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We’ve put together a guide to some great activities around Australia for kids with autism. Many of these are fun with a support worker or the whole family, giving you some ideas for play at home and away.
Animals, theatre and playgrounds
Address: Bradleys Head Rd, Mosman NSW 2088
Opening hours: Every day from 9.30am-5pm
Phone number: 02 9969 2777
Taronga Zoo offers early entry for guests and their families, and extra animal meet and greets in Sydney. There are also quiet picnic areas that are marked on the accessibility map. The Zoo has also developed a social story in conjunction with Autism Spectrum Australia, so children with autism know what to expect from a visit.
Address: Terrace 3, 1-25 Harbour Street, Sydney NSW 2000
Opening hours: Box Office opens Monday – Friday from 9.30am-5pm. Closed on Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays
Phone number: 02 8624 9341
Monkey Baa offers relaxed performances for children with disability or sensory and learning challenges. With dimmed lights and doors open, kids can relax and make as much noise as they like. Entrance is free with a Companion Card if a support worker accompanies your child.
As playgrounds go, Livvi’s Place is one of the best. It’s a beautiful, inclusive playspace where everyone can play in a safe and thoughtfully designed environment and enjoy access to nature. Open 24 hours a day, every day, Livvi’s Place is designed to encourage play for all ages.
- Yamble Reserve, 194 Quarry Road, Ryde
- 19 Henley Marine Dr, Five Dock
- 37A Glebe St, Parramatta
- 375-383 Windsor Rd, Baulkham Hills
Museum, farm and a sensory room in Melbourne
Address: 11 Nicholson St, Carlton VIC 3053
Opening hours: Every day from 10am–5pm
Phone number: 03 8341 7777
Melbourne Museum is an autism-friendly museum. The museum provides social stories for children to prepare them for a visit. It also offers a map of high and low sensory spaces with plenty of quiet outdoor space and recommends visiting between 3pm and 5pm on weekdays to avoid the crowds.
Address: 182 Kidds Rd, Doveton VIC 3177
Opening hours: Every day from 10am-4pm
Phone number: 03 9706 9944
Research has shown significant benefits for children with autism to spend time on a farm or at a zoo. Myuna Farm in southeast Melbourne has been reviewed by parents as a safe environment and welcoming space for children with autism. On offer are pony rides, train rides and the chance to pat lambs, rabbits, guinea pigs and more. There’s also a farm café just metres from the playground.
Address: 9 Western Avenue, Westmeadows VIC 3049
Opening hours: 8am-5pm, Monday to Friday
Phone number: 0413 214 962
At Sensory Lane, a state-of-the-art multi-sensory room encourages safe play, builds confidence, and stimulates the imagination. There’s a bubble tube, a swing, a waterbed, padded flooring and much more, along with plenty to explore. Sensory Lane also has a fully serviced café and is wheelchair accessible. Check out their social story.
Swim, play and horse around in Brisbane
Hampton Swim School
Address: 67 Pashen St, Morningside QLD 4170
Opening hours: 8.30am-5pm, Monday to Friday; 7.30am-12.30pm, Saturday; closed on Sunday
Phone number: 07 3399 2004
In Brisbane, Hampton Swim School offers a specialised swimming program for children with ASD. The multi-stepped program is designed to make your child feel comfortable in the water, learn to swim, and be safe. It also includes a consultation with an occupational therapist to discuss your child’s needs.
Address: Various, search for a location near you via the link below
Opening hours: Various
Phone number: Call locations directly
Playgroup Queensland caters to all families, including those with autism. Playgroups are fun and supportive, and you’ll get to meet other parents.
Address: Paddock next to 272 Brisbane Corso, Cansdale St, Yeronga QLD 4104
Opening hours: By appointment
Phone number: 0402 961 428
Meet new equine friends at EquusTerra in Brisbane’s Yeronga. Kids can participate in grooming, feeding, riding and building a strong bond with the horse in an environment of support and trust. It’s a socialising opportunity that is suited to those with sensory and anxiety disorders.
Autism activities, movies, and the museum in Adelaide
Address: Southern Hub, 6-8 MAB Circuit, Tonsley SA 5042
Opening hours: Various times
Phone number: 1300 288 476
In Adelaide, Autism SA offers an array of groups and programs specifically designed for people diagnosed with ASD. Among others, you might like to explore Mealtime Group, The Social SPOT, and Aqua Skills.
Address: Event Cinemas Marion, 297 Diagonal Road, Oaklands Park SA 5046
Event Cinemas in Marion take part in sensory screenings for children with autism, with modified lighting and sound. Upcoming film dates are here.
South Australia Museum
Address: North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000
Opening hours: 10am-5pm, daily
Phone number: 08 8207 7500
Designed as an Autism Friendly Venue by Autism SA in 2018, the South Australia Museum provides an assortment of sensory-friendly programs. It also opens its doors earlier for children with autism to explore the museum while it’s calm and quiet.
Building and roleplaying in Perth
Address: 60 McCabe St, Mosman Park WA 6012
Other locations: View this page.
Opening hours: Depends on location
Phone: 08 6282 1900
School holiday therapy group, Building Buddies aims to improve verbal and non-verbal communication in children living with autism. It involves lots of sharing and taking turns and is lots of fun. It’s also very useful in helping children to create social connections and improving problem-solving abilities.
Little Land Sensory Sessions
Address: 76 Erindale Road, Balcatta, Perth WA 6021
Opening hours: Mon-Thu 9am, 11am, 1pm; Fri-Sat 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm
Phone: 0424 596 377
Little Land offers a scaled-down version of the real world, providing children with the opportunity to learn through role play. Play stalls include Busy Beans café, doctor’s surgery, emergency services area, Little Growers market, home setting, and more. Sensory-friendly sessions are available and can help children who live with autism to feel more comfortable about certain situations thanks to roleplay.
We hope you have found this guide useful. Remember, you can book an independent support worker on Mable to accompany your child to activities, if required. Simply sign up and start searching for support workers today.