Meet Yvie, A Marine Bioligist and Senior Project Officer with the Department of Environment and Water in South Australia, a wife and mother of two boys. She is an expert in benthic habitats (bethnic refers to anything associated with or occurring on the bottom of a body of water), she has a deep love of the underwater world and is passionate about improving access in South Australia’s national parks. In 2009 she was training as an elite triathlete and was in the top 3 for her age group in Australia, when she was involved in a cycling accident. At the end of March in 2009, Yvie was riding to work when she ran into a pothole and flew over the handle bars, landed badly on the road and ended up with a spinal cord injury. She found out she had qualified for the World Triathlon Championships, two days after her accident which left her a T4 paraplegic and full time wheelchair user.
Have you been on a great Australian adventure and what made it such a good getaway?
I wish I could say I have been on a great Aussie Adventure since being in the chair but unfortunately I haven’t. I have been to Brisbane for a month for extra rehab. My favourite part of Brisbane is Southbank as it is relatively new and so accessible, the art gallery and museum are both very accessible as well. I have been to Darwin, the wharf precinct is fantastic and the wave pool if you are willing to give it a go is accessible and a lot of fun. I unfortunately did not head to Kakadu or Litchfield as I had seen them as an able bod and just was not sure I could access them in the chair. These days most of our adventures are over to Port Lincoln where my twin sister lives with her family. The tourist park in Port Lincoln has a fantastic accessible cabin, the local foreshore is very accessible as are many of the local cafes and restaurants. What makes Port Lincoln a great getaway is the fact I can spend time with my family and my sister and her family, I love being by the sea and just love Port Lincoln. One day I might try heading out with Adventure Bay Charters who offer great white shark experiences for people with mobility issues.
What do you love about travelling?
Seeing new places and experiencing new things as well as just enjoying life.
What has caused you the most frustration when travelling?
Accommodation as I need the bathroom to have hand rails as I have very little balance. I once booked an accessible cabin in Port Vincent only to rock up and have a squishy bathroom with no accessible shower and could hardly fit down next to the bed. Thankfully I was with my family and it was only for 2 nights so just made do but it was not ideal nor was it comfortable.
How would you plan a trip away?
I usually do a lot of research on the internet see what I can find and then if necessary give places a call, we quite often will go to the same places especially those where we have had a good experiences and staff have been so welcoming and accommodating.
Do you have any tips for other wheelchair travellers?
Just do your research and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Where is your favourite place to take visitors in South Australia?
I don’t really have one but if you are talking local probably Glenelg, but I love Port Lincoln so will always recommend to head over there.
Where are you off to next and what’s on your bucket list?!
We will be heading back over to Port Lincoln early next year, but as far as bucket list goes I would love to take my boys to Disneyland one day as well as visit Hawaii.
How important is The Good Scout, and what will it does it mean for the travel industry?
I love the idea of the Good Scout as I can trust them to book accessible getaways and holidays and know that they will be accessible. They can take away the hard work of research that I would normally have to do. I can go away and feel secure that everything will be as I need it to be. The Good Scout will take the hard work out of accessible travel and provide peace of mind to the accessible traveller.