A family of five (Bron, Andrew, Cooper, Pepper and Elwood), based in Melbourne Australia, love to travel near and far. They travel with young kids aged 12, 9 & 6 including their eldest who uses a wheelchair while they explore.
We show you how to explore the Mornington Peninsula with a wheelchair. The Mornington Peninsula is a fantastic area to explore as a family. With adventures in the water, hills, beach and bush to be had its the perfect playground for adventuring families. We share our top 10 experiences for families on the Mornington Peninsula with a focus on activities that include all abilities. With lots of info on wheelchair access, accessible parking and bathrooms and whether the venue accepts the companion card. We hope you find this guide helpful to exploring the Peninsula your own way.
1. Arthurs Seat Eagle.
The old chairlift has gone and has been replaced by a modern gondola ride on the Arthurs Seat Eagle, from the Base Station to the Summit. The whole experience is a smooth barrier free adventure. There are accessible car spots both at the top and bottom for easy parking. At the base station it’s an easy roll into the gondola as the staff stop the ride for a smooth transtition. Within the gondola the two timber bench seats can go up to allow more room to manoeuvre your wheelchair. The base station also has a Changing Places bathroom which is an universal accessible bathroom for all ages. ( just bring your own hoist cover and the key is at the ticket box) Great views from any spot in the gondola and covered windows for those wet days. At the Summit there is a cafe or the opportunity to explore more of the Peninsula while you are up there.
Costs; $25 return for an adult. Companion card accepted.
2. Moonlit Sanctuary.
Wanting to get up close and personal with some native Australian animals? Moonlit Sanctuary allows you to engage and interact with wallabies and Kangaroos by hand feeding them, have close up animal encounters and learn more about native wildlife during the daily show. Staff are friendly and on hand to answer any question you or your kids might have during ranger talks and displays.
Paths are flat yet a little bumpy in spots ( tree roots) but Cooper managed fine in his powechair independently. There are new boardwalks at the koala enclosure and through the Wallaby walk making access much easier. The viewing windows are open and large and perfect for wheelchair users to get a great view of the animals.
There is ramped access to the cafe and lots of places to sit and rest along the way if needed. Picnic tables are available throughout the sanctuary too.
2 accessible car spots on site.
The Accessible bathroom needs updating as the toilets are tricky to get into with a baby change table sharing the small space.
Cost- $56 for a family 2A2C.
Looking for a great playground suited to all abilities? The playground at Ballam Park has some amazing equipment including a nest swing, double slide, fenced playground and climbing wall. Accessible parking and bathrooms on site. For another great playground closer which suits younger kids, check out Jubilee Park.
Entry is FREE. For more Free activities for under 5’s check out our list here.
4. Hit the beach.
The Mornington Peninsula has lots of amazing beaches and Mt Martha Surf Lifesaving club roll out the accessible beach matting each Summer season. For more info on the accessibility features beaches throughout Frankston head here.
5. Surfs up.
Point Leo beach holds two all abilities surf days in January and March each year. It’s a great way for the whole community to come together and its one of our favourite Summer events. During the year the Lifesaving club has beach wheelchairs for loan if you’re up for a surf! Cooper and our family have attended these events for the last 5 years.
Cost is $10 for each participant. Beach wheelchairs, support, rash vests and surfboards all provided. Each participant must being a support person to jump in the water with them.
Sausage sizzle and lollies on the day!
6. Mc Celland Sculpture park.
Perfect for the whole family to discover and extend their interests in art and sculpture. This in an outdoor gallery that can be seen and touched. The paths are outdoors and a little bumpy in spots as its in the bush. The labyrinth is a great spot for kids to enjoy and Coopers wheelchair was able to fit in too. We have use his power chair, manual chair and beach wheelchair here successfully.
Accessible parking, cafe and bathroom on site.
Access to the park is FREE, exhibitions held inside attract a fee.
7. Bush walking/wheeling.
We love accessing the bush walks in this area and there are two great accessible ones on offer. The boardwalk is a short walk great for younger kids and families. My kids love the bird hide and watching for birds on the water. Staff are engaging and helpful too so make sure you stop by the rangers office first to check on conditions.
This outing is FREE.
Accessible parking and bathroom on site.
8. The Hot Springs.
We need to balance the adventure with some relaxing! The Peninsula Hot Springs is a great adventure for the whole family with their family bathing area. Wheelchair access is good for the bottom area but not for the hill top pools. There are plenty of areas on the main level to access like the foot pools, plunge pool, family pool and pools around the lake. They often have special nights like pizza and bathe if you don’t feel like taking the kids!
Accesible parking, bathroom, change room site.
Packages vary and start from $25.
9. Lets Eat! Some of our favourites.
With all this adventuring your going to get hungry! The Peninsula has an amazing selection of places to eat from small cafes, to wineries to farm gates. Some of our very favourites are:
Green Olive- There is a trampoline for the kids and tasting platters! Accessible parking and bathroom. Site is on a winery so uneven paths and grounds for exploring. Restaurant has accessible dining options inside and out.
Red Gum BBQ. Great playspace for kids and delicious meals.
Common folk Coffee, Mornington. Warehouse space converted and wheelchair accessible.
Cheeky Squire, Frankston. Accessible venue newly updated with great Pumpkin gnocchi, lots of space and views to the bay.
The Milkman Cafe- a great cafe on the water in Frankston. Big cafe doors open up with good access during warmer days. Friendly staff and good coffee!
Gravity Zone in Seaford is a great place for all the family. Each area is accessible to wheelchair users and they have a hoist available to use. It is a great place for a physio session too! During the week the little leapers session is great value at $11 all you can jump 10-3 and parents jump free.
Cafe on site.
Accessible parking and bathrooms on site.
This blog has been reposted with permission from Bron at Smith’s Holiday Road!
Follow along with their adventures over at www.smithsholidayroad.com