At Sensory Tourism Australia, we aim to ensure everyone’s experience is as enjoyable as possible. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment and will do our best to accommodate our travellers’ needs.
In this statement, we aim to accurately describe our facilities and services so you can decide if our experience will suit your specific requirements. We have limited use of photos in this accessibility statement as our target market is blind and low-vision travellers. Contact us if you require images of departure locations or typical buses we use to support our accessibility statement.
Sensory Tourism Australia is a provider of support services for blind and low-vision travellers. We are a social enterprise focusing on orientation in new environments, transport, and social support. We work with around 400 Australian adults who are blind or have low vision to develop confidence and gain independence in both individual and group settings.
How support will be provided
Sensory Tourism Australia provides vocal direction and additional support to:
- Participate in group-based activities in the community via half-day, full-day, and multi-day programs.
- Participate in Capacity Building to improve Individual Social Skills to have more success in achieving desired outcomes.
Our most common mode of transport is minibus
At most destinations, we will travel in a 24-seat minibus. This requires travellers to navigate two 40-centimetre-high steps through a 70-centimetre doorway with a fixed handle on the right-hand side. Once in the aisle, which is 35 centimetres wide and facing toward the back of the bus, there are eight rows of 2 seats to the left and seven rows of single seats to the right. There is also a single seat up front next to the driver. However, travellers must navigate the engine bay to the seat. In the following video, regular traveller Andrew demonstrates and explains how he boards the bus. Andrew is using a white cane in this example.
Blind or low-vision support
Each adventure is designed for travellers who are active and competent with mobility using either a cane, guide dog or a companion as a sighted guide. Our trip leaders provide vocal instruction to assist in navigating one to four travellers without companions in areas we know well. For technical navigation, like stairs or narrow environments, we may occasionally travel one at a time, with our trip leader providing one-on-one assistance.
All our transport, accommodation, activity, and hospitality partners are proud to assist us in delivering our adventures for our travellers and welcome service animals. Sensory Tourism Australia will offer complimentary orientation after check-in at each new hotel and show you the best place to toilet dog guides.
If a potential traveller needs more support due to mobility concerns, hearing a trip leader’s vocal instructions, or needing a sighted companion, talk to Sensory Tourism Australia about options like hiring additional support, companion rates for family and friends, tours tailored specifically for your group or specific trips with appropriate itinerary pacing.
We can provide a quote if you require a dedicated trip leader to act as your sighted guide on a tour.
Joining a trip
Sensory Tourism Australia selects specific locations for joining a trip. Many trips will start at an airport where we have Sensory Tourism Australia Trip Leaders by the kerbside of the terminal for 30 minutes before the meeting time. Our travellers will also have the mobile phone number of at least one Trip Leader before the departure day.
Central Station, Grand Concourse, next to Platform One, is the main departure location for day tours departing Sydney. This site has been selected due to the number of station staff who are trained to assist blind and low-vision travellers, plus the ease of access by train and taxi.
The main departure location for day tours departing Melbourne is Travellers Aid at Flinders Street Station, between Platform Nine and Ten. This site has been selected due to the number of station and volunteer staff who are trained to assist blind and low-vision travellers, plus the ease of access by train and tram.
If you have concerns about joining your trip with Sensory Tourism Australia, you can ask if we can organise a home pick-up at extra cost.
Sensory Tourism Australia specifically designs trips for blind and low-vision travellers, so audio commentary is constant throughout the trip. Speakers are mounted along the ceiling on most buses.
Hearing-impaired travellers can request companion rates for Auslan interpreters. From time to time, we run specific Auslan-interpreted tours.
Group tours are usually loud and social. If this concerns you, talk to us about tours tailored specifically for your group, or we may be able to curate a private small group of like-minded people. The following table provides some sensory impacts to consider on a group tour.
|Shared personal space travelling with a group
Commuter hub announcements
|Bright light and glare
People, some in groups
|Shared personal space travelling with a group
You can book directly from our website or travel agent, but if you have access requirements, we recommend you phone us at +61 1300657640 to make your booking.
There are publicly accessible toilets at Sensory Tourism Australia departure points. Our Trip Leaders also travel with a Master Locksmiths Access Key (MLAK), a restricted Master Key System fitted to various public facilities such as Toilets and Changing Rooms.
Need more information?
- Reach out to us via our contact page.