5 accessible activities to do on the Gold Coast this summer

Australia’s Gold Coast is in South-East Queensland and is renowned for its picturesque beaches and casual lifestyle. In this article, contributor Drew Foulds looks at some of the ways you can enjoy the Gold Coast, including wheelchair-friendly spaces that are perfect to help you cool off on a hot summer’s day.  

Check out Drew’s five recommendations for activities to explore this summer. 

Accessible beaches 

Burleigh Heads has many wheelchair-friendly picnic areas for you to choose from, or if you prefer a leisurely stroll, there are footpaths to take you right around the beach and the views are amazing. If you prefer to dine-in, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants for you to choose from.  

Burleigh Beach is leading the way for accessibility by providing ramped access and if you wish to enjoy the sand, you’re able to hire one of their beach wheelchairs. 

It’s becoming more common for many beaches along the coast to have beach mats, with the City of Gold Coast implementing a range of initiatives to improve access to beaches. This includes working closely with Surf Life Saving Clubs (SLSCs) to provide beach matting, beach wheelchairs, and accessible changing rooms. A full list of beaches and available equipment can be found here.  

Disability parking can also be found along the beachline; however, we recommend getting your day started early as large crowds can be expected over the summer holidays. 

For more information on how the Gold Coast is becoming more accessible, click here.

Local swimming pools

The Southport Aquatic Centre was host to the swimming and diving events for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The centre has ramped pool access, ample disability-friendly change rooms, and is open to the public! A cafeteria is also available for refreshments throughout the day.  

All public pools are ramped or have disability access and you are sure to find one near you which makes heading out to cool down easier! Click here to view the list of Gold Coast Aquatic Centres

Dog-friendly beaches 

There are several dog-friendly and even off-leash beaches for you and your fury friend to enjoy over the summer. Some of the most popular dog friendly beaches on the Gold Coast include Burleigh Beach, The Spit, and Palm Beach. 

Service dogs are permitted in all public spaces for people with low vision or blindness.  

For more information on dog-friendly beaches, click here

Two photos of dogs at the beach


The suburb of Labrador is the perfect place to visit on a hot summer’s day. Not only is this suburb close to iconic Surfers Paradise, which is a hive of activity in itself, but there are also several popular swimming and fishing spots, just ask the locals or the nearest bait shop. Beach mats are also set to be installed at Main Beach. 

If you’ve managed to work up an appetite after a day of exploring and beach-going Charis Seafood is known to serve up some pretty great fish ‘n’ chips for you to enjoy.

Accessible rainy-day activities 

So, what happens when you’ve planned a great day of basking in the sun only to get there and have the rain spoil your plans?  

The beauty of the Gold Coast is that there is something for everyone to do regardless of the weather. From catching the latest blockbuster, being amazed at Ripley’s believe it or not, playing games to your hearts content at Timezone, or even shopping until you drop at one of the many shopping centres the Gold Coast has to offer.  

You are sure to find something to not only fill the time, but to make for a successful and fun day out.

With so much to choose from, the Gold Coast has something for everyone, and we are sure you will have a fun-filled day, planned or not. Whether you’re soaking up the rays at the beach, enjoying a local café or catching the latest blockbuster, we are certain that you won’t want to leave.  

The beautiful coastline deserves to be enjoyed by everyone and with more wheelchair-friendly areas being discovered and installed, the Gold Coast is promoting equality for all residents and tourists regardless of their ability.  

While we mention some great activities for you all to enjoy this summer, we want to know what your top five accessible-friendly summer activities are and why. 

A professional headshot of Drew. He is wearing a patterned button up shirt and glasses and smiling.
Drew Foulds

Drew Foulds is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Business at Griffith University. He is passionate about travel and accessible activities, having traveled widely both in Australia and overseas. Drew also loves sport, and is a keen Gold Coast Suns supporter.

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Sign on the beach that says "Beach access mat" with the blue mat running behind it