Guide to accessible beaches in New Zealand
Going to the beach is an important part of summer for many people in New Zealand, but it can be a challenge for disabled people who use mobility aids. Regular wheelchairs aren’t designed to be used on sand, and people who use walking sticks or frames for balance can find the terrain challenging.
Fortunately, there are options for wheelchair users who want to use the beach. Beach wheelchairs designed to be used on sand can be hired, and some beaches even have mats so people with mobility aids can get to the beach more easily.
Use this guide to find out where to find beach wheelchairs and mats this summer.
Beach wheelchair hire is available in six locations around the country, thanks to the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation, the Flight Centre Foundation, and Wellington City Council. These are the locations and details of the beach wheelchairs:
Located at: Freyberg Pool, 139 Oriental Parade, Wellington.
Contact details: 04 801 4530 extension 0
Located at: Hibiscus Surf School, Mount Maunganui
Contact details: 07 575 3792 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Located at: The Disabilities Resource Centre Trust, 141-143 King St, Whakatane
Contact details: 07 307 1447 or email email@example.com
Located at: Tutukaka Surf Experience Shop, Marina Road, Tutukaka, Whangarei
Contact details: Simon Eggington on 021 227 0072 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Located at: Oakura Board Riders Club, Oakura Beach
Contact details: John Sigurdsson on 021 190 4881 or email email@example.com
Located at: Strategic Urban Rejuvenation Force (SURF) New Brighton, New Brighton Mall, Christchurch
Contact details: 027 146 239 or visit www.beachchairs.nz
Located at: Esplanade Surf School, 1 Esplanade, Dunedin
Contact details: 0800 484 141 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Other beach wheelchair options
People in Auckland who want to hire a beach wheelchair can contact Beachwheels and hire a beach wheelchair for $50 per half day.
Some beaches around the country have beach access mats in use during the summer.
The Tauranga City Council provides beach access mats at three locations at Mount Maunganui: Pilot Bay, the Cenotaph, and Cutter’s Cove.
The mats will be in use until April 2020, weather dependent.
Available at Ohope Beach in front of the Ohope Surf Club
The Hutt City Council is providing beach access mats at Days Bay Beach over the summer period. The mat will be available to use from Tuesday 3 December 2019 until March 2020. Outside of this period, the Council will make the mat available for groups to hire out if needed to improve access at programmes, activities or events.