Are you as excited as we are to wave winter goodbye and soak up some summer sun? Splashing in a pool is an activity many of us enjoy when it warms up, whether for leisure or exercise. BJ can manage to walk down stairs to get into a pool, or he can slide in from the side, but we know many people need better access. Lack of access can exclude many from joining the fun, which is why we wanted to collect as comprehensive a list as possible of hotel pools and public aquatic centres with pool hoists. This is a work in progress which we hope our Have Wheelchair Will Travel community can help us extend.
WHERE TO STAY & PLAY IF YOU NEED A POOL HOIST AROUND AUSTRALIA
The most common pool hoists you’ll find in Australia are the user-operated pool seat that is secured to the pool deck and will lower you while seated into the water. The other kind is a hoist which operates with a sling, spinal board, plastic seat or wet wheelchair. Some recreation facilities will offer a pool wheelchair which can be used on a pool ramp or can be lowered into the pool by hoist.
We’re crossing our fingers that Australia continues to follow the example of the USA, where pool hoists are a mandated installation. For now, make a splash in the following pools with hoists around the country.
NEW SOUTH WALES
Whether you’re a Sydneysider on a summer weekend getaway or a regional resident looking for a refreshing dip, the following local aquatic centres and hotels boast pool hoists and accessible entry for wheelchair users. We covered NSW from down south all the way up to Byron, and even threw in a water fun park!
Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre, Homebush
The Olympic Park Aquatic Centre has three Pelican hoists, as well as aquatic chairs, ceiling hoists and change tables. The complex has plenty to do, from lap-swimming in the Olympic pool to waterslides, splash parks and river rapid zones. Not everything is open under current restrictions, so check before you go. Prefer spectating? There are accessible viewing decks and plenty of seating, as well as ramp access to saunas and spas. Read more on the Olympic Park Aquatic Centre website.
Macksville Memorial Aquatic and Fitness Centre
Macksville’s 50-metre pool is fitted with a Pelican hoist and aquatic chair, so you can stay seated as you’re lowered slowly and safely into the water. The aquatic centre is in the Nambucca region of the mid-north coast, perfect for a stop en route to Coffs Harbour or Queensland from Sydney. You can research opening hours and more on their website.
Toronto Swim Centre, Lake Macquarie
Perfect for a splash if you are weekending in Lake Macquarie, this aquatic centre has gone the extra mile to create an inclusive swim experience. We’re talking hoists, hydrotherapy, and Changing Places bathroom facilities. Read more about the facilities in our review.
Raging Waters Sydney (formerly Wet ‘n’ Wild Sydney)
You might be surprised to hear that large portions of this water-based amusement park are accessible to wheelchair users. You may not be able to go on larger water slides, but splash zones, lagoons, aqua chairs and ramps to junior slides make it a whole lot of fun. Read our review of Raging Waters (Wet n Wild Sydney).
Belmont Lakeside Holiday Park, Lake Macquarie
As well as providing exceptional accessible accommodation at Belmont Lakeside Holiday Park, a pool hoist has been installed to ensure guests have access to the pool.
Take a look at our review which details the high level of accessibility within the accessible villa/duplex. The accessible accommodation also comes with lovely water views.
Edgewater Gardens Holiday Apartments, Batemans Bay
Visiting the South Coast of NSW and looking for accessible accommodation? Edgewater Gardens Holiday Apartments may suit your access needs and there’s a pool hoist available.
Not only do the two accessible apartments at this property have ocean views, but the pool also has a hoist. Read more here.
Seafarers Diamond Beach House
Seafarers is a purpose built house on the NSW coast which has been designed to provide accessible accommodation for people with a disability. Guests can enjoy easy access throughout the house, pool and BBQ area. The house is located close to Diamond Beach or you can enjoy the pool in the backyard which is equipped with a hoist.
You can see photos of the house and accessibility features on the Seafarers Diamond Beach website.
