Western Plains Zoo Accessibility: 4 1/2 stars from me!

Finding wheelchair accessible travel destinations is always somewhat challenging. I think the main reason for this is that so many people with a disability have different needs. Even if you narrow it to physical disabilities which impair mobility, there’s such a range. Where someone can go in an electric wheelchair may be impossible for someone in a manual chair. So embarking on a new adventure always come with a bit of anxiety.

I wasn’t surprised to read that Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo is listed as one of the Top Five Accessible Travel Destinations in Australia. My childhood memory of a trip to the zoo is only that of flat, ridiculously hot and lots of animals sleeping in the shade. As Andrew and I elected to go in Winter, we successfully eliminated the hot and ‘sleeping in the shade’ part.
Meerkat: Western Plains Zoo
Instead most of the animals opted for any part of the enclosures with sun!

Oh, except for the galapagos turtle. He was in his hut trying to get warm. Consequently, I missed him. This was probably also because by the 5km mark where the tortoise rested, I too felt like resting!

While generally flat it is markedly better than Mogo’s entrance and I dare say that nearly every Zoo in the world would be flatter than Taronga (although who can beat those views!).  For us, all of the uphill areas of Western Plains Zoo were accessible with the exception of the pathway to the Lion enclosure. It not only has a steep gradient but is covered in loose gravel.

So Andrew skipped the Lion exhibit and for this I’ve lopped off half a star.

It’s not Andrew really wanted to see the lions. It’s that we had already selected the child we intended to feed to them. What a shame.

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Posted on June 29, 2011, in Disability and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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