I am the mother of three children, two of which have mobility issues. They use walkers and wheelchairs to get around.

Here is my accessibility audit of our local area, one picture at a time.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Let's dance.

On Friday the 17th of April, Discobility comes to Ku-ring-gai again!

"Ku-ring-gai Council Youth Services encourage young people aged 12-24 years with special needs to dress up in a “70’s Disco/Hippy” style. The fun dance party is held at the Fitz Youth Centre, St Ives (Off Memorial Avenue) on Friday April 17 from 7pm-10pm.  

Discobility offers a great opportunity for young people in the community to meet new friends and engage within their community. It allows young people with special needs to enjoy a fun and exciting social event. Entry is $5 which includes food and drink during the evening. Music will be provided by the very famous DJ Andy.


Discobility will be supervised by youth workers from Ku-ring-gai Council. There is wheelchair access and a disabled toilet onsite.


All attendees must bring a completed declaration and indemnity form. 

These can be  be downloaded from kmc.nsw.gov.au/discobility."

Monday, March 30, 2015


One of the joys of living in Ku-ring-gai is having plenty of bushwalking tracks available. Our area is not called "the leafy North Shore" for nothing. Some of the tracks are even do-able with wheelchairs.

Bushwalking can be a bit of a problem when you have mobility issues - but fear not, there are some options.

In addition to accessible paths in the Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden in St.Ives, there are two short wheelchair accessible tracks, one in Lindfield and one in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

The Little Blue Gum Creek Track takes you, as the name promises, through some Blue Gum forest. it is only a few hundred meters long but fully accessible. It is just a bit further down Lady Game Drive from the main entry to Lane Cove National Park and allows access into more "bushy" areas of the park.

The Boardwalk at the Bobbin Head end of the much larger (and inaccessible) Gibberagong Track is a short pleasant boardwalk over the water and through the mangroves just off the picnic area and playground at Bobbin Head.

In addition, most of our firetrails in the national parks are managable with the right equipment

Some wheelchairs can be fitted with a FreeWheel (available from Mogo Wheelchair, Seating Dynamics, and Specialised Wheelchair Company) and are then able to manage most fire trails.

There are also specialised outdoor wheelchairs that can enable access to our bush, such as the trail rider, which can be hired from National Parks in selected sites. Sadly, this is not yet available in Ku-ring-gai - but maybe if people start asking that might change?

BJ from Have Wheelchair will Travel testing the TrailRider

You can hire the all terrain hippocampe wheelchair from Northcott Equipment for abut $200 deposit and about $20 a day. The hippocampe can also be taken to the beach.

The Hippocampe in action on the trail to the Cascades (St. Ives)

 And on the beach

McDonalds Gordon (Pacific Highway)

Kinda, nearly ... ah, no! Thumbs down.

This is neither a ramp nor a step. It's inaccessible for wheelchair users with a power chair or cannot "pop a wheelie".

Once inside, its quite hard to move about as the tables and chairs are bolted to the floor. Which also means there  is nowhere for a wheelie to fit at a table. And let's not mention the toilets downstairs.

A big "no no" to Maccas in Gordon.

It's the little things

Accessibility is an issue that confronts us each and every day when out and about in our local community. 

Often, it's in the little things.

Like, how the chicanes are placed on the footpath (connecting Browns Road and Cecil Street, Killara/Gordon)...

Or the height of street furniture (think shop counters, ATMs, or even those buttons to push in order to cross the street safely)...