Welcome, Haere Mai and Kia Ora to our Blog!
We are a family of five living in New Zealand who are passionate about travelling. We live for the outdoors and enjoy experiencing new places, discovering adventure and creating memorable moments. Our point of difference is that we travel with a wheelchair in tow! Factoring in a wheelchair into your day to day travels often comes with barriers. That’s why we decided to share our experiences with other’s who face similar challenges.
We believe in Universal Design and the seven principles that make up good practical architectural design for all. In New Zealand, the practice is not yet mainstream and still more aspirational. However, New Zealand is starting to consider accessibility and the potential of the lucrative market of Accessible Tourism is becoming a hot topic.
With our Blog, we like to share tips and review accommodation, activities, accessible walks and events. We even go to the point of carrying a tape measure to check out the width of doorways, bed heights and gaps under beds to accommodate a mobile hoist. We find that bathrooms are often problematic in guest accommodation because our building codes in New Zealand are very basic. So it’s always a ‘breath of fresh air’ when we find a provider that thinks beyond that standard and considers the accessibility for all their potential guests.
We like to source assistive equipment to enable us to explore as a family and we are fortunate to have a great selection of wheels! An all-terrain beach wheelchair, a wheelchair bike and a powerchair for Finlay so that he doesn’t have to be left behind. He has to be the hardest person to keep seated in anything because of his Athetoid Cerebral Palsy which makes it challenging for him to maintain his posture and keep still. He also has sensory challenges which can create all sorts of unique experiences along the way.
The bigger Finlay gets the more challenging the logistics of our daily life becomes. Lifting transfers and finding suitable changing facilities are always something we need to consider. Because of our needs, we are advocating for a transportable hoist like a Molift to be deemed essential equipment by our health system and that public Changing Places are located in every community around New Zealand. We as parents/caregivers have to maintain our own physical wellbeing so that we can continue to be active for many years to come.
New Zealand is a beautiful country and it’s diverse landscapes, beaches and national parks are a must-see. Hopefully, with our blog, we can open up some ideas of places you can explore and enjoy with a few tips along the way from our ‘lived’ experiences! We also hope that those who are not affected by disability will gain some insight into the challenges many families like ours face going about our everyday life.
Happy travels and Kia Kaha everyone,
Useful Facebook Groups we admin for
- Accessible Travel Forum New Zealand
- Disability Equipment & Resources BUY/SELL/SWAP (New Zealand only)
Our Facebook Page we manage that you might like to follow,
“You might find some photo credits to Oyster Accessible Travel as you browse through our Blog. This is because we are formerly OysterNZ, an accessible travel resource that we had to close down due to lack of funding and manpower to maintain it. We are currently in discussions with other’s to reinstate its presence as the need for it is definitely there”