As a family we review a lot of accommodation so it’s pretty hard to impress us these days. Occasionally, and I mean very occasionally, we see something that gives me tingles. That feeling comes from seeing a property which is outstanding, a place where I can see the needs of a person with high support requirements being met. When I look at a play space, a hotel room or an attraction, I’m always on the look out for somewhere that’s inclusive to a person with the highest support needs. It’s rare to find, and that’s exactly why I was so excited by Belmont Lakeside Holiday Park’s accessible villa in Lake Macquarie.
BELMONT LAKESIDE HOLIDAY PARK
Pulling up at the brand new Lake Mac villa/duplex at Belmont Lakeside Holiday Park I was immediately wowed by the waterfront location of the accessible villa/duplex. A view is something we value even more since we’ve found that the majority of accessible accommodation doesn’t have one. Over the two nights of our stay we watched two lovely sunsets and enjoyed watching the bird life the lake attracts.
We love to have spacious accommodation because despite being regular travellers, we don’t travel light. It seems everyone in the family likes to take their home comforts to ensure a home away from home vibe. The villa/duplex at Belmont Lakeside Holiday Park delivers on this front. Our little family of four had double of everything with this design including two bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens and living spaces. The interconnecting set up is ideal for families like ours, friends travelling together and anyone looking to travel with a support worker while keeping some privacy.
We were the first guests to stay in the villa/duplex and were lucky enough to have a personal tour from Garry who had a hand in choosing the various elements within the villas. As he showed me the features it became quickly apparent Garry has an eye for detail and a greater understanding than most as to what makes for a truly accessible design. For example, the kitchen sink and stove top are height adjustable. With the touch of a button it can raise or lower to accommodate the varying heights of wheelchair users. At its highest the sink sits with a 780mm clearance and can have as little as 480mm clearance. Perfect for both adult and junior masterchefs!
As many of you will have experienced, often the glasses and mugs are in a cupboard which is annoyingly out of reach. At Belmont Lakeside Holiday Park the accessible villa/duplex has the glasses in a cupboard above the sink, however, the cupboard can be lowered.
The lounge area has plenty of circulation space and is uncluttered with a sofa, a small coffee table and a dining table with chairs. Floating wooden flooring will be welcomed by wheelchair users for the ease it provides when moving around.
BELMONT LAKESIDE HOLIDAY PARK VILLA/DUPLEX ACCESSIBLE BEDROOM
A spacious bedroom can be set up with a king bed as pictured below or with two single beds.
Everything in both the bedroom and lounge room is available literally at your finger tips with the blinds, air conditioner and TV all operated with remote controls. In the future these will be integrated into an iPad to avoid confusion. I must admit the kids were in fits of giggles as I grappled with which remote was for what but once I got the hang of it I loved the automation that has been built into the design of the villa/duplex.
The door from the bedroom leads to the second verandah, at the back of the villa/duplex, where a washing machine and dryer is stored in a cupboard and lowered hanging line is available. A hoist will also be available in the future.
Measurements for the bedrooms – Bedroom door clearance 930mm, height to top of bed 610mm and clearance under the bed 9cm.
BELMONT LAKESIDE ACCESSIBLE VILLA/DUPLEX BATHROOM
Just like the rest of the accessible villa/duplex the bathroom has been well designed with a shower bench, height adjustable shower (we even found it in a lowered and accessible position on our arrival which is rare) and lever taps. Grab rails are fitted throughout and the toilet is equipped with a back rest.
The circulation space is good for a wheelchair user needing to transfer to the shower seat and toilet.
Measurements for the bathrooms – 470mm to the toilet seat, 440mm to the toilet pan, 480mm to the shower seat and 700mm clearance under the bathroom sink.
I’m also thrilled to report the drainage in the shower is great! How often is the drainage not right in accessible bathrooms, resulting in a tsunami every time you shower and a likely slip hazard. Thankfully the water stayed in the shower area here.
The wash basin is wheelchair accessible and this hasn’t been at the cost of bench space with plenty of room for a toiletries bag.
Given the duplex has two interconnecting villas with the same features mirrored, this should make it easier for guests with a left or right transferring preference.
Sliding glass doors are heavy and often pose a problem for people with a disability. At Belmont Lakeside Holiday Park they thought about that and a fob key has been paired with the door to allow press button opening of the sliding doors.
Once inside there’s a large easy to push button to use for opening and shutting the door. To say BJ was pleased he could control his own entry and exit from the villa would be an understatement. The fact he could do it is a testament to its ease of use.
Although we were visiting in winter we thoroughly enjoyed sitting on the verandah for lunch, taking a walk along the waterfront and being so close to the water.
I can imagine taking full advantage of the barbecue facilities on the deck in the warmer months during daylight saving.
Take a tour with me of the Lake Mac Villa/Duplex at Belmont Lakeside Holiday Park below. Just excuse the couple of gaps in audio where I made an error in my haste to get the video done before the family made a mess! You’ll hear BJ calling out in the background, he was keen to get in and get settled.
We loved watching the changing light and pelicans visiting the lake in the mornings and evenings.
Accessible parking is available right outside the door making it easy to access the villa/duplex.
Ramp access leads from the parking bay to the villa/duplex.
As we all know, often a person with a disability can find accessible accommodation however the hotel, resort or holiday park doesn’t offer access to the pool. At Belmont Lakeside Holiday Park even the pool is accessible with a pool seat providing guests with a way to enjoy the pool facility.
Filling your days around the Lake Macquarie area is made easy with a range of indoor and outdoor activities. The variety of accessible walks is one of our favourite things about the area. We’ve popped together a list of Lake Macquarie accessible activities and great places to eat here.
We also highly recommend the nearby Toronto Swim Centre for a heated swimming pool with hoist access and a Changing Places facility. Our review will provide you with all you need to know.
If you’re visiting the area in the warmer months, Belmont baths has a Water Wheels (a more reclined water wheelchair) free to loan and accessed using a MLAK key. Read more here.
And make sure you pop in to the Museum of Art and Culture (MAC) to see the latest exhibition or to have lunch overlooking the lake. We had a lovely visit which you can read about in our review.
You can learn more about Belmont Holiday Park on their website.
We stayed as guests of Belmont Lakeside Holiday Park but as always our review is based on our experiences and we had a wonderful stay. We were truly wowed by the inclusions in this accessible villa/duplex.