Visitor Information - Melbourne for wheelchair users
From an accessibility point of view, Melbourne is doing most things right. Transport is 90% wheelchair-friendly, accessible toilets are common and the terrain is generally flat.
There are two factors to mention - minor as they are. Bluestones blocks have historically been used to pave roads in older areas of the city & they can be difficult to tackle. In some cases you may have to navigate around them, in others, it’s simpler to cross them slowly following the least difficult path. The other consideration are the tram tracks. The trams network is widespread and as a result the parallel steel lines are ingrained in the bitumen roads. Probably not as tough to overcome, be mindful where several criss-cross at busy crossings. Approach these at a right angle where possible and ‘pop’ small casters over these slight nuisances if you need to.
Enjoy your time in our wonderful city!
NB: The information below is a basic guide only & subject to change.
Country / State
Australia / Victoria
Australian Dollar $AUD
Jan-Mar: AEDT (UTC+11:00)
Apr-Sep: AEST (UTC+10:00)
Oct-Dec: AEDT (UTC+11:00)
Across Australia the emergency services phone number is 000.
Travellers Aid is a not-for-profit service that provides assistance for those in need. Mobility equipment hire, emergency relief, internet access and scooter charging are just a few of the ways they can help wheelchair users.
Flinders Street Station & Southern Cross Station.
There are many chemists throughout Melbourne in shopping centres and street sites. Many open late and weekends. A quick search will show you the closest. (The is no commonly used for ‘Pharmacy’ in Australia).
Melbourne has seasons that result in a variety of climates. The temperature and weather can change significantly across the day. Highs in Summer (DEC/JAN/FEB) can reach up to 40° celsius. Winter nights (JUN/JUL/AUG) can drop to 5° celsius.
Check forecasts at the Bureau of Meteorology or your weather app.
The tram, train and bus systems in Melbourne are government run through Public Transport Victoria (PTV)
Fares & ticketing operate through ‘MyKi’ – A touch on/touch off proximity card that needs to be purchased & ‘loaded’ with credit before travel. MyKi cards are accepted on Trains, trams and buses.
The tram network is considerable and services are reaching out further each year but not all lines or trams are accessible. In some cases, trams may be accessible and tram-stops inaccessible (and vice versa).
There are 130 low floor trams running across Melbourne’s network with plans to roll out more.
There is a central ‘Free Tram Zone’ that is a free tram service.
The PTV ‘Tramtracker’ mobile app is free & helpful.
Melbourne’s train network is accessible and services the breadth of the city and outer-suburbs.
Most stations will require a ramp to board the train. Wheelchair passengers are asked to use the forward-most carriage (closest to the driver) when boarding. This allows the driver to set down a ramp at the carriage door and ask for your destination. They’ll help with the ramp as you disembark too.
The carriages have easily identifiable wheelchair spaces and seats close-by if you wish to transfer.
Some train stations have accessible toilets. A list can be found here –
The majority of buses are wheelchair accessible with low floors. The network is substantial and sometimes an easier way to travel than the tram or train.
More about the bus network can be found here –
Most regular taxis will be happy assist with a manual (folding or rigid framed) wheelchair. They will usually like putting the chair in the back seat or boot (trunk).
Taxis come under government regulation & are part of the public transport system. Always keep your receipt - this has the car ID and driver ID.
Wheelchair taxis, sometimes called Maxi Taxis (or WAT – Wheelchair Accessible Taxis) operate throughout Victoria. These vans have a hydraulic lift that operates backwards out of the car by the driver. They can hold 2 or 3 wheelchair passengers at a time with room for additional passengers.
More details about taxi services, including registering complaints, can be at Victorian Taxi Services Commission.
Transport – to & from the Airport
Melbourne lacks a train or tram system to Tullamarine International airport or the smaller Avalon airport. In both cases, options are below.
The SkyBus service (Airport shuttle) runs throughout Melbourne and is wheelchair accessible. Entry to the bus is via a ramp at the front door operated by the driver. The bus runs from international and domestic terminals & has Wi-Fi on-board. An Adult ticket 1-way is $18.
Taxis (and private hire cars) have pick up & drop-off points that are well sign-posted and staffed at both Tullamarine and Avalon airports. See above for taxi companies operating in Melbourne.
Air for tyres
There is no shortage of bike shops in Melbourne and they're more than happy to help with air for a flat tyre. You mightn’t get a replacement tyre though.
Petrol stations (garages) often have an air compressor for public use 24 hours though these can have mixed results as they’re designed for automotive tyres.
An internet search will provide your closest options.
There is a hand full of wheelchair suppliers who can repair a wheelchair in Melbourne though the majority are a 20 or 30-minute drive from the city.
There is a hand full of wheelchair hire companies in & around Melbourne. An internet search will reveal you nearest. Basic wheelchairs are available through Travellers Aid (see above).
Melbourne has accessible public toilets dotted around the city and there are often toilets at train stations (see link above) and public buildings (such as libraries and town halls).
All listings in the FWW Directory have accessible toilets.
The Australian government Toiletmap provides information on over 16,000 publicly available toilets across Australia, including accessibility and opening hours. The mobile app is helpful.