This fabulous wheelchair accessible BnB is located at Buckland’s Beach, 13km’s east of Auckland’s CBD. There is a ferry wharf at Half Moon Bay just around the corner operated by Fullers 360 Experiences & Cruises. The ferries are considered wheelchair accessible and can take you over to explore the picturesque island of Waiheke or deliver you right into the action of Central Auckland. If you’d like to read about our experience on the ferries you can do so here. Another thing to do in the area is a visit to Howick Historical Village .
I always get a little excited heading out to view guest accommodation specifically designed for wheelchair users. They are so sought after and rare to find that when you hear about one it’s like striking gold.
On visiting this accommodation it was very apparent that the owner, Glenice Yeoman had lived experience when it came to disability. Her mother was only 40-years-old when she had a stroke that left her disabled. Glenice, was only 10-years-old at the time so naturally grew up understanding the challenges of living with a disability. After her parents passed and her own children grew up and became independent she decided to turn her family home into a fully inclusive BnB. Her dream was to create guest accommodation that offered inclusion, peace and resort-style living.
The accommodation has two queen-size bedrooms that can be converted into two twin rooms if need be. There is an outdoor pool and spa with hoist for guest use and also a conference room onsite for hire.
You will find plenty of parking on a level, compact gravel terrain. Wooden ramps and boardwalks provide access to the enter the accommodation.
Bedroom One with Ensuite
You can tell the moment you walk into this room that it’s well geared up for the traveller. Glenice has put in little touches like the wall clocks to set the country time for anyone visiting from overseas. The intuitive bedside lights are easy to switch on and have digital displays with the time and room temp recorded.
The queen beds can be split into two singles and are all set at a wheelchair accessible height for ease of transfer. Each bed has a remote control which can allow the head and foot area to be tilted. The mattress is made of a Bambillo memory foam so very comfortable.
Wide glass sliding doors open out to a wrap around boardwalk that takes you right around the house. A water feature with carefully considered planting adds to the resort-style theme around this little Auckland Oasis.
Glenice pointed out certain features in the room that she wished to adapt further to assist with independence. I mentioned the use of a mobile hoist in the rooms and noted no clearance under the beds to allow for one. Glenice had removed the bed legs to create the height needed for easy sliding transfers from a wheelchair. We discussed using bed raisers to remedy the clearance issue and hiring in assistive equipment when needed for guests to use.
Entry into the bathroom is through a wide opening cavity slider with Cavi-lock lever handles. So much thought has been put into this bathroom to provide it with seamless independence. The Italian imported basin has a unique wave contour design providing forearm support along with the clearance needed for wheelchair access. The mirror is accessible from sitting as well as standing and the taps are lever for ease of use.
There is underfloor heating with modern non-slip grade tiles. The space has been designed to provide a good circulation area for a wheelchair. You will find strong grab and safety rails at the right height where needed.
The toilet height is 48 cm to suit wheelchair transfers. There are safety arms that can be pulled up and down either side to assist you, along with conveniently located toilet rolls on both ends. Just between the toilet and the shower is an emergency alert button just in case someone falls and needs assistance.
The wet-floor shower has an 800 mm seat that folds down with plenty of transfer space from a wheelchair. A weighted shower curtain is provided that completely encloses the 1200 x 1200 m showering space. The shower is on a slide rail with safety rail.
Each room has been beautifully finished off with everything placed for ease of access. Equipped with a mini-fridge, safe, kettle with complimentary tea and coffee choices.
A carpeted hallway takes you from the bedrooms through to the rest of the house. You will find artwork on the walls by renown New Zealand artists.
The second bedroom is almost identical to the first but instead of an ensuite the accessible bathroom is directly opposite room entry.
Bedroom Two Bathroom
Again, like the bedroom, the accessible bathroom is laid out and designed in the same way as the first bedroom’s ensuite.
Dining Room and Outdoor Eating
The dining room has wide glass sliding doors that can be opened up to allow the outdoors in. All tables are wheelchair accessible and extendable to provide for up to 12 people at any one time.
“Absolutely no lip in sight … seamless access”
The lounge is for everyone to enjoy with little tastes of resort-style living and renown New Zealand artworks on the walls.
Conference / Function Room
Along with the BnB Accommodation is a room that can be made available for small community and conference events. No need to be booked into a room to stay to utilise this. It can be hired out separately.
It is equipped with the following:
- Trestle tables and stacking chairs.
- A 45-inch Smart TV attached to the wall.
- A large whiteboard.
- The use of two separate accessible toilets.
- The kitchenette has a microwave, expresso machine, kettle, sink and fridge which contains bottles of still and sparkling water.
Outside Area and Pool Access
All ramps around the property are totally inclusive for wheelchairs. They are 1 in 12 grade and lead up to boardwalks that wrap the full length of the house. The ramp leading directly to the pool area is slightly steeper than the rest but still enables full inclusion. There is a wheelchair accessible outdoor toilet and changing room available for the pool area.
The pool wasn’t filled with water on our visit but when it is we can’t wait to return and check it out in it’s full glory. This is the first pool we have ever visited in a guest accommodation that has been made accessible with a hoist. It has a shallow and a deep end, the shallow end has 4 steps and a seat, the deep end has a curved seat to rest on if you should feel tired.
The Pelican hoist is located on the west side of the pool so access can be made both into the pool and the spa. The hoist has a chair with arms that can be raised for transfer. Glenice the owner, is keen to create a chest strap to provide further safety when lowering guests into the pool. There is also the option to swap the chair for a sling, but at this stage the hoist is not equipped with one.
The spa is 6 square metres and can accommodate 4 – 5 people comfortably. The pool is 112 square metres. The pool depth is 1300 mm at the shallow end, and 2000 mm at the deep end.
The pool can also be hired separately for people wanting to do Rehabilitation/Hydrotherapy or just have a leisurely swim in privacy, rather than going to a public pool. Glenice even says you can bring your own physiotherapist to your session.
What can I say?
This brand new purpose-built ‘wheelchair accessible’ guest accommodation is amazing. I can safely say it’s only going to get better and better, especially when the sub-tropical plantings take hold and the water features are in full swing. What I admire about places like this is the driving passion that goes into creating something inclusive and accessible. This place goes above and beyond what is standard and the owner is dedicated to improve it further.
“Stay here and you will be pampered for sure”
Find out more by visiting their website due to be open for business 1st December 2019!