Accessible Beaches

Accessible Beaches Williamstown and Altona Beach - Hobsons Bay City Council

Altona Lifeguard hours extended to 18 April 2021

Summer might be over, but we know that beach days aren't! There is still plenty of time for Hobsons Bay residents and visitors to come down and enjoy. With support from Altona Life Saving Club and Altona Village Traders Association, we are pleased to announce that weekday patrol hours in Altona have been extended until 18 April 2021. 

Hobsons Bay is proud to boast two of the most accessible beaches in Australia. Over the past six years Council has provided more than 1300 days of continuous access to Altona and Williamstown beaches as well as beach wheelchairs to more than 150 community members.

With support from Williamstown Swimming and Life Saving Club, Altona Life Saving Club and local traders, Council continues to provide beach matting seven days a week on both Williamstown and Altona Beach, and free to hire beach wheelchairs and beach walking frames during surf lifesaving club patrol hours. 

Beach Wheelchair and Beach Walking Frame Hire

Beach wheelchair and beach walking frame hire is available at Altona and Williamstown Beaches for the summer 2020-21 season on the following times and dates:

  • 1 December – 28 December: 12-5pm Saturdays and Sundays
  • 29 December – 25 January: 12-5pm seven days a week
  • 26 January – 18 April: 12-5pm seven days a week (Altona)
  • 26 January – 30 March: 12-5pm Saturdays and Sundays (Williamstown)

See below for more details on each beach wheelchair and the walking frame. To book a beach wheelchair or walking frame contact Council’s Economic Development and Social Planning Team on 1300 179 944, 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday or email socialplanning@hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au. Hire is free.

Note: As part of COVID Safe Plans in place at Altona Life Saving Club and Williamstown Swimming and Life Saving Club, visitors will be asked to sign in and follow COVID safety procedures when hiring a beach wheelchair or walking frame. Visitors are asked to stay home if they do not feel well.

Beach Matting

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Beach Matting is installed at Williamstown and Altona beach. It is available seven days a week, a first in Victoria. 

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.

Beach Wheelchairs

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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.

There are three types of beach wheelchairs available for hire. 

  • sandcruiser which is designed for adults to travel on the sand along the beach and is available at Altona
  • sandpiper which is designed for children to travel on the sand along the beach and is available at Altona and Williamstown
  • mobiChair which is designed to enter the water to waist height of the support person and is available at Altona and Williamstown
  • daVinci which is a manual self-propelled beach wheelchair and is available at Altona.

The Sandcruiser, Sandpiper and mobiChair are not independent and require support for their use.  Please ensure you have the right level of support to transfer and push the beach wheelchair.

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.

Wheelchairs are available during surf lifesaving club patrol hours. To make a booking, contact Council’s Economic Development and Social Planning Team on 1300 179 994, 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday or by email to socialplanning@hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au.

Beach Walking Frames

A beach accessible walking frame is available for hire at Altona and Williamstown beaches. The walking frames are designed for people who can walk but need some additional mobility support.

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Walking frames are available during surf lifesaving club patrol hours. To make a booking, contact Council’s Economic Development and Social Planning Team on 1300 179 994, 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday or by email to socialplanning@hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au

 

Accessible Change Facilities

There is an accessible change facility with a change table and hoist available at Weaver Reserve, across the road from Altona Beach.

This facility can be accessed at any time with an MLAK key and provides community members with higher needs the ability to transfer to the beach wheelchairs, shower, toilet and change in a dignified way.

To access an MLAK, contact Council’s Council’s Economic Development and Social Planning Team on 1300 179 994, 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday or by email to socialplanning@hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au.

BYO sling.

Booking and Cost

Beach wheelchair and beach walking frame hire is free but bookings are essential. Hire is conditional on users reading the Hire Agreement and Safety Procedures for the relevant beach piece of equipment, and signing the indemnity form. A copy of the forms can be found below. 

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.