We understand that every person looking for accessibility information has different needs, so we have aimed to include as much information on this page as possible.
A short overview
The 1.4km all-abilities tour path at Wildlife Wonders makes this a wonderful and achievable experience for the whole family, and one of the few wheelchair friendly walks on the Great Ocean Road.
The entire Wildlife Wonders experience has no steps and is suitable for most sturdy wheelchairs or prams.
We also provide everyone with an audio headset to hear your conservationist tour guide, as well as loan binoculars.
Your Nature Guide will invite you to engage all your senses as you move through the Sanctuary, to ensure a memorable experience for all.
Read on for a detailed overview of accessibility information, or you can jump to a section using the links below.
If you’d prefer to talk to someone over the phone or in writing, please feel free to call our friendly front desk team on (03) 7046 1664, or email at email@example.com. We can help with any questions about this information, or if you can’t find the information you’re looking for, we can try our best to find out for you.
Jump to a section
There are 2 accessible car parking spaces located at Wildlife Wonders in the main car park at the front of the building.
Getting from the car park to the front entrance
A flat, compacted gravel path will take you from the carpark to the entrance. There is only a slight incline up the curb as seen in the photo below.
The front entrance doorway is flat ground. With one door open, the width is 93cm. Both doors can be opened and the doorway becomes 1.86m wide.
Before you enter the Visitor Centre, around the outdoor cafe seating area there is a power point. You are welcome to use this power point to charge any electrical devices or forms of transport.
Inside the Visitor Centre
The building you first enter into is know as our Visitor Centre. This is single level and houses our front desk, accessible toilet facilities, the cafe, indoor cafe seating and the gift shop. All tours depart from, and return to this Visitor Centre.
The counter height at the front desk is 90cm. The higher part of the front counter (as seen in the photo) is 1.15m high.
Our Cafe is situated inside the front entrance, past the front desk. There is plenty of space with wheelchair friendly seating options both indoors and outdoors at the front.
The counter height to order your food and drinks is 1.15m high.
The top of the glass food and drinks cabinet is 1.2m high. There are also jars on the top with biscuits etc. Our cafe team will always be happy to talk you through what’s on offer.
You can also place orders from your phone via QR codes at every cafe table.
You can view our latest menu on our website.
The gift shop
Our gift shop has shelves on the walls displaying local art, crafts and wildlife related gifts. There is a large table in the middle with a huge range of wildlife and nature books.
Dogs and other assistance animals are most welcome in our outdoor café terrace space and we provide water bowls and there are toileting areas available. Registered assistance animals are also permitted inside the Visitor Centre.
For the safety of the wildlife and your assistance animal, assistance animals are not permitted within the Sanctuary. However, we are able to provide a safe environment for assistance animals while their owner is on a tour (please advise us in advance if you will require this).
For more information on Assistance Dog access areas, please view our map.
Tour path information
The Wildlife Wonders tour follows a 1.4km winding path composed of compacted ground, boardwalk and gravel. The trail has a gentle gradient.
The maximum gradient is 1:16 and the path in this section is made from compacted gravel, with most of the trail gradient being 1:20.
The path has a 2.1 classification under the Parks Victoria Track and Trail Grading System.
(Grade 2.1: Gentle slopes only, with some sections that may exceed 1:14 gradient, modified surfaces, suitable for wheelchair users with some assistance.)
The experience inside – what you may hear and see
Wildlife Wonders is a wildlife sanctuary and therefore it is mostly a quiet place with birds and frog song.
Inside the Visitor Centre is our cafe and gift shop you may hear people chatting to each other, our front desk team talking to people at the counter or on the phone, coffees being made or dishes being served or collected. There are background sounds playing softly in this area including birdsong and koala calls. Large windows mean the lighting in the Visitor Centre is moderately bright.
If your visit is during the school holidays, there may be more kids around who can sometimes be a little noisier. We also hold regular activities for young kids on Thursday and Saturday mornings around 10.30am (and sometimes extra activities in the school holidays), so there may be a number of young children around at these times. You can check out events running on our website.
A step-by-step experience of the tour – what you may hear and see
If you are driving to Wildlife Wonders, we have plenty of parking spaces right out the front, including 2 accessible spaces. Once you park, you will follow the easy, short path, past the outdoor cafe seating area into the main Visitor Centre entrance.
