As Brisbane, Australia looks ahead to hosting the Olympic Games in 2032, there will be an increased focus on the capital city of Queensland as a travel and tourism hub. Additional funding will be injected by the government to improve the overall experience of those visiting and ultimately, the people who will continue to live here after the Olympics have long gone.
Recently, the Queensland Government announced that 2023 will be the ‘Year of Accessible Tourism’, providing a $12 million investment to assist Brisbane and Queensland tourism operators to make their offerings accessible to those travelling with disabilities.
There are already many wheelchair-accessible activities in Brisbane. Some of the best areas include:
- the Brisbane parks: South Bank, New Farm, Roma Street
- Mt Coot-tha
- Wheel of Brisbane
- various markets, e.g. Powerhouse Farmers’ Markets, South Bank Markets
- Gallery of Modern Art, Qld Art Gallery and Qld Museum
- Brisbane Powerhouse
- Qld Performing Arts Centre.
Wheelchair-friendly things to do in Brisbane
Spirits of the Red Sand
According to research conducted by PW Indigenous Consulting, 1.4 million visitors and 1 million Australians participated in indigenous tourism. This number is rising by around 8% since 2013. Experiences such as the Spirits of the Red Sand play an important role in sharing Australia’s indigenous history.
The Spirits of the Red Sand has been running since 2017. It offers a range of activities such as Welcome to Country, Didgeridoo lessons and cultural workshops. The signature event is live, roving theatre – the first of its kind in Australia – and it transports its guests back to the 1800s and the meeting of the local indigenous people and the British.
The show starts indoors, in a theatre, where you’ll see some of Australia’s native animals. It’s a bit of a weird display that feels out of place with the rest of the theatre. Nonetheless, it will interest many visitors, especially those from overseas. Once the animal part is out of the way, it’s all about the theatre from then on.
The show moves from the theatre to a church, utilising the buildings of a 19th-century timber village. From here, the theatre happens outside and carries the voice of the indigenous story for over an hour or so.
After the show, a three-course dinner is served. It’s also an opportunity to meet and talk to the show’s cast.
The entire site is wheelchair-accessible; staff will guide those requiring assistance to dedicated seating in the theatres and outdoor seating areas. Pathways join the external theatre areas. Wheelchairs may also be requested from the venue if you book in advance.
There is plenty of parking available on the street and some parking inside the grounds.
Details of the show:
- You can enter the theatre, buy tickets and visit the bar from 6.15 pm
- Pre-show starts at 6.15 pm
- Show starts at 6.30 pm
- Dinner finishes at 8.30 pm – 9 pm
Location: Beenleigh Historical Village 205 Main Street Beenleigh
Avoid the queue at the theatre (it’s all rather small, and the desk is right at the front door), and book your tickets online in advance. It allows for cancellation with up to 24 hour’s notice.
Pro tip: If you go in winter, be sure to take something warm with you for the outdoor theatre.
Food and wine pairing experience
This fabulous event, prepared for you by the sommelier at City Winery in Fortitude Valley, is a perfect treat if you want to combine some learning with good food and wine.
You don’t need to know anything about either of them. You’ll be guided by the team at City Winery, and they’ll teach you a thing or two about pairing certain foods with wine; the bonus is you get to eat and drink everything too.
Location: 11 Wandoo St Fortitude Valley
Book tickets for City Winery food and wine experience online here. At the time of booking, mention to the venue so that they are aware and can prepare suitable seating arrangements.
Clay target shooting
Shooting clay targets is a sport in the Olympic program, but it always looks hard to master. At Brisbane’s ‘Have a Go’ Clay Shooting range, you can try your hand at the sport for yourself. It was established by some of Australia’s leading sports shooters, so you know you’ll be in good hands.
All sessions are supervised by a qualified instructor, which is great because experience and a shooter’s licence is not necessary to have some fun here. You’ll do practice sessions to get a handle on the equipment and the targets, and then you’ll have an opportunity to have a fun competition.
Good to know before you go:
- you’ll need to get a temporary shooter’s licence to participate – government regulations – so bring some official ID like a licence or passport
- wear closed-in shoes; no thongs, no sleeveless shirts, and even though you are at a range, keep your camouflage gear for another time
- there are programs from beginner through to advanced
- for individuals or groups.
Wheelchair participants at welcomed at the Belmont venue. It is only a short distance from the car park to the shooting area, and although there is no dedicated concrete path, it is quite smooth for a wheelchair to travel across the grass.
To help facilitate your time here, it’s a good idea if you can call on arrival. The staff will direct you to park immediately behind the shooting area, where you will only be several metres from the shooting stations. Competing will be quite comfortable as the area is on level ground with a combination of concrete and grass shooting stations.
Instructors will always be on hand to assist if required.
Location: 292 Mt Petrie Rd Belmont
Book tickets online for Have a Go Shooting.
Make your own gin
At the Brisbane Distillery Company, you can go back to a school of a different kind. Set aside up to two hours to learn about the art of making craft gin. Choose your own botanicals to include in your personal version; you’ll have up to 180 different ingredients and flavours to try. One thing is for sure, yours won’t taste like anyone else’s by the time you leave.
Of course, no gin-making or gin-drinking session can go without some nibblies, so the team at the distillery look after you with charcuterie platters to match your cocktails.
When you book in, please make sure to mention this in the comments, this way the team are aware and can set up an accessible table for the class.
Choose from 180 botanicals to create the perfect gin just for you! Learn the history of gin from our masterful instructors, all while you enjoy complimentary cocktails cheese and cured meats.
Gin School® classes are held twice a day:
Thurs to Sun, with an additional morning session on Saturdays.
Location: Corner Jane St and Montague Rd West End
Book tickets for the Master Distiller’s Experience here
Brisbane true crime tour
Learn about some of the city’s oldest secrets while traversing the streets of Brisbane. For a young city, there are plenty of secrets that uncover a dark connection with crime. Find out who the historic criminals are; think fraudsters and charlatans, fisticuffs and murderers. You may never look at the city the same way again.
And even though this is noted as a historical tour, the age of the city means that some of these stories feel as though they happened not all that long ago.
The 1.5-hour long tour is conducted in the streets of the CBD and is wheelchair-accessible.
Location: In front of Brisbane City Hall, King George Square – in between Ann and Turbot Streets
Book tickets for the True Crime tour here.
Themed adventure game
This event, taking place in the Brisbane CBD, is great fun. Over two hours, get involved with your team as you solve puzzles and complete challenges as you try to work out who the Brisbane Burglar is.
This is a themed event where participants and their leader take on a detective’s persona, looking for clues and using your initial briefing to help you solve the case.
Book tickets to the great adventure online.
Looking for a wheelchair-accessible hotel in the Brisbane CBD? Check out availability, pricing and book online for Rydges Southbank.