Accessible ferries and wharves
All Sydney Ferries vessels are accessible to people using essential mobility aids, but several older-style wharves have steps that prevent access.
Circular Quay wharves, Abbotsford, Balmain, Balmain East, Cabarita, Chiswick, Cockatoo Island, Cremorne Point, Darling Harbour Terminal, Drummoyne, Garden Island, Kissing Point, Manly, Meadowbank, Milsons Point / Luna Park, Mosman Bay, Neutral Bay, Parramatta, Rose Bay, Rydalmere, Sydney Olympic Park, Taronga Zoo and Woolwich.
Wheelchair accessible wharves are also indicated on the Sydney Ferries network map.
Assistance may be required to board at some wharves at low tide. Gangway and ramp gradients are tide dependent. For information about low tides please visit the Bureau of Meteorology tidal website.
Wheelchair accessible wharves have level or ramped access that allows independent access by a person using a manual wheelchair or walking aid. They are also accessible via motorised wheelchairs or scooters or if you are travelling with the help of a friend or carer.
Some wharves are not accessible when tides are low, as the slope of the gangway ramp becomes too steep for safe boarding and disembarking. At certain times some ferry services between Parramatta and Rydalmere are operated by buses because of natural low tides in the shallow waters of the upper Parramatta River. See Parramatta ferry bus replacement services.
People with disabilities and their carers are given priority boarding by Sydney ferries. Make yourself known to a staff member on the wharf. If your wharf is unstaffed please wait for your service in a safe place away from the wharf edge and with your mobility aid secured and sideways, rather than facing the water. Crew on board the ferry can then assist you.
There are floating wharves at Newcastle and Stockton wharves, making them accessible at all times.
How to catch a Sydney ferry with your mobility aids
You need to be able to board the ferry independently, or with the assistance of a friend or carer. Sydney Ferries staff cannot operate mobility aids or lift or carry customers or their mobility aids.
Bicycles and 4-wheeled battery/electric scooters are permitted to travel where space permits.
Some mobility devices may not be suitable for use on public transport.
Your mobility aids and taking a ferry
The Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport make some basic assumptions about mobility aids and gaining access to public transport.
If your mobility aid does not meet these assumptions, you may not be able to travel on public transport.
Petrol run scooters (similar to motorbikes), large ride-on-scooters with a laden weight over 300kg and all three-wheeled ride-on scooters are not permitted on the wharf or ferry in any circumstances.
Mobility aids on ferries must comply with certain dimensions and manoeuvrability and stability specifications.
Your mobility aid must:
- have a total weight, including occupant, of less than 300kg. This includes you, the aid and anyone required to assist you to cross the gangway
- fit within the allocated space of 800mm wide by 1300mm long (Manly ferry)
- fit within the allocated space of 740mm wide by 1300mm long (all other ferries)
- be able to negotiate a door height of 1400mm.
Your mobility aid must turn 180 degrees within an area of 2070mm by 1540mm to ensure safe access on wharves, gangways and on board the vessel.
Your mobility aid must have an effective brake system to withstand the acceleration, deceleration and pitching of the ferry.
Visit the Cockatoo Island website for more information about accessibility on Cockatoo Island.