Coolart Wetlands and Homestead


There are three marked disabled parking spaces on the left of the car park nearest the entry and visitors centre. The car park surface is compacted gravel

Visitors centre

On entering the park the visitors centre is on the left. Inside the centre there are a series of brochures conveniently located on the front of the counter. There is also a lower section of benchtop for wheelchair users to read the information or make notes. Wheelchairs are also available here for use in the park.


To the right of the visitors centre are the toilet facilities. The large swing door opens outward with light pressure required. The door handle is a horizontal type that pushes downwards. It can be operated without finger dexterity. The door has a soft self closer and the internal lock is a rotating type with a wing handle. It again can be operated without finger dexterity. The toilet seat is 420 millimetres high and has side and rear grab rails. The flush is on the back wall and the buttons are set flush with the wall. Some finger dexterity would be required to operate them.

The hand basin has clear space under it with no exposed hot water pipes. Both the hot and cold taps are rotating type with levers. They can both be operated without finger dexterity and are a light action. There is a soap dispenser with push button control next to the hand basin.

The Homestead.

The homestead is best approached by taking the path to the left behind the visitors centre. It is a fine hard packed gravel path. It is approximately 80 metres from the visitors centre to the homestead. The front entrance has two steps onto the veranda and then a single step into the front door. The veranda is approximately 150 millimeters on the ground and the front door step is approximately 75 millimetres. For those unable to negotiate the steps entry can be made through a side door off the internal courtyard. Talk to the rangers at the information centre.

Once inside the homestead it has a wide hallway on the ground floor. Large doors give access to the rooms that are open for public display.

The Observatory.

The observatory is a large theatre style complex that overlooks the wetlands lakes. A step free path leads to the observatory. It can be accessed by following the road past the homestead for approximately 80 metres and then doubling back. The maximum slope of this path is 1 in 14. The observatory is entered through a large swing door that opens outward. The door is heavy and the latch is set at approximately 1.3 metres high. It is a lever type that opens by pulling downward. The door is self closing. Once inside there is a large entry foyer. The main auditorium section is entered by wide corridors either side. Wheelchair seating is available either side of the front row. The front picture windows have bench seating. There are gaps to accommodate wheelchair users.

Crake and Antechinus Hides

30 metres back up the path to the Observatory is a path to the left to The Lagoon and Minemere Hide via the wetlands walk. This is a well formed crushed gravel path that is a gentle grade down to the lagoon. The wetlands walk branches off to the right and immediately to the left is the platform of Crake Hide. Crake Hide is an open timber platform on the edge of the lagoon. It is approximately 130 metres from the Observatory. There is a gently sloping 1 in 20 wooden ramp onto the platform which has a large viewing area over the lagoon. The path continues over the earthen wall of the lagoon and turns left on the other side to follow the far bank. The path here is still crushed gravel. The path crosses two boardwalks. They do not have handrails but both have 75 millimetre edge strips on both sides. The boards are covered with a fine chicken wire mesh for grip.

Antechinus Hide is entered straight off the approach path. There is an open entry with no door. Immediately opposite the entry is a purpose built wheelchair position that allows roll under seating at the observation slits in the hides with a bench for a camera or set of binoculars. The wheelchair position is wide enough to accommodate two wheelchairs. Antechinus Hide is approximately 415 metres from the observatory.

Minsmere Hide

From the homestead the main road continues for about 300 metres. There is a path to the right that leads to Minsmere Hide. The path to the hide is a fine crushed gravel and is approximately 115 metres in length. The hide is reached across a short boardwalk. There is a handrail on one side but there is no edging on the opposite side. The hide is two level. On the ground floor there are three doors. The best one for wheelchair users is the one straight ahead at the end of the verandah in front of the hide. That room has a straight entry and a wheelchair position at the end of the hide.

The Homestead Gardens and Picnic area.

Picnic Area

To the right of the vistors centre is the picnic and BBQ area. This is a grassed area containing picnic tables and electric BBQs. The tables are the square design with one open side allowing wheelchair users to sit front facing at the table or those who require back support to bring their own chairs. The tables are set on brick paving. The BBQ’s are set on small brick paved areas and have a working height of 900 millimetres.


From the picnic area there is a brick paved path that leads to the main lawn and the herb garden. The path is a metre wide and a maximum slope of 1 in 14. To the left is the main lawn which is a large expanse of thick buffalo grass. There are several large shade tress and a great view of the old homestead. To the right is the herb garden which is between paved areas. From the herb garden the main gravel road to the stables can be accessed but it is across a thick grass lawn. At the end of the paved gravel path is a set of steps up the homestead. There is a second set of steps to homestead from the main lawn.

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