Accessible Beaches

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Enjoy a fun day at the beach with greater accessibility & support

As a part of our ongoing mission to create social impact on the Gold Coast, we are helping to make beaches more inclusive and accessible to everyone.

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. Beach matting and beach wheelchairs are provided through the City of Gold Coast Beach Access Program. For more information and locations, please follow the link below.

Accessible beaches locations.

How it works

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

Our volunteers will be prepared with a range of different wheelchairs you can use which allow different levels of access depending on your preference and circumstances.

There’s no need to make a booking either – just turn up at your nearest participating beach during allocated times and enjoy your day by the water!

Participating clubs

City of Gold Coast

Surfers Paradise SLSC

Mermaid Beach SLSC

Neptune RLSC

Pacific SLSC

Australian charity award winner – accessible beaches

“Volunteering Gold Coast has been recognised as a Winner for Outstanding Achievement [OAA] in The Australian Charity Awards 2021 for the Accessible Beaches program.”

What accessible beaches participants say

“I wanted to let you know that mum had such a great experience yesterday. She has been using a walking frame since we got home instead of her wheelchair. The experience really motivated her; although it’s difficult she’s actually using a walking frame. We’ll be back as soon as possible.”

Accessible Beaches FAQs

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 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 Beaches Volunteer 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 making 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 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.

Do you have a hoist for 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.

Are 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 curb 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 accessing them on days where the mats aren’t down can be difficult. Please contact the club directly if you wish to use one of the beach chairs outside of the Accessible Summer hours of operation.

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