Fishing at Hastings Pier, Victoria

A close day trip from Melbourne, Hastings is a small town outside of the Port Phillip Bay area and has a great fishing spot. While I didn’t catch anything, the weather was cold but calm enough to be an enjoyable day. The parking was easy and the pier is fully accessible, including the water-level floating pier with a good ramp down to it. I would call this a great location for wheelchair users to try out fishing in seawater.

I very much had to learn as I went, there was no simple “how to” guide for wheelchair fishing that I could find. I remember fishing when I was younger and as soon as muscle memory went to cast the line, it literally flew sideways the first time, by the end of the day I had figured out a few techniques. I hope after a few fishing trips I should be able to articulate some ideas well to help teach others what I’ve learnt, I’m no expert that’s for sure but no reason I cant try to help you all out.
Got some ideas on some ways to make this experience smoother, need to get a bait board that has some grip, with pier wood being wet, it tends to be slippery, so the extra grippy tires I have came in handy a lot!
View Eastward from Hastings Pier

View Northwest from Hastings Pier

Grade 3 Accessibility

  • Has accessible car parking spaces
  • Mostly firm but rough ground
  • plenty of ramps and flat space to choose a spot to fish
  • accessible toilets nearby are unknown

Steavenson Falls

Steavenson Falls is one of the few wheelchair accessible signaged paths in Victoria that I have found in my research, easily a return day drive from Melbourne this is a landmark not to be missed by locals and tourists alike.
Link to Google Maps Location: 
Steavenson Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in Australia and is a local towns water supply it is that clean! the area is very well maintained, disabled parking and toilets are available so the main route to the falls should be accessible by most. they do have this wiry grate flooring on some parts, I can see it be challenging for some kinds of chairs. Gradient is really gentle and a near-continuous railing means no accidental wandering off. With it being autumn it was pretty cold, but we still had a good time under the roaring water.
The main route there would be an accessibility Grade 3 and meets all expected accessibility legislation, most persons with disabilities would find it accessible. While there is plenty more trails and hiking in the area, these are less maintained than the main route to the falls.
Waterfall Lookout Point

Quality of Access Trails

Autumn in Rural Victoria

After leaving Melbourne you will drive through the landmark Black Spur Drive.


Toorongo Falls Campsite

2 hour drive east of Melbourne, down near the end of a unsealed road is this gem. Recently there was massive renovations to this very large campsite, there is more flat ground with terraces running parallel with a swift stream.

The access paths around and to the accessible toilet are covered in fresh gravel but its still new enough that it hasn’t settled so be prepared as a wheelchair user to spin wheels on the gravel sometimes. Terrain like this a FreeWheel to help moving across the uneven terrain much easier.

The area is protected from state forestry logging and contains a lot of old growth bush that hasn’t seen bush-fires in decades. its at the end of a steep valley so it has its own damper micro-climate. You can expect to see a lot of temperate rainforest flora and fauna in this area.
Note: Don’t expect to visit the local stream running along the campsite if your a wheelchair user, this would be an easy improvement to do on the maintenance part, but those short paths are only safe for able-bodied to walk on.

Accessibility Grading

Grade 2 Campsite
  • Wheelchair accessible long-drop toilet
  • Pathways too steep for most except the most active wheelchair users
  • Walking trails connected to the campsite only traversable with crutches or minor mobility difficulties
  • Some campsite areas are surrounded by a fence that can stop unsupervised people from wandering too far.

    Majors Creek Campsite

    A 90 minute drive from Melbourne, Australia you have campsite that can be accessible for the active wheelchair users and those with minor mobility issues. Situated directly next to the water and Puckapunyal, accessible by a good quality dirt road. It’s a great dark spot to enjoy the stars and calm water to get wet and/or fish.

    Terrain

    In good weather conditions the ground is quite compact, firm and flat. With my off-road tires on the chair, I had no issue traversing the campsite area. The water nearby is good for fishing and very calm for beginners to learn waterways. Before my weekend trip here, I had been an avid kayaker before the wheelchair and this was the first time I had been in one since hospital. It took some adjusting, learning a new technique to suit my mobility, but i’m really glad I got to experience it somewhere like here where the water was super calm and boat users were courteous enough to slow down around the kayaks.
    There is no concrete other than the boat ramp into the water, so be prepared to spend the trip traversing gravel. I found with the off-road tires and no freewheel attachment, that I was fit enough to get around. But I will recommend to still bring a puncture repair kit.

    Facilities

    • 1 Wheelchair Accessible Non-Flushing Toilet (Not Sanitary for continence Issues)
    • Boat Ramp for traditional water entry
    • Recycled plastic bollards in regular interval to not let vehicles get too close to the water.
    • Water is quite calm and easy for persons with disabilities to enter the water with assistance (Kayaking etc)
    • There is no definite walking tracks from this campsite, but there is a dirt road the continues along the water.

    Grading

    I would give this campsite a Grade 3 as it meets all national legislation on accessibility. My only note is that if you require sterile/sanitary conditions for continence issues, come prepared to have your own space for it.

    Other Notes

    The campsite is full of tall gum trees and you need to be cautious if it gets windy due to risk of falling branches