Byron Bay Rainforest Resort
Byron Bay is all about soaking up tropical paradise beside a pool. The 15-metre swimming pool at Byron Bay Rainforest Resort has a ramp, pool chair and plenty of seating. You can also read about the accommodation in our review..
Riverside Holiday Park, Urunga
Riverside Holiday Park is an award-winning holiday park offering accessible accommodation and access to their pool via a pool hoist.
Although we’ve not stayed at this holiday park we have stayed at Urunga and really enjoyed the location. It’s only 20 minutes south of Coffs Harbour and there’s a fabulous accessible boardwalk which we love.
You can read more on the Riverside Holiday Park.
Our Have Wheelchair Will Travel community always offers great tips including the availability of a pool hoist –
Angela has recommended, “Meriton Suites, Carter Street, Lidcombe (Sydney Olympic Park)”
Cheryl suggests, “The heated pool in Forbes, NSW is having a pool hoist and accessible change rooms installed this year. Carrawobitty Rural Retreat just out of town has an accessible room with accessible ensuite.”
Queensland earns its nickname as the Sunshine State. Visitors and locals alike are sure to be on the lookout for water-based activities, whether it is sailing, swimming laps or going for a splash in the hotel pool. All of these venues have pool hoists.
Barney’s Place, Gold Coast
Barney’s Place is an award-winning accessible property on the Gold Coast. The house has been custom designed for wheelchair accessibility and along with it’s exceptional internal features, it boasts not one but two pool hoists allowing guests accessibility to both the heated pool and spa.
Barney’s Place Gold Coast offers exceptional accessibility and is well suited to travellers with high support needs.
You can read more about the property on the Barney’s Place website.
Tin Can Bay Wharf, Gympie
As part of the SailAbility Club Wharf, a Pelican hoist has been installed to help with transfers in and out of boats. You can learn more about the hoist and sailing on the Sailability website.
Sea World, Gold Coast
Sea World is famously accessible, with many of its attractions suited to wheelchair users. The dolphin encounter, for example, has a hoist installed for easy access to the water. Read about our visit to Sea World and accessibility on our website.
If you’re visiting the Gold Coast you may also find the following stories helpful
Caloundra Aquatic Centre, Sunshine Coast
Operated by a press button and swivelling a full 360-degrees, this pool hoist does not require any manual lifting. It is suited for use with a sling, plastic seat, aquatic wheelchair or spinal board. Check out the Caloundra Aquatic Centre website for further details.
W Hotel, Brisbane
Operating under the renowned Marriott umbrella, you can expect luxury and refinery at this 5-star hotel. Right in Brisbane centre on the banks of the Brisbane River, the W Hotel pool has a Pelican hoist, aquatic chair and a sling. It also has a whole lot of snazziness. Enjoy DJ music and cocktails at sunset at the WET Deck rooftop pool and bar, and dine in style at the Three Blue Ducks. You can read about the W Hotel on their website.
Novotel Brisbane South Bank, Brisbane
This hotel is a favourite of ours for its 11 accessible rooms, great location and seated Kingfisher hoist for transferring in and out of the swimming pool. To read more about the hotel facilities, read our review.
Westin Hotel, Brisbane
Everyone loves a swim-up bar – bonus points when it has hoist access! This luxury 5-star resort ticks all the boxes. Read our review of the accessible facilities at Westin Hotel Brisbane.
Our Have Wheelchair Will Travel community also shared other places where they’ve found a pool hoist including
Toni “Palm Beach, Gold Coast has a hoist to outdoor pool and ramp to hydro pool.”
Joy recommends “Tingirana Noosa”
Darryl suggests “Windward Passage at Golden Beach (near Caloundra Qld) have accessible pool access, haven’t stayed there but my understanding is they have a ramp with a wheelchair that can be submerged”
If you’re visiting Brisbane you may also like –
Victoria shakes it up a little to prove that pool hoist isn’t just for swimming. Sail away on the Patterson River, or soak up natural minerals at a hot spa!
