Summer means longer daylight hours, warmer weather, and hopefully some lovely sunny days to get out and explore. We’re lucky to have some fabulous parks, walkways, and tracks throughout the country which are suitable for people with limited mobility and those in wheelchairs or scooters.
Here are just a few ideas in the Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Gisborne regions:
Bridal Veil Falls
This track runs along the Pakoka River to the top of the Wairēinga/Bridal Veil Falls and is suitable for assisted wheelchair use. There are two viewing platforms at the top of the falls which offer views of the falls and surrounding areas. The second half of the track continues to the base of the falls; however, a steep set of steps makes this part of the track unsuitable for wheelchair users.
Approximate time: 20 minutes
Location: Kawhia Road, near Raglan
Bay of Plenty
Lake Okareka Walkway
This walkway is partly wheelchair accessible, as far as Silver Beach. The walkway begins in a wetland area, home to a range of aquatic birds. The wheelchair-accessible portion of this track is 2 km long, returning the same way you came.
Approximate time: 1 hour 30 minutes one way (for a full 2.5 km track)
Location: Acacia Road, Rotorua
Gisborne Riverbank and Waikanae Beach Walk
This 1.5 km walkway is wheelchair accessible and can be accessed from several entry points. The walkway is located at the union of the Waimata, Taruheru and Turanganui Rivers.
Time: 10-30 minutes
Location: Entry points along Reads Quay