Going to the beach is an important part of summer for many people in Aotearoa, 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 across beaches around the country, thanks to the Halberg Disability Sport Foundation, the Flight Centre Foundation, and Wellington City Council and other communities across New Zealand. These are the locations and details of the beach wheelchairs:
Located at Tutukaka Surf Experience Shop, Marina Road, Tutukaka, Whangarei
Contact details: Simon Eggington on 021 227 0072 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Waipu Cove beach
Contact details: Camp Waipu Cove on 09 432 0410 or email email@example.com
People in Auckland who want to hire a beach wheelchair can contact Beachwheels and hire a beach wheelchair for $50 per half day.
Located at: Toes in the Water, Whangamata
Contact details: Phone 021 088 589 39 or message the Toes in the Water Facebook page (external link)
Located at: Tasman Holiday Park, Waihi
Contact details: Phone 0800 924 448
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: Oakura Board Riders Club, Oakura Beach
Contact details: John Sigurdsson on 021 190 4881 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Located at: Freyberg Pool, 139 Oriental Parade, Wellington.
Contact details: Phone 04 801 4530
Located at: Tahuna Beach Holiday Park
Contact details: Phone 03 548 5159 or visit www.tahunabeach.co.nz (external link)
Located at: Strategic Urban Rejuvenation Force (SURF) New Brighton, New Brighton Mall, Christchurch
Contact details: 027 146 239 or visit www.beachchairs.nz (external link)
Located at: Esplanade Surf School, 1 Esplanade, Dunedin
Contact details: 0800 484 141 or email email@example.com
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.
Waihi Beach offers Access Mats allowing people to explore the beach safely! The community came together to fundraise and implement this project over the year 2021.
The Access Mats were laid down on Labour Weekend and will remain out until Easter weekend.
The Hutt City Council provides beach access mats at Days Bay Beach over the summer period. Outside of this period, the Council will make the mat available for groups to hire out if needed to improve access to programmes, activities or events.
Last updated on Tuesday, 28 November 2023