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Wheelchair Accessible Whitsunday Boats & Tours

Updated Tue 30 Apr 2024

Whitehaven Beach with white sands and blue waters

The Whitsundays is home to an array of boats and cruise vessels, however, the majority of these trips are not wheelchair accessible. Most boats, particularly older sailing boats, require guests to board via steps or a short ladder and maintain that all guests must be able to disembark the vessel in the event of an emergency. 

Despite a lack of overall choice for accessible boats, there are a handful of quality island and reef experiences that are accessible, or semi-accessible, by wheelchair including a Whitehaven Beach cruise and some scenic flights.

Wheelchair-accessible boats in the Whitsundays 

Whitehaven Beach Half-Day Cruise

Whitehaven Beach sands

Beach wheelchair

CW’s Whitehaven Beach Half-Day Cruise is the most accessible experience out to the Whitsunday Islands. Your crew will provide you with a beach wheelchair with larger wheels built for sand, and assist with the loading and unloading of the chair. With this beach wheelchair, you gain access to the white sandy shores of Whitehaven Beach, where you can dip your toes in the dazzling turquoise waters in paradise!

Please note that you need to coordinate the use of the beach wheelchair upon booking, so don’t hesitate to chat with our friendly agents if it is required! 

CW Whitehaven Beach Half-day Cruise departures

This cruise departs from Airlie Beach, Daydream Island or Hamilton Island, with morning and afternoon departure options! 

Learn more about each experience through these links:

Bathroom accessibility

There are accessible bathrooms both onboard the CW Half Day Whitehaven Beach Cruise, as well as on Whitehaven Beach. The Whitehaven Beach bathroom features a ramp.

Accessibility limitations on Whitehaven Beach Half-day Cruise

While boarding the catamaran is made easy with a ramp, disembarking the catamaran to the beach tender is only semi-accessible. Travellers will need to make their way down four steps to access the tender. The tender boat can fit a wheelchair, however, it must be carried over off the tender boat, so travellers will also have to be able to make their own way down the small gangway ramp onto Whitehaven Beach.

In the past, many travellers with disability have been able to carry out this short transfer with the assistance of a carer or family member, however, don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions regarding the suitability of this tour for you and any recent changes to accessibility! 

The walk up to Hill Inlet Lookout is unfortunately not accessible by wheelchair as there are stairs.

Whitehaven Beach Cruise Vessel

Accessible Whitsunday Helicopter Tours 

Some helicopter tours are semi-accessible. That is, if a person with disability can be transferred from a car to a helicopter seat, the experience is accessible. Explore Whitehaven Beach with a beach picnic, soar over the Great Barrier Reef and make memories to last a lifetime in the vibrant Whitsundays

Browse our individual helicopter tours, just remember to enquire about each tour regarding accessibility policies as they are often updated and vary. 

Woman holding a glass of champagne in a helicopter

Is Hamilton Island accessible by wheelchair?

Hamilton Island Air has a disabled toilet facility at the airstrip, and the Reef View Hotel also offers accessibility-friendly room options. However, there is just one accessible room in the whole establishment, so booking ahead is required.

Cruise Whitsundays vessel at Hamilton Island Marina

Don't hesitate to get in touch with our team of friendly travel agents with your questions and queries. We're here to help!

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