Accessible Beaches

Get ready for a #AccessibleSummer

Everyone Deserves to Enjoy the Gold Coast Beaches This Summer

We are collaborating with local surf clubs to make this happen

With 20% of the Gold Coast population estimated to be living with a disability, it is more important than ever to create experiences and opportunities that are equally accessible for all abilities. As a part of our ongoing mission to create social impact on the Gold Coast, we are helping to make the beaches more inclusive and accessible – starting at the city’s most iconic landmark.   

Every weekend of the summer patrol season, accessible beach mats and beach friendly wheelchairs will be available at participating surf clubs, designed to assist people to reach the waters edge. 

A team of dedicated volunteers are on site each week to set up the mats and provide care and support, ensuring you have the best experience at the beach.    

This is the first step we are taking to create a #AccessibleSummer – a summer that can be enjoyed by everyone.  

Participating Clubs

Surfers Paradise SLSC

Sundays 8:30am – 3:30pm

Equipment Available: AccessMat, 1x Water Wheel beach wheelchair, 1x Hippocampe beach wheelchair – adult size, 1 Da Vinci self-propelling beach wheelchair, Sontana 150 hoist with a pivotal frame (small and medium sizing available).

Neptune RLSC

Saturdays 8:30am – 3:30pm

Equipment Available: AccessMat, 2x Water Wheels beach wheelchair.

Mermaid Beach SLSC

Sundays 8:30am – 3:30pm

 

Coolangatta SLSC

Coming Soon!

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is having an accessible beach important?

The Gold Coast has more than 50 kilometres of beaches and foreshore areas, which are greatly valued by the community. With a collaborative commitment to access and inclusion, Volunteering Gold Coast, Surf Life Saving Queensland and Gold Coast City Council would like to ensure that key foreshore locations, such as the beaches, are accessible for all to enjoy.

People with a disability represent approximately 20 per cent (118,729 people) of the total GC population. While disability can impact individuals in many different forms, some of the largest impacts on people with a disability are physical barriers within the built and natural environment, restricting their ability to conduct their lives in a spontaneous and unplanned manner. It is understood that if a community is physically accessible for people with a disability there is increased access for all community members such as older people, children, and pram users too.

What is the difference between the beach chairs?

The Waterwheels beach wheelchair has floats built into its arm rests allowing users to enter deeper water (up to waist height of support person) and experience floating in the sea.

The Sandcruiser beach wheelchairs are designed to get you to the water’s edge. You can enter shallow water but only up to the centre of the rear wheels – so you will definitely be able to dip your toes in the sea.

The Hippocampe will also allow you to be in the water up to seat level.

The DaVinci chair is a manual, self-propelled beach wheelchair designed for use on the sand and in low water.

Do I have to make a booking?

No bookings are required. You can arrive at the beach at your convenience. 

Do I need to bring a support person?

Yes. If you are using the Sandcruiser, Hippocampe or Waterwheels chair, you will need a friend (or two) to assist with transfer and help push across the sand (if needed). If you wish to enter deeper water in the Waterwheels chair you must have a minimum of two supporters.

The DaVinci chair is self propelled and does not require any additional support providing you can perform the transfer on your own. 

Can the Accessible Summer Volunteers be my support person?

No. The volunteers on site are there to roll out the AccessMats and can assist with pushing the chairs but they are not responsible for naking any transfers, This must be done by your support person. 

Can I use my own wheelchair?

Yes. The AccessMats are there to make the beach accessible to you in any way you choose. 

Do you have a hoist for a wheelchair transfer?

Yes. A hoist is available at Surfers Paradise Beach. Small and medium sling sizes are available. You will need to bring a support person to assist with transfers. 

Is there accessible bathrooms and parking nearby?

Yes. All of our participating clubs have facilities. Further information can be found on The Gold Coast City Council website.

Their Mobility Maps page provides information about the location of accessible toilets, change facilities, accessible car parking spaces, pathway gradients, location of kerb ramps and key buildings and services for a number of suburbs. Transport information for light rail stations, bus stops and bus routes is also featured.

Can I use the beach chairs on any day?

This is different for all clubs. The chairs are available to be used but acceessing them on days where the mats aren’t down can be difficult. Please contact the club directly if you wish to use one of thhe beach chairs outside of the Accessible Summer hours of operation. 

We recommend that chairs only be in use when a life guard is at hand. 

Where can I find more accessible beaches on the Gold Coast?

For further information regarding other Gold Coast clubs and beaches please visit the City of Gold Coast website. 

map showing locations of accessible parking near the beach where accessmat is located

Volunteer With Accessible Beaches

Volunteers are essential to ensure that this program is sustainable. It will provide opportunities to learn new skills, gain experience and make an impact on people’s lives.

Volunteers receive onsite training and an honorary membership from the surf club. They will also receive a uniform and free meal during their shift. Shifts go for four hours and the volunteer can choose between either the morning or afternoon shift. Volunteer Opportunities now open – Apply Now!

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