: 800 mm width by 1100 mm length.
- Kuranda Station: Accessible toilet, lift to street level, hydraulic lift boarding device platform to carriage, weight limit: 230 kg, mobility device size limit: 800 mm width by 1100 mm length.
- Cairns Station: Accessible toilet, lift to the platform bridge, boarding ramp platform to carriage, weight capacity: 300 kg, mobility device size limit: 760 mm width.
- Barron Falls Station: Stair access only, significant height difference between station platform and train.
Accessible Carriage Details
- Four accessible spaces are available onboard the accessible carriage for passengers using wheelchairs or mobility scooters.
- Seats near the accessible spaces can be booked for companions and carers.
- Note: Seats cannot be turned; some may face backward.
- Passengers can choose to remain in their mobility devices or transfer to a seat.
- The accessible carriage includes tie-down straps to secure mobility devices during the journey.
- Accessible toilet facilities are available in the accessible carriage.
- If a person has sensory sensitivities, it might be more comfortable to take the train up in the morning rather than down, as the braking noises during the descent could be loud or uncomfortable.
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway offers a birds eye view of the World Heritage-listed tropical rainforest. Glide over the 7.5 kilometers of rainforest canopy with views over Cairns city on the Horizon.
On a really clear day you can see Green Island in the distance.
There are two stops along the way that you can get off at and explore. The Skyrail gondala's keep coming past about every 45 seconds, so you can just get on the next available gondala after you're finished exploring.
The Skyrail can be slowed right down to help Wheelchair users onto their gondala.
Please note, while Skyrail can accommodate most standard wheelchairs, there are some requirements:
- Width: Up to 630mm.
- Length: Up to 950mm.
- Wheelchairs should be tiltable (able to raise front wheels) for gondola loading.
- The combined weight of the wheelchair and occupant should be manageable for operator-assisted loading.
- Handles are necessary for easy lifting into the gondolas.
- Skyrail's friendly team ensures stress-free boarding and disembarking by slowing or stopping the cableway.
- Ramps are readily available, providing access to all Skyrail areas.
- Wheelchair-accessible restrooms are conveniently situated throughout the entire journey.
- Complimentary onsite wheelchairs
- When you arrive at Kuranda, there is a shuttle bus that can transport you up the inclined hill and will drop you off outside of the Butterfly Sanctuary.
- There is a accessible toilet situated in the main public convenience complex.
- Skyrail supports the Sunflower Hidden Disability Lanyard.
3. Daintree & Cape Tribulation:
The Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation, nestled in Tropical North Queensland, offer an opportunity to step back in time and experience the ancient wonders of nature.
Exploring the Daintree Rainforest:
The Daintree Rainforest is renowned as the world's oldest tropical rainforest, dating back over 180 million years.
It's an incredible destination for nature enthusiasts.
Mossman Gorge: One of the highlights is Mossman Gorge, located within Daintree National Park. It's famous for its crystal-clear waters and unique rainforest ecosystem. While some trails may be challenging, there are wheelchair-accessible areas and the Mossman Gorge Gateway Centre provides accessible facilities.
Daintree River Cruise: A Daintree River cruise offers an opportunity to observe the region's diverse wildlife, including crocodiles and various bird species. Some tour operators provide accessible options for visitors.
Cape Tribulation: Cape Tribulation is where the rainforest meets the reef, offering stunning coastal vistas and unique rainforest walks. Some trails may not be accessible to all, but a variety of tour operators can tailor experiences to accommodate different mobility levels.
3 out of 4 boardwalks in the Cape Tribulation section of Daintree National Park that are wheelchair accessible. These include the Marrdja, Dubuji, and Kulki boardwalks, while the Jindalba boardwalk is partially wheelchair accessible.
The Kulki boardwalk is located in the Cape Tribulation section of Daintree National Park (CYPAL), which is approximately 140 kilometers north of Cairns. To get there from the Daintree ferry, drive 35 kilometers along the Cape Tribulation road and turn into the car park, which is signposted and located 7 kilometers past Noah Beach camping area.
The Dubuji boardwalk is located in the Cape Tribulation section of Daintree National Park (CYPAL), which is approximately 140 kilometers north of Cairns. To get there from the Daintree ferry, drive 34 kilometers north along the Cape Tribulation Road and turn into the Dubuji car park, which is located 5 kilometers past Noah Beach camping area.
The Madja boardwalk is located in the Cape Tribulation section of Daintree National Park (CYPAL), which is approximately 130 kilometers north of Cairns. To get there from the Daintree ferry, drive 27 kilometers north along the Cape Tribulation road and turn into the Madja car park, which is located 6 kilometers past Thornton Beach.
The Jindalba boardwalk is located in the Cape Tribulation section of Daintree National Park (CYPAL), which is approximately 115 kilometers north of Cairns. To get there from the Daintree ferry, drive 10 kilometers north along Cape Tribulation Road and turn right into Tulip Oak Road (2 kilometers past the Mount Alexandra lookout), and drive a further 1 kilometer to the Jindalba car park.
Wheelchair access to the creek is possible from the exit end of the boardwalk, near the disabled access parking bays
News By Accessible Tours
Green Island Welcomes New Beach Wheelchair
By Accessible Tours
05 Nov 2023
Green Island is now even more accessible, thanks to the recent acquisition of a new beach wheelchair.
The wheelchair is available for anyone to use free of charge from the Green Island Lifeguard Station on a first-come, first-served basis.
To use the wheelchair, users must sign an indemnity form and take responsibility for their use.
The new wheelchair is a welcome addition to Green Island, which is a popular destination for people of all abilities. It will allow more people to enjoy the island's beautiful beaches and scenery.
Enhancing Accessibility at Paronella Park
By Accessible Tours
17 Sep 2023
Paronella Park, a historic gem from the 1930s, has been dedicated to improving its accessibility features. Recent efforts have focused on widening and reinforcing pathways, with the highlight being the new alternative pathway to Teresa Falls, offering stair-free access.
While the park acknowledges the challenges posed by its unique layout and location, the team is committed to making Paronella Park as accessible as possible for all visitors, ensuring that everyone can enjoy its timeless beauty and historical charm.
Cairns Airport crowned Airport of the year 2023!
By Accessible Tours
02 Sep 2023
Cairns Airport has proudly secured the prestigious Airport of the Year award at the Australian Aviation Awards in Sydney.
This achievement recognizes the dedication of the Cairns Airport team and their contribution to the Cairns Region.
Cairns Base Hospital Pioneers Inclusive Patient Care with Multi-Sensory Experience
By Accessible Tours
02 Sep 2023
Cairns is taking a bold step towards inclusive and holistic patient care.
As part of a comprehensive $70 million redevelopment project, an innovative sensory modulation room is being introduced to enhance the well-being of mental health patients.
This visionary digital solution, developed collaboratively with clinicians and project experts, offers patients an immersive journey through interactive visual and soundscapes tailored to individual needs.
Multi-sensory features designed to soothe, engage, and distract, the room also incorporates soothing lights and gentle scents.
The new Mental Health Unit is slated to open in mid-2024, reflecting Cairns' commitment to creating an inclusive and supportive healthcare environment.