Article of the Month

next article | index | previous article

March 2003

My trip to Noosa

Andrea at Noosa Lookout.

By Andrea Holliday,
Australian Quadriplegic Association - Victoria.

A recent holiday to Noosa and the Sunshine Coast was a pleasant and relaxing experience. I am pleased to report that in terms of accessibility, there is some good news!

I stayed on Hastings St - the main street of Noosa - and it is a dream to get around. The footpaths are paved and perfectly level - and most shops and restaurants do not have any sort of step or ramp to get into. There was even a beachfront restaurant (Seasons), which had great food, wheelchair access AND an accessible toilet.

Behind Hastings St, there is a decked path that runs along the length of the main beach, which although bumpy, was great to get so close to the beach. It even has a couple of ramps directly to the sand. Unfortunately while I was there, there was a pipe running between the decking and the beach which prevented easy access - although I'm told that this is a temporary measure to deal with sand erosion.

If you enjoy getting into the outdoors, there is a path into the National Park, and the first 500 metres or so is easily accessible in a manual chair. It takes you through some bushland (we saw a koala) and comes out at a lookout which lets you see Noosa, a secluded beach, and across the inlet on which Noosa is built - quite spectacular.

A trip to Eumundi Market (around a 20 minute drive from Noosa) was a highlight - easily accessible with ramps between the tiers of stalls - the market sells everything from socks to tie-dyed clothes to local music and produce. There is an accessible public toilet and a couple of disabled parking spots here too.

Underwater world at Mooloolaba was also worth a trip. Although it is much smaller than Sea World on the Gold Coast, the underwater viewing chamber is fantastic. I was able to get my wheelchair onto the moving footpath, put my brakes on and put my head back as stingrays and great white sharks swam overhead - for once I was the envy of those standing around me!

One night the rain got the better of us, so we ventured to the local cinema. The accessible entrance is difficult to find at first - it is at the rear of the cinema, via a car park. Once in the cinema, there was a lift to take you to the cinemas, and an accessible toilet.

I stayed at the Sheraton in Noosa - it was a bit of a splurge for my first holiday since my accident! The quality of the accessible room was great. There was plenty of wheeling space in the room and the bathroom, all the light switches and the phone was accessible from the bed (great for those sleep-ins!), and even a fold down clothes rail to hang clothes at wheelchair height. The only irritating thing was a small lip in the doorway to the bathroom. The hotel had a restaurant and bar that had an accessible toilet, and even an accessible day spa for those of us that enjoy a pampering!

Although at first it seemed an expensive place to eat, once we found the bakery and a little noodle shop we were in business. All in all, I found it a relatively easy place to holiday in a wheelchair and it was a holiday destination I would recommend.

Google links

End of Google links

next article | index | previous article