Wheelchair Accessible Neverland
Australia & New Zealand
Clint and Lois Thistle, of Vancouver, Washington share the joys of the total access they experienced on a Neverland Tour to Australia & New Zealand.
We have just returned from a wonderful
trip to New Zealand and Australia
with Neverland Adventures.
The accessibility was fantastic.
The owner and partner are both in wheelchairs, so they know what
accessibility is. Once we
arrived in Los Angeles and met the
rest of the group, it was off to Auckland, New
Zealand. One of the
partners was always at the hotel getting our room keys and luggage sent
up. When we would leave a hotel,
all we had to do is lock our door and someone would come and get them.
We used accessible tour buses with having the option of getting
out of your scooter or wheelchair or just staying in it.
Every restaurant we went to along the way was accessible and
already checked out. We stayed in
hotels that had handicapped accessible rooms.
I took along my electric scooter, and it was wonderful to be able
to see and do everything. The
same courtesy was given all of us on the inter-island flights.
Everywhere we went there was someone to help us with whatever we
needed. We can hardly wait to go
again. They are putting
together an Australian outback trip, along with their Australian and New
This is the first time we have taking a
trip such as this one with my electric scooter.
We have previously traveled on cruise ships because they are so
handicap friendly, but that accessibility stops at the dock.
There needs to be a way to get shore excursions for the
We started our tour in Auckland
by meeting Hiliary and Dave with our accessible bus for the North
Island of NZ.
We had the same tour guide for the whole north island so we
really got to know them and they, in turn were able to anticipate our
From there we headed to Hamilton
and Rangiriri to learn about the
last Maori battles on this side. While
in Hamilton, we went to the zoo and
their unique aviary. It was
also the balloon festival time, so we went over to see all the balloons
in the “Night Glow”.
The next day we had a scenic drive to Raglan
by the Sea and on to Rotorua.
There we saw the geysers, bubbling mud and sulphur pits - all
accessible I might add, We got in on some of the Maori culture with a
show and dinner.
The next day was some city touring and
the NZ Maori Arts and Craft Institute
and the rest of the day was ours. The
hotel was easy strolling or rolling.
Thus, came the end of our tour of the North
Island, and we then flew to Christchurch
on the South Island and
met Craig our new guide for the South
He also had an accessible bus, so we never missed anything.
We were in Christchurch when
they had their Saturday Market, which was fabulous.
The next day was rest and relaxation at the Hanmer
Hot Springs - for me it was a massage and for my husband the
sauna. There were all kinds
of things to do there in addition to the pools.
There were no extra charges for anything.
We then left Christchurch
for Mt. Cook - the highest peak in New
Zealand. We were
so very fortunate to see the peak with blue skies.
We are told that it is often hard to see the peak. We checked
into our hotel at Mt. Cook and had a
wonderful time there. We
even arranged a rolling hike to Hooker Valley
and had tea in the beautiful warm sunny afternoon.
Sadly, leaving the mountain we headed off to Queenstown,
which was absolutely stunning. We
took a ride on an vintage steamship to dinner, a show of sheep shearing
The following day the group loaded into
two fixed-wing aircraft and flew thru the Milford
Sound. This was unlike
anything ever seen - no words to describe it - you just have to go with
Neverland Adventures and
see for yourself. Even the
passengers, who did not walk at all were given all the help they needed
for however much time it took to board the planes.
When we returned, they taxied us right up to the bus - such
Now it is time, sadly to say farewell to
our group and fly back to Christchurch
and from there all the group but three of us flew home, and we three
flew on to Australia for a week.
We were in Sidney
for three delightful days. We did
a harbor cruise, toured the Opera House,
and even saw a play that night. We
had a city tour and lunch at a little hole-in-the-wall that the tour
driver knew about, so we could eat outside.
We went to the art museum and anything else we could find to see.
The weather was picture perfect.
We then left Sidney to Cairns for three days. We stayed at a wonderful little motel, unlike the big hotels we had been staying in, and it was fabulous. They had a bunch of handicapped rooms all together, and they would bring us a full breakfast each morning to see outside at the table and chairs at our doors. The last night they put on a BBQ that was fit for a king and could feed at least 50 and there were only 6 of us!!!
we left for the rain forest by train and took the sky gondola
back. You wonder what they
did with those of us in scooters. They
put us in wheelchairs in the gondola and then sent our scooters down on
the next gondola - very clever. Of
course, the biggest thrill of the trip was snorkeling at the Great
Barrier Reef. There were so many people to help us get into the water and me
without my braces, but we made it for 30-45 minutes. It was fabulous.
I could go on and on forever, but I
highly recommend Neverland Adventures for
your trip to Australia and New
Zealand. We never had
a worry while we were there. All
our needs were met anytime one asked and no one had to ask twice.
I can hardly wait for their next adventure.
Their website is www.neverland-adventures.com
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1995-2010 "All Rights Reserved"
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Copyright © Global Access News 1995-2010 "All Rights Reserved"