Hobsons Bay City Council - Accessible Beaches

Accessible Beaches

Accessible Beaches

Council is working towards creating two fully accessible beaches by 2020.

The 2017-18 summer season was a success, over 30 community members accessed our beautiful beaches through hiring the beach wheelchairs.

A big thank you to Williamstown Swimming and Life Saving Club and Altona Life Saving who supported the program.

We couldn’t have done this without Altona Village Trading Association, Bendigo Community Bank and Altona Rotary Club.

In an Australian first, the blue beach matting will stay down all year, providing access for the whole community 24/7.

Don’t forget that Weaver’s Reserve accessible changing facility, with hoist, is also available for those who need it.

Watch this space for next season commencing in December 2018.

For more information contact Council’s Metro Access and Inclusion Officer on 9932 1000 or email socialplanning@hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au


Where: Williamstown and Altona beach

When: available seven days a week – a first in Victoria

Who: anyone can use the matting, however it particularly helps people with wheelchairs, prams, walking and mobility aids to pass over the soft sand to get to the hard sand


What: there are three types of beach wheelchairs available

Sandcruiser which is designed for adults to travel on the sand along the beach (available at Altona),

  • Sandpiper which is designed for children to travel on the sand along the beach (available at Altona and Williamstown)
  • MobiChair which is designed to enter the water to waist height of the support person (available at Altona and Williamstown)

Where: Williamstown and Altona beach

When: available Saturday and Sunday during the surf life saving patrol hours (12pm to 5pm)

Who: beach wheelchairs are ideal for people who have mobility limitations, including those with permanent disability, temporary disability or those with reduced mobility due to age

Booking: use is FREE but bookings are essential, conditional upon users reading the Hire Agreement and Safety Procedures for the relevant beach wheelchair, and signing the indemnity form before the beach wheelchair can be used. A copy of the forms can be found below

Beach Wheelchair Hire Agreement(PDF, 110KB)

MobiChair Safety Procedures(PDF, 211KB)

Sandcruiser Safety Procedures(PDF, 192KB)

Sandpiper Safety Procedures(PDF, 268KB)

To book a beach wheelchair online click HERE or Monday to Friday contact Council’s Metro Access and Inclusion Officer on 9932 1000, email socialplanning@hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au

Saturday and Sunday contact or visit the life saving clubs to see what times are available.

NOTE there is a hoist available for transfer at Altona Beach within the Weaver Reserve accessible changing facility. Please ensure you bring your own sling. 

There is NO hoist available at Williamstown Beach.

All the beach wheelchairs are not independent chairs therefore please ensure you have the right level of support to transfer and push the beach wheelchair.


Williamstown Swimming and Life Saving Club

Corner of Victoria Street and Esplanade, Williamstown

Ph: 0478 416 004

E: info@williamstownslsc.org.au

W: www.williamstownslsc.org.au



Altona Life Saving Club

127 Esplanade Street, Altona

Ph: 9398 1270

E: admin@altonalsc.com.au

W: www.altonalsc.com.au

Accessible parking, toilets, and showers are available at both beaches

For general enquiries and feedback contact Hobsons Bay City Council’s Metro Access and Inclusion Officer on 9932 1000 or email socialplanning@hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au


Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a hoist for wheelchair transfer?

YES we do have a hoist available at Altona Beach. We introduced an accessible adult changing facility at Weaver Reserve right next to Altona Life Saving Club in December 2017. It includes a hoist, adult change table, shower and toilet.  To gain access you will need an MLAK key. You will also need to bring your own sling. Contact Hobsons Bay City Council’s Metro Access and Inclusion Officer to discuss any access needs. You can find more information on MLAK here: https://www.masterlocksmiths.com.au/mlak.php

What is the difference between the Sandcruiser, Sandpiper and MobiChair beach wheelchairs?

The Sandcruiser (adult) and Sandpiper (child) beach wheelchairs are designed to get you to the waters edge. You can enter shallow water but only up to the centre of the rear wheels – so you will definitely be able to dip your toes in the sea. The MobiChair has floats built into its arm rests allowing users to enter deeper water (up to waist height of support person) and experience floating in the sea.

Do I need to bring additional support?

Yes please. Our beach wheelchairs cannot be independently pushed so you will need to bring along a friend or two to assist with transfer (if needed) and help push across the sand. If you are hiring the MobiChair and wish to enter deeper water you must have a minimum of two supporters.

Why is having an accessible beach important?

Hobsons Bay has more than 20 kilometres of beaches and foreshore areas, which are greatly valued by the community. With Council’s commitment to access and inclusion, Council would like to ensure that key foreshore locations, such as the beaches, are accessible for all to enjoy.

People with a disability represent approximately 17 per cent (15,656 people) of the total Hobsons Bay population. While disability can impact individuals in many different forms, some of the largest impacts on people with a disability are physical barriers within the built and natural environment, restricting their ability to conduct their lives in a spontaneous and unplanned manner. It is understood that if a community is physically accessible for people with a disability there is increased access for all community members such as older people, children, and pram users.

Where can I find more accessible beaches in Australia?

Accessible Beaches Directory

Have wheelchair will travel

News and Media







Rate this page

Was the information useful to you?