When we were offered the opportunity to stay in one of the brand new cabins at Reflections Holiday Parks Seal Rocks I have to admit to not knowing much about the area. Seal Rocks is a sleepy coastal town which has kept it’s charm and avoided the development which often ruins such a gem. Reflections Holiday Parks Seal Rocks is set across the road from the beach and from my observations it’s visited by families keen to connect with each other and nature. We noticed that the kids and adults centred their interactions around nature rather than technology. We saw kids learning to fish, surf and exploring rock pools with their parents. It was lovely to watch the simple pleasures being enjoyed. We travelled with BJ’s beach wheelchair and also enjoyed these activities all within easy wheel of our accessible cabin.
We’ve stayed in many holiday park cabins in the last year and it was refreshing to find a contemporary design which blended with the natural surroundings.
We were extremely comfortable in the accessible cabin and appreciated being able to park in front of the cabin (though the parking is not designated accessible parking so it’s a regular width space).
The cabin has a similar lay out to other Reflections Holiday Parks cabins we’ve stayed in which made it feel homely for us.
The kids were happy to have a large range of Foxtel (pay TV) channels especially when we had a rainy afternoon. I loved the artwork of the local area which is featured throughout the cabin, it’s a lovely nod to the beauty of the area.
The modern kitchen is well equipped with a drawer dishwasher, lowered microwave and cooktop for self-catering. A corner store is the only food shop nearby so most families arrive with the groceries needed for their stay. Being the over packer I am, I found I needed to move around some of the kitchen equipment to make room for our supplies as there is no pantry.
Access to the spacious main bedroom, and the super comfy queen-sized bed, is via a sliding door with a width of 900mm. Once in the room there’s space on one side of the bed to transfer easily from a wheelchair and ample room to move the bed if you have a preference for transferring from the other side.
AN LCD television is mounted to the wall of the main bedroom so if a family have varying viewing tastes there’s no need for a tussle over the remote in the lounge room.
Light switches and the air conditioner remote control is located at a lowered height. The bed height is 650mm and the clearance under the bed is 110mm.
The cabin has a total of three air conditioners (the lounge room and both bedrooms) so there won’t be any hot summer nights for kids staying in the bunk room. So many other holiday parks don’t air condition the bunk rooms. Although we didn’t need it, we appreciated the thoughtful design in this cabin.
The second bedroom is uncluttered with bunks, a wardrobe and side table. Double window blinds ensure you don’t have to wake up early if you are desperate for a sleep in. Shame double blinds aren’t enough to convince BJ that he should sleep later!
We were impressed with the generously sized bathroom which is fitted with a shower bench seat, a hand-held height adjustable shower and grab rails throughout. The toilet is fitted with a fixed back rest and measures 460 mm from the floor to the top of the seat and 435mm from the floor to the top of the pan.
Lever taps are fitted throughout and the bathroom sink is wheelchair accessible.
When I was single I would never have believed how happy I’d be to have a washing machine in a cabin but we always like the convenience of being able to wash at night without trekking back and forwards to a communal laundry. It’s the little things that added to the comfort of our stay in this cabin.
As the main cook in our house I get excited when I see a lovely outdoor barbecue area because I can hand over the reigns to Hubby. I’m happy with barbecues every meal if it means I don’t have to cook. The kids also enjoy eating alfresco when the weather is good.
Take a look at the width of that sliding door – it’s the widest door we’ve come across in our travels. Given we kept the beach wheelchair indoors at night it made life much easier.
I always think videos give you a better idea of the space and layout of accommodation so click on the picture below if you’d like a walking tour
HOLIDAY PARK FACILITIES
The accessible cabin looks out over the playground (the other cabins have several stairs but do have ocean view) .so if you are visiting with children who are independent it’s an easy way to keep an eye on them.
The majority of the playground is not accessible due to the sand base but there is a solid base under the bird nest swing which I thought would be lovely for children with additional needs.
If you are camping at Reflections Holiday Parks Seal Rocks there is excellent communal amenities. The amenity block is wheelchair accessible and there is a coded accessible bathroom facility.
The bathroom is spacious, has grab rails throughout and a shower bench. It’s equipped with a height adjustable hand-held shower, a wheelchair accessible sink and somewhere to put toiletries!
