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Australian Disability Travel: Australia for the Disabled

Disabled World: Revised/Updated: 2019/02/12

Synopsis: Information and tips regarding traveling and touring Australia with a disability including finding accessible accommodation and van hire reviews.

Main Document

Australia is a country in the southern hemisphere comprising the mainland of the world's smallest continent, the major island of Tasmania, and numerous other islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Neighboring countries include Indonesia, East Timor, and Papua New Guinea to the north, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia to the north-east, and New Zealand to the south-east.

Sydney is one of the most beautiful cities of the world. Located on the south-east coast of Australia, the Harbor City certainly is globally influential in the fields of culture, art, fashion, cuisine and design. The city is home to the Australia's two most iconic structures Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. You can enjoy the vibrant life of the dynamic city.

The Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest coral reef, lies a short distance off the north-east coast and extends for over 2,000 kilometers.

Traveling in Australia with Disability

Map of Australia showing each of the states in different shaded colors.
Map of Australia showing each of the states in different shaded colors.

The country's major airlines are equipped to cater for a wide range of needs. They can provide wheelchairs, preferential aircraft boarding, oxygen and facilities for guide dogs, and can also cater for special dietary requirements.

Legislative arrangements in Australia require that there are adequate services for people with disabilities on transport, tours and in hotels.

Planning is always an important part of ensuring any holiday is successful, and that any special requirements are met. There are a lot of useful resources available online, including anecdotal reports from other travelers with a disability, access guide books written by wheelchair users, accessible accommodation listings and vehicle hire, as well as information about local disability organizations, service providers and lots more.

Travel Agents

You may want to find a "full service agent" that can help you with your flight, hotel, accessible van rental, and anything else you may need. Or if you are willing and able to make those arrangements yourself then you can use a specialized travel agent.

In Australia wheelchair accessible taxis are available through major taxi companies in all capital cities.

Most of Australia's trains are fully accessible for those with mobility difficulties and Greyhound Pioneer Australia and McCafferty coaches, or bus lines, both offer accessible travel for the disabled. In fact the Australian Accessible Transport Standard regulations will ensure excellent access on all types of public transport across Australia.

Australians on DSP Traveling Overseas

Francois Peron National Park, Australia offers the best beaches in the world for all types of recreational water activities.
Francois Peron National Park, Australia offers the best beaches in the world for all types of recreational water activities.

When traveling overseas temporarily, you will generally only be paid DSP for up to 4 weeks in any 12 month period. You may continue to be paid DSP for longer than 4 weeks if you:

  • Are studying outside Australia as part of a full time Australian course.
  • Are severely disabled and dependent on and living with, a family member who has been temporarily posted to work outside Australia.
  • Are severely disabled and your DSP can be paid under an international social security agreement Australia has with the country in which you are staying in.
  • Have been assessed in Australia prior to departure as having a permanent, severe impairment and no future work capacity. Assessment involves a review of your DSP qualification and a Job Capacity Assessment.

If you have traveled overseas for 4 weeks in a 12 month period, you may still be able to be paid overseas if your reason for travel is one of the following approved reasons:

  • Eligible medical treatment that is not available in Australia.
  • Humanitarian reasons, for example, to adopt a child or attend custody proceedings.
  • An acute family crisis, for example, to visit an immediate family member who is critically ill.



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