After you enter Wildlife Wonders, you will be greeted by a friendly team member at the front desk who can help you organise a booking for a tour, or if you already have a booking, they will check you in and instruct you on what to do next.
If you don’t want to go on a tour and only want to visit the gift shop, or cafe, you are more than welcome to do so.
While you wait for the tour to start, you could browse in the gift and book shop if you like, or sit down in the indoor cafe area. Both of these areas are only metres away from where the tour begins, so there’s no chance of missing your start time.
Once your tour is ready to start, your guide will call your group into the small theatre room adjacent to the indoor cafe seating area, known as the ‘Forest Room’.
The Forest Room has dark green walls with tree trunks along one wall and small bench seats to share sitting on for the presentation. On your way in, you will be handed your binoculars and audio receiver earpiece.
When you enter the Forest Room, you are welcome to sit on one of the cushions on the shared wooden bench seats.
The blind will be down and the lights will be on. It will stay like this for majority of the presentation while your Nature Guide is introducing themselves, Wildlife Wonders and explaining how to use the audio receivers and binoculars.
The lights will then be turned off completely for a 2 minute video, so the room during this time will be dark.
Once the video finishes, the blind gets slowly raised and brightens up the room with natural light. The sound of the electric blind is a little on the louder side but only takes a few seconds to raise completely. With the blind up, you can now see the doors on the left hand side you will exit this room from to begin along the tour path.
If you need any assistance during this stage, your guide will always be happy to help.
Once the presentation and your equipment set up are complete, your guide will start the tour. You will all exit the theatre through the doors at the front left of the room which leads you to the undercover, outdoor area and the beginning of the tour path. Sometimes our curious emus like to hang around here but they are unlikely to approach you, and your guide will be present to help you if you are at all worried.
During the tour, your guide will share stories and knowledge about the plants you see, as well as any animals they spot along the way. They will also talk about conservation in the Otways. Your guide will talk from the front of the group as you all walk together. You will be able to hear the guide clearly with your audio receiver on. The tour is quite a slow pace and will stop in places to allow you time to use your binoculars and take in the sanctuary.
There is seating along the tour path in places and you are welcome to stop and rest if needed.
During the tour, you will always walk on the path with your group. You will walk through different environments along this path. There is a Eucalypt forest, a fern gully, a pond and grasslands.
In the middle of the tour, you will enter a building which is called our Research Base. Although the Research Base is 2 levels, the tour only accesses the ground level.
On the ground floor in this building you will see displays including posters, GPS tracking data on screens and images and videos of wildlife and ecologists at work. In this part of the tour, you have about 10 minutes to look around as you wish and a chance to ask any questions.
After this time, your guide will let you know it’s time to continue the tour. You will exit the Research Base through a different door and continue the tour on the path with your group and guide.
The tour will continue along the path until you reach an undercover area back at the Visitor Centre. This is a different door than the one you departed from.
Here you will remove your audio headset and binoculars and hang them up on the stand nearby, or return them to the guide.
If you need support, your guide will be happy to assist you. From here your guide will offer you a homemade lemonade which you can drink where you are, or you can go back through the door into the cafe. You are welcome to sit in our cafe, or to browse the gift shop.
The tour will continue along the path until you reach the undercover area where you first started. Here you will remove your audio headset and binoculars and hang them up on the stand nearby, or return them to the guide. If you need support, your guide will be happy to assist you. From here your guide will offer you a homemade lemonade which you can drink where you are, or you can go back through the door into the cafe. You are welcome to sit in our cafe, or to browse the gift shop.
Once you are happy with your experience and it’s time to leave, you will walk past the front desk and exit through the same door you first entered Wildlife Wonders in and follow the easy outdoor path to your carpark.
If you think we’ve missed anything in this written experience, we would love to know. Please get in touch by calling us on (03) 7046 1664 or by email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please contact Wildlife Wonders at least 48 hours prior to arrival if you need assistance, so you can be supported to have the most wonderful experience.
Companion Card holders are also welcome. These cards need to be processed by the front desk team either when you arrive at Wildlife Wonders or over the phone on (03) 7046 1664 before your visit.
Need some more information?
If you have any more questions before your visit, or if you want to discuss any specific needs we can assist you with, we encourage you to call ahead on (03) 7046 1664 to ensure you get the most out of your experience, or you can email us at email@example.com