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Wheelchair Accessible Tours and Activities

27th January 2020


Wheelchair Accessible Tours and Activities

Cairns is a beautiful tropical tourist destination with many different attractions suitable for those with disabilities and/or mobility issues.  Below is a comprehensive list of tours and activities in Cairns and Port Douglas that are wheelchair accessible.  With a variety of experiences on offer including the Great Barrier Reef, Rainforest, Wildlife, Aboriginal Culture and Adventure.


Reef Tours


Quicksilver - Pontoon (depart Port Douglas)

Quicksilver have a chair lift that enables disabled passengers to be lowered into the water to enjoy "snorkeling".  The electric hoist assists mobility impaired people to be lowered into the water. One can either stay in the hoist and enjoy partial participation or move into flotation devices to enjoy full participation. This is available only on the Agincourt 3 floating platform.  At the Outer Barrier Reef there are ramp facilities from our vessel to our floating platform, however access to the underwater observatory, swim platforms and our semi-submersible coral viewing vessels is by stairs only.  Our primary vessel Quicksilver VIII is the most suitable vessel for wheelchair passengers. There are occasions however when this vessel may not operate and back up vessels are used that do not have wheelchair facilities.  On Quicksilver VIII there is an oversized toilet cubicle suitable for most wheelchair passengers. Quicksilver V also has a wheelchair accessible toilet.



Reef Magic - Pontoon (depart Cairns)

Reef Magic has ramp access from the wharf to the vessel and vessel to the Marine World platform. However, passengers are required to negotiate at least one set of stairs on the vessel depending on tides and loading position so the assistance of a carer is highly recommended.  The Reef Magic II catamaran has wide isles and a wheel chair accessible toilet & shower. Access to the water, coral viewing vessels, underwater observatory and sundeck all require stairs to be negotiated and would require a carer to be present if the customer can not walk unassisted.



Great Adventures - Pontoon (depart Cairns)

Great Adventures vessel "Reef King" does have a motorised chair lift to enable transfer between the upper and lower decks, however the passenger will require some mobility or assistance to transfer from their wheelchair. There are occasions when this vessel may not operate. No wheelchair accessible toilet is available on the Reef King. There are no toilet facilities on the platform.  At the Outer Barrier Reef there are ramp facilities from our vessel to our floating platform. There are no disabled facilities on the platform and the platform does have decking where wheelchair wheels may get stuck. Access to the underwater observatory, swim platforms and semi-submersible is by stairs only.



Sunlover - Pontoon (departs Cairns)

Sunlover are quite well set-up to accommodate wheelchairs and take great pride in being able to showcase our fantastic Great Barrier Reef to disabled guests. Not only do we have multiple entrance points on our vessel, we also have a dedicated wheelchair table on the main deck, wheel chair ramps to get over door jams and most importantly of all, a very experienced and willing crew.  Access to the water, coral viewing vessels and underwater observatory all require stairs to be negotiated and would require a carer to be present if the customer can not walk unassisted.


Reef Experience and Reef Encounter - Reef Boats (departs Cairns)

Crew will assist carer with carrying client down to snorkel/dive platform - client is able to snorkel and dive - subject to usual medical conditions.  There are entry doorway lips and some stairs to navigate.


Reef Experience - Day Trip

Reef Encounter - Liveaboard



Rainforest Experiences



Skyrail caters for wheelchair passengers with the following:

  • Optional use of ramp, to assist with loading and unloading from gondola cabins on the cableway
  • Ramp access to all boardwalks at Red Peak and Barron Falls stations.
  • Access to the CSIRO Interpretation Centre at Barron Falls Station.
  • Wheelchair accessible restroom facilities at all stations.

The following information details wheelchair guidelines for guests traveling on Skyrail.

  • The width of the wheelchair can not exceed 630mm (63 cm).
  • The length of the wheelchair can not exceed 950mm (95 cm).
  • Wheelchairs must be capable of being tilted backwards to enable loading into the gondola. To load a wheelchair, the wheelchair will need to be tipped backwards raising the front wheels and then gently pushed into the gondola.
  • The combined weight of the wheelchair occupant and the wheelchair must be of a manageable weight to allow cableway operators to load the wheelchair.
  • Wheelchairs must have handles to ensure easy lifting into the gondola cabins

*** Skyrail can provide the complimentary use of wheelchairs (subject to availability) during the Skyrail experience. We recommend asking at the time of booking to confirm wheelchair availability.Please note that wheelchairs cannot be carried on the Skyrail coach/bus transfer service.

Additional Information for Skyrail for those with limited mobility or in wheelchairs:


Kuranda Scenic Train

The Kuranda Scenic Train caters for wheelchair passengers with the following:

  • Wheel chair access atCairns, Freshwater & Kurandastations
  • Wheel chair Ramp at Cairns station
  • Wheel chair lift at Freshwater & Kuranda stations
  • Wheelchair accessat Barron Falls station is unavailable

*** A limited number of wheelchairs/mobility scooters can be transported on each Kuranda Scenic Railway service in the PWD carriage so pre-booking is advised.

