When we recently decided to head to the South Coast of NSW for one night I was looking for three features in our accommodation – accessibility, location and price.
After some searching we found a cabin with unobstructed ocean views, which was accessible and in budget. The view shown on the website had me at “hello” and I was forced to reconsider my stance on holiday parks. With BJ’s sleep issues I always worry we will get an enthusiastic neighbour who will keep him awake during the night with noise. Years of sleep deprivation means we look for accommodation which is quiet and gives us the best chance of a good night. We decided it was worth trying the Big 4 Holiday park Easts Beach in Kiama and it was only for one night if it didn’t work out.
We arrived and I was totally entranced with the view from our cabin. I could have sat all day watching waves rolling in to the beach. It certainly was a pleasure to have easy access inside and outside of the cabin.
There is a car space beside the cabin with ample room for transferring from the car to a wheelchair (not undercover in wet weather but we were lucky to have lovely sunny days), a ramp leads from the car space to the verandah and access to the cabin is level. The sliding glass doors take you directly into the lounge area. Due to BJ’s early wake ups we are always keen to have space in a cabin and to have plenty of lounge seating. There is a three seater and a two seater lounge, tv, DVD player and a dining table and chairs. The second bedroom is off the kitchen with a sliding door into the room which contains a single bed and a bunk (sleeping for three). There is no way BJ could have managed to sleep in the narrow single bed so he slept in the queen bed in the main bedroom. The kitchen is well equipped with crockery, microwave and other facilities at a lower level but the sink does not have room underneath for wheelchair access.
The bathroom is truly accessible with flip down shower seat, hand held shower head, grab rails and a non-slip mat (mop and bucket are supplied to deal with any water spray). The bathroom sink has space underneath allowing easy wheelchair access. The spacious bathroom is a good size for a person in a wheelchair, especially if assistance from someone else is required.
The location is beautiful and the addition of a beach wheelchair at this park would make it even more appealing. After dragging BJ’s wheelchair down to the water’s edge it is a suggestion I shall make to Big4. BJ loves being right on the beach.
The appeal of the Big4 holiday parks for many is the extra facilities they have for children including things like the giant jumping pillow, movie nights and holiday activities. Easts Beach has a playground, tennis courts, onsite cafe and the pictured jumping pillow.
The swimming pool at Easts Beach includes a smaller pool for little ones (pictured with mushrooms) and a larger pool which has a wide ledge which is in shallow water. This would give a parent holding a child with a disability a good spot to sit in the water and it may make entry into the pool slightly easier. Before BJ was independent in the pool this would have been very welcome as he could have sat and enjoyed splashing in the shallows. It would be great to see pool chairs adopted in resorts to make swimming pools at resorts and hotels more accessible.
We really enjoyed our overnight getaway and hope to return one day. We nearly booked a different wheelchair accessible property but when I questioned their reservations staff I realised it was a very small cabin which would not suit our needs or the needs of anyone with a power chair. I cannot stress enough how important it is to ask questions prior to booking. If you are unsure where to start check the blog I wrote with my tips for booking an accessible hotel.
For more information head to the Big4 Easts Beach website.