Chapter 12
Accessing Melbourne
On  Yarra Promenade, a giant waterfall shoots columns of water into the air
forming various patterns, kids love it, while tall rectangular water sculptures stand
silent until dark when upon the hour they become fire sculptures as dancing
coordinated flames appear with a burst from their summits.
Many restaurants provide dining while basking in the sun during the day or gazing
across the river to a lit city at night. All are accessed from inside the complex where
wheelchair access is available from short gentle side ramps located off the
promenade. You will need to arrange this with the restaurant management who will
remove a barrier located at the top of the ramp.
Restaurants include: Automatic, the Sports Bar which is dominated by huge TV
screens (screening sport of course!), Official All Star Cafe (and merchandise
shop), Planet Hollywood Merchandise Shop, Cafe Greco, Cafe Baci, Jokers and
the Foodcourt. Many of the counters in the food court are high but staff will assist
by bringing the food and drinks to your table.
Melbourne Exhibition Centre
Melbourne's huge new exhibition centre, known as  Jeff's Shed , lacks the elegant
charm of the Royal Exhibition Buildings but it is close to the city and caters for high
tech exhibitions.
Access for wheelchairs appears to have been an after thought with poor access
provision. The formal entry is from the Spencer St Bridge where grey concrete
paving leads to grey concrete steps before automatic sliding doors, which are
unmarked and difficult to see if you have a sight disability. A wheelchair drop off
area is provided at the eastern end but there is no crossover near the base of the
access ramp, you must go up the hill to the pedestrian crossing crossover then
back down the hill to the ramp. The ramp has several stages and varies in grade
from 5% to 7.5%. A ramp at the western end varies between 4.3% & 6%.
A commercial operator runs the basement carpark where many excellent parking
bays have been provided and lift access takes you up to exhibition level. Accessible
toilets are provided at the rear of display areas.
The Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens
The Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens (open daily 9am 5pm, 9285 9300, adult
$14, child $7, concession $10.50, family $38,, is located about 4
kilometres north of the city on Elliott Avenue.

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