We really do have it all here in Australia! For the locals, there is no need to head to the other side of the world to get your snow fix, you can hit the slopes right here in oz! There’s multiple ski destinations to choose from down South and it really is an adventure for everybody to enjoy.
Head here for more information on adaptive winter sports in Australia.
We recently chatted to Karen and Darren (who uses a manual wheelchair), on their return from a trip to Perisher NSW, with their two boys. None of them had ever seen snow, so this was a super exciting experience for the whole family!
Karen says: “Our trip went better than planned! Perisher was amazing!”
The family hit the road from Adelaide destined for Canberra, with a nights stop at the Bidgee Motor Inn in Hay (in an accessible room, with provision of a shower chair on request), and then a few nights at the Canberra Novotel to explore the city before heading to Jindabyne.
“We stayed at the Novotel Canberra and it is fully wheelchair accessible. We had great rooms that Darren could move around in easily. The bathroom had a pull out seat to sit on. Parking wasn’t hard as we parked under the hotel. There were only a few accessible car parks, but if they were taken the attendants would park the car for us and in the morning they would bring it out the front and park it in the accessible car park.”
Jindabyne is a great base for skiers bound for the major resorts in Kosciuszko National Park. The family booked into Finsko’s Lodge with adjoining rooms. Finsko’s Lodge is part of the Jindabyne Sport and Recreation Centre, and offers accessible three bedroom and motel units.
The Perisher Snowsports School team has a number of highly trained adaptive Snowsports instructors available to teach people with a range of disabilities the skills required to master Snowsports. Darren’s ski lessons and adaptive equipment hire was all arranged through Disabled Wintersport Australia. Members receive a concession on the cost of private lessons with an adaptive instructor.
“We skied at Smiggins Holes at the bottom of the mountain. The front reception of Smiggins Hole is not wheelchair accessible. The Smiggins Hotel isn’t wheelchair accessible either, a big step on the side of the building made it really hard to get into. The toilets needed the door to open the other way to make it easier, but it was a great place for beginners.”
For those that love a bit of adventure and are keen to head to the slopes, you may find given the nature of the activity, there may be some hurdles to overcome! But there is a lot in place to support your trip and with the right planning and preparation it is a truly unique and amazing experience.. add it to the bucket list!