We know that our South Australian readers have been eagerly awaiting beach access and the wait is finally over. In January beach matting was rolled out on Seacliff Beach making the wheel across the sand possible for many. We hope this is just the start to making many of South Australia’s beaches more accessible.
One of our Facebook families decided to check it out and I was thrilled that they shared their photos and experience with me. It is important to get the word out that these facilities exist so they are well used and encourage further development in the area of beach access along the South Australian coastline.
Here is what the family had to say about their visit –
“We took our daughter Emma down to the Seacliff beach access ramp for the first time yesterday. We just made it by 10 mins before they rolled it up for the day. It is only unrolled when patrolled by the surf life savers on weekends and public holidays from 12:30pm-5pm (although they waited for us and another wheelchair to have some good time on it until 5:30).
We have significant daily sand drift here on the Adelaide beaches so this is why it needs to be rolled out and put away, otherwise it would be washed out to sea with the tide.
We found it easy enough to navigate and manoeuvre and the best part was Emma felt included in the Aussie beach experience for the first time since becoming paralysed (Aug 2009). She became quite overwhelmed with emotion.
Seacliff is not one of Adelaides more popular beaches and it did take me a few goes to find where it was. It is not where we expected it to be at the main surf life saving club area but just north of that at the actual beach area near the life savers tower.
The surf club members told us there was ample disabled permit parking, however I did not see any and we were lucky to get a parking spot.
Please feel free to use this so people living and visiting Adelaide can know about it and use it. The more it is used, the more likely the more popular beaches will consider installing one.”
I believe the 100 metres of matting was installed at a cost of $10,000 so it would be wonderful to see lots of locals and visitors using it before summer’s end.
The mat is rolled out by Surf Life Saving SA volunteers on weekends and public holidays, until March.
If you have any questions please contact Seacliff Surf Life Saving club here.
What do you think of the matting? Would it encourage you to go to the beach?
Why doesn’t this go all the way to the water? I would assume some wheelchair users may be capable of wading or swimming and find this a great idea however limiting?
Hi Bianca, I believe they have secured more funding to extend the matting now. It is extremely expensive but I agree with you totally. Julie
Hi Bianca & Julie,
I think you will find the matting goes to the hard sand which firm enough for a wheelchair.