A few features set Reflections Holiday Parks Seal Rocks apart from other holiday parks. The design of the new cabins, the beautiful undeveloped surroundings and the recreation area and camp kitchen. I feel camp kitchen isn’t an appropriate name for this divine area of the park. If BJ wasn’t the type to be on the go constantly I’d have perched myself in this position and just soaked in the beautiful vista. But alas, he preferred walking the beach or four-wheel driving in his beach wheelchair up the rock ledge at the beach.
We did visit the area each morning and evening and were rewarded with impressive sunsets every evening.
This area is popular with families for its barbecue facilities, ample room for kids to play while their parents have an evening drink and an undercover area with a television for those rainy days. It’s an area for families to meet and mingle.
I have no idea how to play chess and most of the time I’d have little patience to learn, but with that view and more time, I could have been convinced to give it a go.
We stayed as guests of Reflections Holiday Park Seal Rocks but our opinions are based on a lovely stay and I’m sure the photos and videos tell the story well.
You can read more about Reflections Holiday Parks Seal Rocks here.
Number One Beach is a fabulous family-friendly beach right opposite Reflections Holiday Parks Seal Rocks. We travelled with BJ’s beach wheelchair as there is no chair available to borrow (though I plan to campaign for one!).
For day-trippers to the area there’s accessible parking at the beach and accessible bathrooms. It would be wonderful to see council upgrade the path down to the beach as it would benefit all visitors.
On sunny days and even on the rainy days we wandered across the road to enjoy it. One morning the kids and I left Hubby behind in the cabin to have a slow start and we decided to follow the other beach-goers up on to the rocky shelf at low tide. It took determination to get to the top, and a helping hand from a man passing by, but we did it.
Don’t worry, I had the brake on to take the photo. There was a great sense of achievement getting to the top and I loved the fact that we all got to explore together.
Here’s a video sharing more of our beach fun –
SUGARLOAF POINT LIGHTHOUSE
The must-see local attraction is Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse which was completed in 1875. It’s a beautiful lighthouse and is one of only two towers in Australia with an external staircase. Despite the coast being protected by the lighthouse, 20 wrecks have occurred since it was built. Sugarloaf Point is a fabulous spot to whale watch during their migration along the coast.
Being a lighthouse, it’s obviously located on a hill and was not built for wheelchair access back in 1875. Being such a popular attraction, we were undeterred by the possible restricted access and decided to see how far we could get with BJ’s wheelchair. A power wheelchair would have made life easier for sure.
We followed the crowd and left the car in the parking lot and did the walk to the lighthouse and lighthouse keeper cottages.
The walk was lovely and started off as a fairly gentle walk.
The final push was quite the push and when the lighthouse keeper saw us at the top he said, “Why didn’t you call? We could have let you drive up!” He then took Hubby and BJ back in his four wheel drive to get Hubby’s car. BJ was delighted getting a bonus ride in a four wheel drive and we appreciated his kindness.
We have our limits and couldn’t get the wheelchair to the very top but BJ was happy with a picnic morning tea on the lawn overlooking the view below.
We visited the lighthouse twice during our stay as the first day was overcast. The second time we called ahead and drove up to the top and it was definitely a lot easier. There is a limited area you can explore with a manual wheelchair so keep that in mind if you visit. I suggest calling ahead and arranging to drive to the top. The phone number is 0249976590.
Forster is a 45 minute drive from Seal Rocks and is probably it’s most famous neighbour. This is your closest point for a Coles or Woolworths supermarket for a larger grocery shop. We also found out Forster has two beach wheelchairs available for use at the beach or the ocean bath.
We suggest calling ahead to organise the loan of the chairs. They are currently stored at Beaches International accommodation which is opposite the Forster Main Beach. Phone Beaches on 02 65545160
The beach and the baths have ramp access but there is no stand-alone accessible bathroom. The surf lifesavers told us there is funding approved for it so hopefully in the near future there will be.
We had lunch at Beach Bums Café overlooking the beach. Although they have stairs into the cafe to order they told me they will happily serve a wheelchair user at the outside tables (the most desirable ones) if there was no-one accompanying who could order inside. The food was good and service was fast.
We enjoyed the extensive waterfront walk in Forster and had the weather been finer we’d have taken out one of the accessible barbecue/party boats. I popped in to two of the operators along the waterfront and both said they can accommodate wheelchairs. I have no personal experience so I suggest researching and asking questions.
If you’re a regular visitor to Seal Rocks or Forster we’d love to hear any of your accessible tips.
And I’ll leave you with just a few more enticing pictures of Seal Rocks.