Patterson River Boat Ramp
Parks Victoria have placed an electric Pelican hoist to aid with transfers in and out of boats on the Patterson River. The hoist is available for free to approved users. Complete the free induction session to learn about safe operation – then you’ll be set!
It is worth noting also that further inland, in the Murray region, Parks Victoria installed a wheelchair-accessible canoe launch at Edward River Bridge picnic area.
Peninsula Hot Springs, Mornington Peninsula
While the weather is still chilly, turn up the heat at Peninsula Hot Springs. 90 minutes from Melbourne, this natural thermal spring complex is perfect for unwinding. There is a hoist, aquatic chair and accessible change rooms. We hear it’s having a makeover during lockdown and we’ll share details when they are available.
Our Have Wheelchair Will Travel community also shared other places where they’ve found a pool hoist including
Gail suggests there’s a hoist at “RACV Torquay, Victoria”
Kristie recommends, “The Sebel at The Quays Docklands has a hoist”
Adelaide Aquatic Centre
At Adelaide Aquatic Centre, you can expect a ramp to enter the main pool and two accessible lifts into the leisure pool. The Adult Change Facility onsite includes a change bench, support station and ceiling mounted hoist for changing and showering. The centre is a registered ‘Recharge Point’ for mobility scooters, and also hosts Determined2, an Immersion Therapy scuba dive program.
If you’re travelling to Adelaide you may also find the following helpful
Way out west it sure warms up – especially with the onset of summer. Perth is a hotspot when it comes to accessible aquatic fun complete with pool hoist.
Beatty Park Leisure Centre
Located in North Perth, this aquatic complex ticks many an accessibility box. The new Olympic-sized pool has a ramp access and stair access, while the leisure pool has a 0 depth entry suited to one of the three submersible aquatic wheelchairs available for use. A pool hoist offers access to the 25-metre pool. There is also an adult accessible change room with ceiling hoist and adult change table, as well as three accessible or family change rooms.
Crown Towers Hotel, Perth
Get the royal treatment in the ornate accommodations of this Perth luxury hotel. The Pool and Enclave space includes heated lagoon-style pools, daybeds and poolside dining, as well as a Pelican hoist.
You can research your stay on the Crown Towers website.
Ritz Carlton, Perth
Luxe it up even more with a stay at Perth’s Ritz Carlton, perched on the Elizabeth Quay riverfront. The Ritz-Carlton has designated accessible guest rooms, and lists the entrances to its pool, spa and fitness centre as accessible, along with its restaurant and bar. It also has a Pelican hoist installed.
Those Top End temperatures hit the top of the thermometer – you’ll be glad to cool off!
Ramada Suites Zen Quarter, Darwin
All of the rooms at Ramada Suites Zen Quarter are tailored to different mobility requirements, including three fully compliant wheelchair accessible rooms. The hotel is step-free, with lift access and all doorways suited to wheelchairs. The 28-metre swimming pool has ramp access to the deck and a hoist for getting in and out of the water. The friendly hotel staff are happy to help you use it. You can read more on the Ramada Suites Zen Quarter website.
Looking for accessible activities in Darwin? You may find the following helpful
I see this post as a work in progress. I’d like to continue to add information and photos to it as I’m made aware of more accommodation or leisure options where a pool hoist is offered. So, if you know of a hotel, holiday park or attraction offering a pool hoist or water wheelchair we’d love to hear about it.
A big thanks to our friends at Para Mobility for assisting with some of the places on this list.
If you are organising a day or booking a hotel around the availability of a pool hoist, we recommend calling to ensure it is in working order and available. This information is produced in good faith but we take no responsibility for any change in circumstances or lack of availability of pool hoist. Due to COVID restrictions we also suggest phoning or emailing in advance to check the availability of facilities.