Accessible Sydney - Accessible outdoors & wildlife attractions

Visitors of all abilities can enjoy Sydney’s outdoors and wildlife attractions. Get up-close to animals big and small, walk among pretty gardens and more. 

Royal Botanic Garden 

Spread over more than 30 hectares in the heart of Sydney and along the pristine harbour, the beautiful Royal Botanic Garden is home to thousands of plant species – including rare and threatened species – as well as a number of themed gardens. 

Accessible pathway seats at the Royal Botanic Garden

Accessible pathway seats at the Royal Botanic Garden - Credit: Royal Botanic Garden

Take a volunteer-led tour of the gardens along the paved and accessible pathways, learn about the Aboriginal history of the local Gadigal people, or simply relax with a picnic and enjoy the stunning water views.  

  • Getting there: Accessible parking bays are provided near the Woolloomooloo Gate and outside the Art Gallery of NSW. Accessible buses run along The Macquarie St Historic Precinct and Art Gallery Road. 

  • Getting around: The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney is best accessed by the Queen Elizabeth II Gate. If you're visiting The Calyx, the nearest accessible gates are Woolloomooloo Gate or Government House Gate. Mrs Macquarie’s Chair is accessible via three loops, all of which have paved pathways: the relatively flat waterfront loop, the pedestrian pavement along Mrs Macquarie’s Road, and the pedestrian loop above the waterfront loop (the steepest of the three). View the accessibility map and list of access features

  • Accessible toilets: Accessible toilets are located at Palm Grove Centre, Mare and Foal Lawn near Farm Cove and The Calyx.  

 

Chinese Garden of Friendship 

Designed and built by Chinese landscape architects and gardeners, The Chinese Garden of Friendship at Darling Harbour is a peaceful and green refuge in the heart of Sydney’s metropolis. Follow meandering pathways to immerse yourself in the tranquillity of surrounding trickling waterfalls, lakes with koi fish, and lush plantings. 

Chinese Garden of Friendship in Darling Harbour, Sydney City

Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour

During your visit, head to the on-site restaurant, The Garden Lotus (which has level access), to enjoy a relaxing Chinese high tea or a bottomless yum cha on the weekends. 

  • Getting there: Dedicated access parking is available at Darling Quarter car park station, which is accessed via Harbour Street. Accessible public transport options include a bus from Circular Quay, Sydney Ferry from Circular Quay (access is from floating pontoon wharves), Matilda City Loop ferry from Circular Quay, or light rail to Paddy's Market station. 

  • Getting around: Mobility access is available throughout most of the venue. Pathways and pavilions in the lower garden are accessible for wheelchairs, however, steps and rocky pathways make the upper part of the garden more difficult.  

  • Accessible toilets: There is a fully upgraded accessible toilet. 

 

Taronga Zoo 

One of Sydney’s most popular attractions, Taronga Zoo is home to over 4,000 animals, as well as Sydney’s only cable car and a range of daily keeper talks.  

More than 95% of the animal displays are wheelchair viewable, and all food outlets, shops, shows and presentations are also accessible. The zoo accepts Companion Cards, has wheelchairs available for hire, and offers tactile experiences and interpretive sculptures.  

Resident koala at Taronga Zoo, Mosman

Resident koala at Taronga Zoo

Backyard to Bush is an exciting and stimulating area for children with special needs. On select days throughout the year, the zoo opens early for free autism-friendly entry. 

  • Getting there: There is accessible parking at the top entrance, as well as a taxi rank. The F2 ferry regularly travels between the zoo and Circular Quay, and both wharves are wheelchair accessible. 

  • Getting around: The zoo is situated on a steep hill, spilling down to the harbour, so start at the top and work your way down. The cable car up from the ferry wharf can accommodate wheelchairs up to 610mm wide, otherwise, jump on the 238 bus back to the entrance. View the Access Map to locate lifts, ramps and level paths.  

  • Accessible toilets: Wheelchair-accessible toilets are located at the north and south entrances, at the Food Market, outside the Function Centre and at the Concert Lawns. There is also a wheelchair-accessible bathroom in the Parents Change Room located near the giraffe exhibit. 

 

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium 

With 13,000 marine creatures from 700 species spread across nine themed zones, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium is one of the largest aquariums in the world.  

Young boy enjoying his visit to SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, Darling Harbour, Sydney

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, Darling Harbour

Manual wheelchairs are available to borrow, Companion Cards are accepted, and assistance animals are welcome. Free ‘Escape the Noise’ kits are provided – these include noise-reducing ear plugs and earmuffs, as well as Xta eye kits if the signage text is too small. 

  • Getting there: The nearest accessible parking is on 7 Wheat Street. A taxi rank on Lime Street is less than a 2min walk away.  

  • Getting around: The aquarium is wheelchair accessible throughout – ramps connect each level. However, some behind-the-scenes experiences may be unsuitable. Bench seating is available at intervals throughout.  

  • Accessible toilets: Accessible toilets are located at the entrance and at the exit near the gift shop.  

 

WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo 

Pair a visit to SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium with a visit to its sister and neighbour venue, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, to spot Australia’s Big Five. Take a selfie with a koala, get up close to a mighty saltwater crocodile and take a walk among hopping kangaroos. 

WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, Darling Harbour - Credit: Merlin Entertainment Group

WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, Darling Harbour - Credit: Merlin Entertainment Group

Companion Cards are accepted, assistance animals are welcome, Xtra eyes kits are provided on request and wheelchairs can be borrowed. 

  • Getting there: The nearest accessible parking is on 7 Wheat Street. A taxi rank on Lime Street is less than a 2min walk away. 

  • Getting around: With ramps connecting each level, wheelchair users can access the entire space. However, some sections have low lighting and the Kangaroo Walkabout outdoor area has uneven ground. 

  • Accessible toilets: Accessible toilets are located at the beginning of the attraction (before you enter) and about halfway through.