Many people take for granted their ability to take a swim anywhere and anytime. We’ve been fortunate in Australia to see the availability of beach wheelchairs on our beaches and pool chairs available at swimming pools. However, these facilities are often only available at certain times of the day. We think there’s nothing nicer than an early evening swim in summer but usually the beach wheelchairs and pool chairs are locked away for the day. On our recent trip to Lake Macquarie we checked out the Belmont Baths where the local council is providing facilities, including a mobi-chair to access the baths, which is open 24/7 to visitors and locals.
BELMONT BATHS – ACCESSIBLE LAKE MACQUARIE
Belmont Baths is a popular swimming spot with locals because it’s a safely netted area, has easy access and plenty of cafes nearby to satisfy the appetites of hungry swimmers. Ramp access allows people with mobility restrictions, and those needing a pool chair, step-free access into the baths.
For swimmers with a disability a mobi-chair is free to access on site. We tried a similar chair with BJ some time ago and could see the benefits of this style of chair for a person who needs to be in a more reclined position to enjoy the water. You can see BJ using it and its features in our previous review here.
Located in front of the Belmont Baths is an accessible unisex stand-alone bathroom with height adjustable shower, shower bench, grab rails and toilet with back rest. Access to the bathroom requires a MLAK Key
Generously, Lake Macquarie City Council offers eligible residents the opportunity to get a free MLAK Key by phoning 02 49210333 or by visiting the Lake Macquarie Council website link.
Most of the accessible bathroom facilities in the Lake Macquarie region are MLAK key locked so if you don’t qualify for the free key through the council, you can read about applying for a key through the Master Locksmiths.
We think the availability of the mobi-chair, the ramp access into the baths and the bathroom facilities are excellent facilities for locals and visitors alike. Our visit was in winter but I can imagine this would be a refreshing place to take a dip in spring or summer.
If you need the warmth of a hydrotherapy pool, make sure you check out our review of the exceptional facilities nearby at the Toronto Swim Centre.
We’ve also shared our ideas for other wheelchair accessible activities and dining in the Lake Macquarie area here.