Additional Information for KSR for those with limited mobility or in wheelchairs:


Rainforestation Nature Park

On arrival at Rainforetation car parking for people with disabilities is located in the top car park to the right of the Main Entrance.  The principal public entrance has flights of stairs and wheelchairs will need to enter from the top car park. The main entrance is mainly serviced by large coaches, and most cars are parked in the top car park which maintains this as dignified access. Car parking is located next to the entry point which is very accessible to people who use mobility devices.

Once inside the complex all the paths are easily accessed and are covered from the weather making Rainforestation an enjoyable experience in any weather condition. All areas are accessible including the Wildlife Park and Aboriginal Cultural Centre. The Pamagirri Rainforest Amphitheatre is up a relatively steep path and some visitors may require assistance. Once at the amphitheatre, there is a viewing platform for mobility devices to enjoy the Pamagirri Corroboree, depicting aspects of indigenous culture including animals, food gathering and hunting.

The Army Duck can be boarded at platform number 2. The seats at the rear of the Duck are the designated seats for a person with a disability as the side barriers lift out to allow ease of transfers and the seats are higher. Staff will take your mobility device to platform 3 if you wish to disembark the Duck at the Pamagirri Amphitheatre to view a show.

The restaurants are easily accessed and staff and very willing to ensure that your dining experience is as enjoyable as your visit to the park.  The parks accessible toilets are located next to the restaurants inside the conventional male/female toilets. The accessible toilets are very clean and roomy.

The staff of RainForeStation make the whole experience a very enjoyable one, they make you feel at home and are more than happy to assist where possible.



Value Day Tours/Tropical Horizons - Cape Tribulation and Kuranda Tours

This company will allow a collapsible wheelchair onboard bus, so long as the carer is happy to help the disabled person navigate up/down the stairs, etc.  Most of the activities on this tour will be able to be enjoyed by a person in a wheelchair.  

Kuranda Skyrail, Train and Return Bus Transfers

Daintree and Cape Tribulation Tour


Discovery Tours Australia - Daintree and Cape Tribulation Tour

This company will allow a collapsible wheelchair onboard bus, so long as the carer is happy to help the disabled person navigate up/down the stairs, etc.  Most of the activities on this tour will be able to be enjoyed by a person in a wheelchair.  The only restriction would be Cape Tribulation Beach as this is not wheelchair friendly.  This is a professional small group tour, ideal for those who wish to visit the ancient Daintree Rainforest.


Mamu Rainforest Canopy Walkway

The Mamu Rainforest Canopy Walkway is 115km (90mins drive) south of Cairns and 30km north-west of Innisfail. Turn off the Bruce Highway onto the Palmerston Highway and drive west for 27km.

The Mamu Walkway allows visitors to explore the rainforest from the forest floor to the canopy, in comfort and safety. The walkway passes through one of the largest remaining continuous stands of complex vine forest on basalt soils in the Wet Tropics. Enjoy close-up views of rainforest plants, insects and birds, and take in sweeping vistas of World Heritage rainforest landscapes. Information signs tell of the rainforest's complex web of life and the rich culture and history of the area.


Adventure Activities


AJ Hackett - Bungy Jumping

AJ Hackett caters to people who use wheelchairs and are very professional in working with people with disabilities.  They are able to assist a person in their wheelchair from the reception level to the top of the jump tower. You will need to talk with staff when booking to let them know the type of chair you may use and level of your disability. They are not able to get electric chairs up the tower due to weight and there may be medical restrictions on some disabilities. AJ Hackett Bungy is 20 minutes north of Cairns in the middle of the rainforest. With the natural surroundings of the rainforest and waterfalls into the natural flowing pond, the site is considered to be an oasis in the rainforest.

The Bungy tower is 50m tall and is the highest viewing platform in Cairns. From the top you can see out over the Northern Beaches and out to the Great Barrier Reef, so when you're on the edge ready to jump suck in the view as it looks quite different on the rebound! The staff are very professional and take great pride in ensuring your jump experience is one that you will remember. You can be taken to the top of the tower in your chair providing you are comfortable with being carried in your chair and the chair is capable of being carried safely. You will be secured in a full body harness and the team will ensure that you and your chair are secured together in the safest possible way. This harness will also be used if you want to try the Jungle Swing, try it, you won't believe how much fun it is hurtling through the jungle at 120km per hour. Jumping in your chair is an amazing experience and if you are brave, go backwards and see if you can complete a full back flip.

Additional Information for AJ Hackett for those with limited mobility or in wheelchairs:



Wildlife and Animal Parks


Cairns Wildlife and Zoom

The Cairns Wildlife Dome and Crocodile Explorer are situated on the top of the Reef Hotel Casino. Entry is via the lifts in the foyer of the Casino. When exiting the lift there is a sign on the left hand side of the stairs, informing of wheelchair access around the corner where there is a ramp at the back side of the reception area and shop. This is where a ticket needs to be purchased and then staff will accompany you to the staff lift to access the dome. Note the little sign telling of View over Trinity Inlet from path wheelchair access around corner leading to ramp Ramp to reception area/shop Reception area/shop Entry to Dome Access to upper walkways Accessible paths throughout and around the top The rainforest dome has birds flying freely throughout the dome and there are five shows during the day, which are Bird feed Out Tour, Bird Banter Show, Reptile Rap Show, Dome Reed Out Tour and Furry Friends Show.

