Earlier this year we travelled to the USA and it was a full on holiday where I was determined to see and do as much as possible. It was great and I am satisfied that while I didn’t see every corner of New York that I did get a feel for the city.
While I love that kind of travel I also like us to have at least one chilled out relaxing holiday in summer. You know the kind, you get up and head to the beach, swim, collect shells and head back to your accommodation for lunch In the afternoon there may be the opportunity for a mini siesta and a swim in the hotel pool. Lazy summer days made for recharging, regrouping and spending time together as a family.
The absolute ideal scenario for me is to have everything at our door, within walking distance avoiding the necessity to get BJ in and out of the car or load and unload the wheelchair. Last weekend I found just the place at NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Park.
NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Park is located on the Central Coast, approximately one hours drive from Sydney. Everything we needed for a weekend could be found once we entered the boom gate at the front of the property.
Not only is there accessible accommodation but also a beach wheelchair for guests needing it.
Accessible cabins are not all created equal. It is always a bit of an unknown when we pull up and we wonder whether the accommodation will be truly accessible.
Things were looking good when we arrived at the accessible cabin at NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Park. A wide paved parking space at the front of the cabin had plenty of room for transferring from the car to a wheelchair. A gently sloped ramp leads up to the verandah and double glass doors provide a wide entry into the cabin.
I love the open feel the double doors provide. It would be great on a summer’s evening to catch the breeze as long as the mosquitoes were not too bad.
The cabin is light and airy and the two bedrooms are decorated with a beach theme. The rooms have sliding doors, sufficient room to transfer from a wheelchair and the main bedroom comes with a small flat screen television. The bathroom is positioned between the two bedrooms with access via a sliding door.
The second bedroom has two single beds and once again room to transfer from a wheelchair to the bed.
The bathroom has everything needed to make it fully accessible including grab rails, hand held shower head and room under the bathroom basin to wheel under with a wheelchair. The one thing I noticed was missing was a shower chair but on checking I have found out there is one available and on request it can be ready in your cabin on arrival.
The cabins are uncluttered making it easy to manouver with a wheelchair but in saying that, the cabins come with everything necessary to have a great beach side holiday. Air conditioning, ceiling fan, flat screen television and dvd player ensure that if you want to have a quiet evening in you will be comfortable and entertained.
The kitchen has lowered benches and appliances. There is room under the kitchen sink for wheelchair access and if you wanted even easier access the table could be moved to one side of the room.
There is a communal outdoor barbecue opposite the cabin which is perfect for cooking dinner. Near the barbecue there is a guest laundry facility but this did have a few stairs to gain entry. Having kids I know I usually need to wash while on holidays but for us the stairs would not be a problem as I am the one doing the washing. I mention it simply to ensure that anyone booking has a good overall picture of the facilities.
The park has direct access to the beach via a short path. It is close to the accessible cabin and just to prove that this park really does have inclusion and access on the top of their minds, there is a beach wheelchair for guests to use during their stay. It was in for maintenance during our stay but I did take a look at it and it is a Freewheeler by Northcott which is similar to the one pictured below. The beach is patrolled at the northern end near the surf club which offers families peace of mind while enjoying the beach.
If you are travelling with kids or you are simply a kid at heart then there is much to please about this holiday park.
Splash Away Bay Water Park is popular and fun for all ages and stages. I enjoyed watching the kids and adults standing under the water bucket waiting for it to fill and then tip. As the anticipation got greater the look on their faces was priceless. The drenching the bucket gives when it tips is definitely worth the wait. For younger, or less adventurous children, there are plenty of gentle water sprays in the water park and the shade sail means they are protected from the sun. It is definitely a winner.
The pedal cars were the favourite activity of the weekend. The girls loved the little bit of independence it gave them riding around the park. I loved seeing kids riding them but most of all seeing Grandparents and parents enjoying them with their family. When BJ was younger he would have been able to manage being a passenger in these cars and would have loved it. The pedal cars need to be booked at reception and have a small hire fee attached (it is cheaper if you are an NRMA member).
The day we arrived at Ocean Beach it was extremely hot so the pool was a magnet to all of the park’s visitors, or so it seemed. There is a quieter paddle area which is attached to the main pool. This is perfect for toddlers and less confident swimmers. The main pool has entry via a gentle slope or children like BJ would use the small ledge on the side of the pool. The pool has a very popular slide which the girls took full advantage of during our visit. (access to the slide is via stairs). The girls loved the pool and were only dragged away for food and the pedal cars. The weekend we visited it was extremely busy in the pool area which I mention for those children with a disability who find this overwhelming. There were definitely quieter periods during the day and there is always the option of using the beach wheelchair at the beach.
The other park amenities I liked
The park is level which always makes it easier and more pleasurable for a wheelchair user.
There is a locked disabled toilet near the pool area (a key is available for guests needing to use this facility – ask at reception).
The cafe on site is reasonably priced, has a variety of meals and basic grocery items. We bought dinner for the four girls and two adults for just over $40 which I thought was very reasonable and for our one night stay was much easier than buying groceries. We had the usual type of take-away food like hamburgers, chicken nuggets and chips but it was a lovely easy meal.
A shower chair can be ready and waiting for your arrival in one of the accessible cabins.
There is more than one accessible cabin. This allows friends who are wheelchair users or families who have children with a disability to travel together for a holiday.
I loved everything being in one place, there was no need for us to go any further than the park which provided for a relaxing weekend.
The two jumping pillows and the playground also had the girls entertained.
As far as birthday parties go, this was the easiest one we have ever had……. by far. While it provided AJ and her friends with life time memories, I had no cleaning up before or after the party at home and even enjoyed a glass of wine with dinner. I highly recommend it.
To find out more about NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Park head to their website.
If you would like more information on NRMA Member benefits at the park check the website here.
The park’s facilities alone were enough to keep these girls happy but Ocean Beach can help with parties too. You can read more here.
We would like to thank NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Park for allowing us to inspect one of the accessible cabins at the resort during our stay. We stayed as guests of the Park but as with all of my reviews the joy and pleasure expressed at the facilities are my own and in this case AJ’s too!
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