Wheelchair Friendly Tangalooma
We decided to stay at Tangalooma Resort for my birthday weekend in September. I had been to Tangalooma many years ago when I was young. We had always planed to go back, but just never found time, so to return back for a weekend for my birthday was very exciting.
Tangalooma is on Moreton Island. It used to be a whaling station until they turned it into a Resort.
Tangalooma is very beautiful. The atmosphere there is very laid back and extremely relaxing, and It’s certainly a perfect place to get away.
Tangalooma is wheelchair accessible. There are step free walking paths and ramps throughout the resort, including ramp access to all public areas. The ferry over to Tangalooma is also wheelchair accessible, and I had no trouble getting on the ferry which departs from Pinkenba in Brisbane. I feel large electric wheelchairs might have some trouble due to the narrow boarding ramp size in Brisbane, but most medium size wheelchairs should be fine.
Accessible Room Kookaburra lodge
We were booked in an accessible room at Kookaburra lodge. The room held 4 people and was large enough for wheelchairs and was very clean. The accessible bathroom was well setup and was a good size. They also provided me with a shower chair for the bathroom because I can’t use the pull down stool. The view from the accessible room 72 was amazing which over looked the tennis court and out to the crystal blue waters.
Tangalooma Beach Wheelchair
Tangalooma also have a beach wheelchair available for guests. We were able to use the beach wheelchair during our stay at no cost.
I had to use pillows to support me in the Tangalooma beach wheelchair because it is so big and had no support to keep me from falling over in it. Unfortunately we did run into a bit of drama while we had the beach wheelchair. After spending a fun afternoon on the beach we went back to our room. Because the beach wheelchair was so wide it wouldn’t fit in the lift up to our room. We asked a staff member from the resort if it would be ok to leave the beach wheelchair down stairs until we got back. He said that would be fine, thinking it would be safe there. How wrong we all were! We were probably about an hour up in our room, but when we returned, someone had taken the wheelchair.
We went back to the rangers thinking they might of returned it back to the visitor center. The rangers hadn’t taken the wheelchair because they knew I still needed it for the dolphin feeding. The wheelchair was missing! They were able to borrow another beach wheelchair from the tour experience team during the dolphin feeding for me. Every ranger on Tangalooma was looking for this beach wheelchair that had oddly just disappeared!. It turns out 2 people took the beach wheelchair and decided to go for a joy ride in it. Luckily the wheelchair was finally returned later that night,
It was such a disappointment finding out someone would take a wheelchair. But I was very relieved it was returned safe.
Tangalooma Accessible Wild Dolphin Feeding
Even though we had the drama with the missing wheelchair, we still had an amazing stay at Tangalooma. That night we were able to do the dolphins feeding. They used the beach wheelchair to get me down to the beach. Then mum carried me to a plastic chair that I sat on while in the water feeding the dolphin. The rangers at Tangalooma were amazing. They were so helpful and super friendly. Because the plastic chair wanted to float in the water one of the rangers had to hold it down in the water while the other helped us feed the beautiful wild dolphin. The water was very cold, but it was an amazing experience and definitely worth the cold water.
The wild dolphin was so huge and gentle. We were in lane one with the older dolphin as he is a bit more patient and chilled out then the younger dolphins in the other lanes. They normally get wheelchair guests to feed the older and patient dolphin in lane one.
Guests are not allowed to touch the dolphins as the dolphins are a wild and can also get sick just like us. they also inform guests to not feed the dolphins if the guests have a cold or are sick.
If you are able to feed the dolphins I highly recommend you give it a go. I am not sure how they manage with wheelchair guests from the beach wheelchair on the beach to the plastic chair in the water, because I’m so light mum could carry me. I understand everyone’s situation is different regarding disabilities. The rangers seem very accommodating so I would highly recommend you chat with them for the best arrangement for you.
The only thing I was disappointment on was the food selection on the island. There wasn’t anywhere to eat a meal apart from 1 small takeaway kitchen in the food court area. They also had one Asian restaurant, but this seemed to cater for a certain style of eater. They had a restaurant up stairs but it was closed, I’m not sure if it was a temporary closer or permanently closed. The food selection at the resort was very slim during our stay and we would of liked to had a meal together at a restaurant rather then takeaway.
Tangalooma Resort Activities
Tangalooma offer a number of activities on the island, such as kookaburra feeding talks and pelican feeding. They also offer a number of physical activities, but of cause that isn’t an option for us such as sand surfing and scrubber diving, Tangalooma do offer these activities to those with limited mobility if they can participate.
The following day we went whale watching, which is also wheelchair accessible as its on the same vessel as the Tangalooma ferry service.
That same day we also decided to try out our 1st helicopter ride. Not knowing if we could manage the ride and be able to get in the helicopter, our plan was to wait and see. Once we got up to the helicopter and had a look we knew we could manage it ok. Bruce our helicopter pilot was such a nice guy and very helpful. Mum picked me up and put me in the helicopter and then pushed my wheelchair out of the way until I returned.
The helicopter ride was amazing! Because it was our first time in a helicopter we were all very excited. Tangalooma was so beautiful from above. The stunning white sand and shining blue water was just breathing taking.
We had such a great experience on the 10 minute Tangalooma helicopter flight, and it was certainly the highlight of our weekend.
Because we were only there for the weekend, not long after our flight we had to make our way back to the ferry to head home. We had such a great weekend at Tangalooma Resort. It was very wheelchair friendly, and we look forward to visiting Tangalooma again soon
In my opinion I give Tangalooma Island Resort a rating of 4 for wheelchair accessibility, and a rating of 4 stars for the overall experience.
* I was not financially compensated for this review. The review is based on my own opinion and personal experience.*