**We do have 10% discount coupons available for collection in any of our three office locations at the Cairns Tourist Information Centre


Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

This wildlife park provides an amazing animal experience with a heavy emphasis on the crocodiles! People with disabilities are boarded first on the Lagoon Boat Cruises where staff will escort you to the boat and ensure that you board the vessel safely and with dignity. The boarding ramp is wide and easily accessed, some visitors may require assistance. The boat trip is excellent with plenty of hungry crocs waiting to show you how far out of the water they can reach. The tour guide gives a great explanation of how crocodiles behave and interact with each other. You will also learn about the region and its wildlife. The park keepers are very entertaining and knowledgeable and put on a fantastic show.

The Tropical Walk-through Aviary entry is through an airlock system for the safety of the birds. The gates leading in and out are very light and very easy to open and have self closing mechanisms.

The Gondwana Gateway entry is via an inclined pathway and assistance will be required. Once down into the koala display and wallabies it is flat and easy to get around. Another inclined pathway leads up to the Monitors, Snakes and Quolls. The viewing pens for the reptiles are through large glass panels and the Quolls have a very easy to look through mesh that allows you to get close to the animals. Access to the Cassowary Gateway is via a steep path and it has been signed to show caution required by people using mobility devices. Assistance will be required by some visitors when negotiating the path. Once into the Cassowary area you will be able to view the cassowary up close. There is a small compacted gravel path at the end of the cassowary viewing area that leads in a loop around the rainforest habitat area.

Hartley's creek is a fantastic experience show casing some of the Far North's and Australia's wildlife. Accessibility is very good and it is pleasing to find a tourism operator that is considering the needs of all visitors to the region.

**We do have 10% discount coupons available for collection in any of our three office locations at the Cairns Tourist Information Centre


Aboriginal Experience


Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park

On arrival at Tjapukai you will find two accessible car parks located immediately in front of the main entrance. If travelling to Tjapukai by bus or taxi there is a large drop off zone in front of the well constructed ramp with an easy gradient. Assistance may be required by some visitors.

Entry into Tjapukai is up a ramp located to the left of the stairs. The ramp is well constructed with correct gradient and has level landings along its path.  Accessible toilets are located within the complex outside the Magic Space. The toilets are slightly smaller than standard but will be accessible to most visitors.

Creation Theatre:  Once you enter the Magic Space you will be met by the traditional dancers who will show you some of the Aboriginal artefacts and art works on display. You can then enjoy Tjapukai's dreamtime legend in the Creation theatre with holographic images and live performers on stage. Seating for wheelchair guests is along the front row and those with ambulant disabilities can use the front row seating.

Tjapukai Dance Theatre: The dance theatre is located across the lake, you wonder over the bridge and boardwalk taking in the views of the surrounding mountains and tropical gardens. There is a rise in the bridge walkway but the gradient is very accessible. Some guests may require assistance along the pathway. On arrival at the theatre you will find a designated wheelchair viewing area for people with disabilities.

Cultural Village: Access to the Cultural Village is via a compacted gravel path, some sections of the path and the small bridge that crosses a seasonal creek have slight inclines that you may need assistance with. At the Cultural Village you will be given a presentation on hunting tools and methods and a talk on bush food and medicine. You can wonder over to the spear and boomerang throwing arena where you can test your skills in the art of throw a boomerang or spear.

The Tjapukai experience is one that should not be missed. You should allow three (3) hours for the total experience.

**We do have 10% discount coupons available for collection in any of our three office locations at the Cairns Tourist Information Centre



Cairns Esplanade & Swimming Lagoon

The Cairns Foreshore Promenade is a great area to visit with easy access to the vast array of restaurants, hotels and accommodation facilities located along the famous Cairns Esplanade. The pedestrian spine provides visitors and locals a stunning view of the natural environment. The designated walking path will take you along the full length of the Esplanade approx 5km return trip. It is fully wheel chair accessible with accessible toilets located in five locations along the 2.5 km walk. The Promenade gives easy access to the CBD, the Lagoon, restaurants and shops.

The boardwalk itself is suspended over the mudflats to provide a pedestrian accessway and a viewpoint for birdwatching and to enrich the experience, strong environmental, cultural and historical themes are woven into the promenade through the use of public art, interpretive material and landscaping.

Escape the summer heat at one of Cairns' best known landmarks the Esplanade lagoon, set on the Cairns foreshore overlooking the Barrier Reef and Trinity Inlet. The 4800 sq metre saltwater swimming lagoon offers locals and tourists a year round safe swimming location, Saltwater is pumped from the inlet and filtered through a state of the art filtration system, to meet Australian standards.



Wheelchair Hire Information & Contact


Complete Mobility

P: +617 4032 1140


Hire non-motorized equipment (ie wheelchairs/walking aids). They do hire electric beds & lift chairs for short term rental but do not hire mobility scooters.


Walk On Wheels

P:  1300 766 266


They do hire mobility scooters for short-term holiday rentals.


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