Spinal Life Australia’s Healthy Living Centre in Cairns is the first place of its kind in Queensland, and it’s an amazing short-term accommodation option for people with spinal cord injuries and other physical disabilities.
The retreat is right on Cairns Esplanade and its suites are absolutely gorgeous. They have everything that opens and shuts and rises and falls, at the push of a button.
Guest facilities include a hydrotherapy pool, wheelchair-friendly gym, and a café that has proven very popular with Cairns locals.
If you’re staying at the centre, Cairns & Great Barrier Reef has a wide range of tourism offerings, and many of them are wheelchair-friendly.
How do you find them? Well, Spinal Life Australia has a new app for smartphones, tablets and computers that shows places like hotels, cafes, pubs, beaches and many more points of interest all over Australia that are accessible for people with disability.
The app highlights options like swimming on the reef with Quicksilver Cruises; climbing the Kuranda Range on Skyrail; watching the show at Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures, or enjoying the animal encounters at Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas.
The Wildlife Habitat sanctuary is a wonderful day trip option with ramps leading through woodland, wetland, rainforest, savannah and nocturnal zones.
A delightful aspect is that in each of those environments, inquisitive Australian animals including birds and kangaroos will often approach guests. There are also well-versed staff on-hand who are happy to share their extensive knowledge of wildlife.
The Accessible Australia app allows others to rate accessibility and can be filtered according to mobility level, from people using canes to walking frames, to manual and power chairs. It means you can feel confident when exploring places because you’re getting advice from people in a similar situation.
For example, Paralympian Karni Liddell rates Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas at 5-stars for visitors using power-assist chairs.
If you’re getting around on wheels and are looking for a place to stay in Cairns, while you are doing the tourist thing, then check out the Spinal Life Healthy Living Centre.