On a spontaneous South Coast getaway we discovered a wonderful cottage nestled in a quiet coastal town among the Australian bush. We are fortunate that we can be a little flexible with accommodation as we don’t need everything to be totally accessible for BJ.
Sandra, the owner of Interludes by Willinga Park at Bawley Point, was very helpful when I made my initial enquiry. She was honest about the cottage’s features, letting me know that the cottages were not listed as wheelchair accessible which meant the doors were regular width etc. I decided from the information she gave me that we could make the cottage work for us. Being a long weekend and keen for a getaway, we did not have a lot of choice as everything was booked out within a 2 hour radius of Sydney.
In this era of the internet there are few surprises when you arrive at a hotel. Looking on the net you can usually see photos of each room and often do a virtual tour of a property. Being a last minute booking I didn’t spend much time looking, so I was thrilled when we arrived at the cottage and it was more than I had expected.
Our cottage, Corea, had a ramp which made access easy for us.
The deck was exceptionally wide giving us a lovely outdoor area where we sat for breakfast and wine and cheese in the evenings.
The doorways in the cottage are standard doorways but we had no trouble with BJ’s manual wheelchair.
The lounges were plush and comfy which provided the perfect spot for watching dvds when BJ was up with the birds (literally).
Although I don’t like to spend much time in the kitchen when we are away, I do appreciate a well equipped one. The kitchen in our cottage had a dishwasher, large microwave and fridge. The pantry was stocked with a few basics like paper towel, cling wrap and alfoil which was handy when we were only away for a few days. It saved me buying or packing it.
The main bedroom was spacious and still had plenty of room when AJ’s fold up bed was made up and in place. All the rooms look out on to the bush and with wide doors they catch the lovely cool breeze in the afternoon.
BJ’s room was a lot smaller and not suitable for someone wanting to use a wheelchair for transferring on to the bed (once again I must add that this is not a wheelchair accessible cottage).
Sandra kindly supplied a garden chair for us to use with BJ in the shower and for two nights this worked out fine. The shower did not have a hand held shower head but as we knew this in advance and we carried a large plastic cup to help with the shower process. The bathroom is spacious and also houses the washing machine. AJ commented on how plush the large bath towels were and thought we should try and get the same ones for home. She is like her Mum and loves a bit of luxury.
Having a portable toilet chair definitely gives us more flexibility with our accommodation. The separate toilet in the cottage was not roomy enough for transferring from a wheelchair so the portable toilet chair was invaluable and could be used in the large bathroom.
The bird life was the first thing that we noticed once we were settled. The owners have cleverly positioned low scrub and plenty of native plants around the cottages which attract the birds. I’m not knowledgeable as to the names of birds but they were pretty little things that darted around the bushes. Very frustrating to try and take their photo.
I loved waking up to the sounds of the different bird calls in the morning and I was thrilled to find Kangaroos grazing in front of our verandah.
Although the five cottages are placed close together on the property the way they have been designed you don’t really see your neighbours from the verandah unless you go looking. It was incredibly peaceful the weekend we were there. The birds were nosier than the neighbours.
We don’t often indulge in bacon and eggs for breakfast but it was great to cook on the outdoor bbq and the kids thought having it out on the verandah was a treat.
Although we loved our cottage we did use it mainly as a base. It was perfectly positioned for us to check out the local areas including Pebbly Beach and Pretty Beach which we absolutely loved.
I think Interludes at Bawley Point is a gem and I would love to see a fully accessible cottage in the future so more people can enjoy the peace and beautiful setting the cottages offer. In the meantime, if like us you can manage in this cottage, I can highly recommend it. We would love to go back and have a few more nights in the future.
For more information head to their website – Interludes at Bawley Point
Bawley Point is approximately 3 hours drive from Sydney.
Lisa W. says
Thank you for taking time to share your experiences. It is sometimes hard and very time consuming to find good accessible accommodation online. I’ve always thought if more people such as yourself (and ourselves!) took time to do this, more people requiring accessible accommodation would have a new world open up to them. Thank you again. On the back of one of your posts, we’re looking forward to a holiday break with uninterrupted beach view in Kiama later this summer, woo hoo.
Thanks Lisa. I love receiving comments like yours because it makes all the blogging, photo taking and sharing so worthwhile. It is hard and often very time consuming to work out what is truly accessible and will suit your own needs when travelling with a wheelchair. I hope you have a great time in Kiama. It is such a pretty part of the world and I have read that they now have two beach wheelchairs available on the public beaches down there. Woo hoo indeed! Enjoy your break away. Julie