Reflections Holiday Parks Shaws Bay is our pick for being one of the most comfortable stays we’ve had in an accessible cabin. Not only that, the accessible cabin has prime position in the holiday park,providing guests with gorgeous views of the Richmond River from the verandah, lounge room, kitchen and main bedroom. So, if you’re visiting the Ballina area, or looking for a holiday destination, we suggest you read our review of the accessible cabin at Shaws Bay – it’s a beauty!
The accessible cabin is large and we like spacious accommodation when we travel. We usually have a reasonable amount of luggage with us and on this trip we were travelling with both BJ’s manual wheelchair and beach wheelchair. The large cabin was also handy when our extended family dropped in for dinner one night. There was plenty of space for the four extra adults and two kids to eat and relax together.
Parking is at the door with a space beside the cabin with a gentle ramp leading to the generously-sized verandah.
The lounge, dining table and barbecue essentially provided us with another room. The view of the river was so enticing we spent as much time as possible dining and lounging outside. The verandah provided good viewing for both sunrise and sunset. We even saw dolphins frolicking in the water from there one night.
The large barbecue further enhanced the outdoor living space. Given Hubby is partial to barbecuing, which I’m happy to encourage, we put him to work cooking eggs and bacon for brunch for the family. Everything tastes better when someone else is cooking and I’m on holiday.
Although we are out much of the day when we are on holiday, we often return for lunch and enjoy kicking back in the evening watching a movie. We loved having a lounge which fitted the four of us and the extended family when they visited. The kids were happy to find their favourite Disney and Nickelodeon shows available, as well as a DVD player with DVDs available to borrow from the holiday park. Board games were also available from the office for screen-free entertainment though we ran out of time to test-drive them.
The cabin is air-conditioned which was a relief because we had lovely warm weather while visiting in December. We needed to crank it up in the afternoons and found it fairly effective in cooling the bedrooms, as well as the lounge area which made the humid evenings more comfortable.
It would be lovely to have a complete break from cooking when we are away but we find it kinder on the travel budget to self-cater some of our meals. The kitchen at Reflections Shaws Bay made this easy with a full-size fridge, dishwasher, microwave, cooktop, kettle and toaster.
The plates, bowls and cutlery are all located in easy to pull out drawers. The cups and glasses are on a lower shelf in a cupboard above the dishwasher which may be more difficult to reach from a wheelchair. If so, I suggest requesting housekeeping staff put what you need out on the bench. The kitchen sink has room underneath for wheelchair access and a lever tap.
The hallway linking the lounge room to the bedrooms and bathroom is lovely and wide. Even when I was working in the kitchen, BJ was able to easily pass by, and the wooden floors made wheeling easy.
The light-filled main bedroom has good circulation space for transferring from a wheelchair to the bed. The bed height is 630mm with a clearance under the bed of 160mm.
The main bedroom has a queen size bed, wardrobe and wall-mounted television.
All windows are fitted with a double blind. The first allows those inside the cabin the ability to see out but affords privacy, and the second blind gives complete privacy, plus blocks the afternoon sun.
It’s always refreshing to find a suitable bathroom in any type of accommodation and this accessible bathroom suited us well. It’s equipped with a flip-down shower bench, height adjustable hand-held shower and lever taps.
Grab rails are fitted throughout the bathroom, there’s room for wheelchair access under the sink and the toilet is fitted with a back rest. The light switches are larger than usual providing easier access.
We appreciated the room for a toiletries bag beside the sink and the handy shelving for additional items.
The doorway into the bathroom is 900mm wide with a lever door handle.
Many bedrooms with bunk beds are tight on space but that’s far from the case at reflections Shaws Bay. The bunk room is enormous. There’s actually room for another bed but we appreciated the space to store our luggage and BJ’s wheelchair when not in use.
We really enjoyed our stay at Reflections Holiday Parks Shaws Bay. The only area we couldn’t access was the recreation room which has three stairs but we were so busy each day we didn’t need this to entertain the kids. The location opposite the river and the comfortable accessible accommodation made this a winner in our books.
If you prefer camping to a cabin, you can do that too with an accessible amenities block in the camp grounds.
The amenities block is older but still has a shower bench, hand-held shower and grab rails. The taps are turn operated not lever.
The sink is wheelchair accessible but has turn handle taps. The toilet has a grab rail behind and beside it.
A key is given to guests needing the accessible amenities block.
Reflections Holiday Parks Shaws Bay is a pet-friendly park and there were many well-behaved pets enjoying a holiday with their owners. The park caters well for their four-legged guests by providing a bath for them. Just what every pooch needs after a busy day at the beach!
Check the Reflections Holiday Parks Shaws Bay website for more information about facilities and accommodation.
We stayed as guests of Reflections Holiday Parks but as always our opinions are our own and are the result of a really lovely stay. We’d return in a heartbeat.
When we are on holiday we like nothing more than having the opportunity to leave the car behind and enjoy a walk together in the morning or evening. We think it’s a bonus that the holiday park is located opposite the Richmond River. A gate allows guests easy access to the level accessible walk along the break wall. This is well used by bike riders, runners, scooters and people using walking frames.
AJ took BJ on the walk with their cousins and was lucky enough to see dolphins.
We noticed a playground across the river which Hubby says is around a 10 minute walk from the holiday park. Although the majority of play equipment isn’t accessible there is a Liberty Swing (wheelchair accessible swing) which is operated by a MLAK Key.
SWIMMING IN THE RIVER
Our family brought over their small inflatable and BJ thought this was a fabulous way of exploring the river. The calm water and easy access was great for BJ. They launched from the boat ramp near the water slides in Ballina. This seems like a great spot if you like calm water.
Although we didn’t spend much time at the shops in Ballina it was handy to have supermarkets and stores like Target, Big W and Kmart nearby to our accommodation.
Being so close to central Ballina, Lennox Head and Byron Bay, there’s an extensive range of restaurants and dining options. However, arriving on our first night close to dinner time we were appreciative of the Shaws Bay Hotel being right next door to the holiday park. With indoor and riverside dining on offer, the pub offers a good variety of options within a quick walk or wheel. I can recommend the grilled fish.
And if you fancy getting your hippy on, Byron Bay is only about a 30 minute drive from Ballina (depending on traffic).
Ballina is a great base for exploring the whole Northern Rivers area, or you can simply stay-put and enjoy the area around Reflections Holiday Parks Shaws Bay.