All-terrain wheelchair on the Great Ocean Walk
Thursday 12 December, 2013
For the first time a visitor in an all-terrain wheelchair was able join his family as they strolled along the spectacular Great Ocean Walk. David Stratton was a keen bush walker until his Multiple Sclerosis condition meant he could only get around outdoors in a wheelchair. But last Saturday, 7 December, he and his family, accompanied by Parks Victoria staff, enjoyed the walk from Cape Otway Lighthouse car park through to Aire River Camp Ground. It’s the first time the Trailrider wheelchair has been used on the Great Ocean Walk.
“It was bliss being out there with the ocean at my side,” said David. “I had no idea that this beautiful place existed in the world. It was uplifting to be there.”
David has been a leading advocate for having these specially designed all terrain wheelchairs available to visitors with mobility limitations in Victorian parks. As a result, Trailriders are now available at four parks across the state. Parks Victoria also has partnerships with three local government shires to have three additional Trailrider chairs available near other parks for visitors to borrow.
The Trailrider requires at least two helpers to push and pull the chair which has a unique one wheel design. This means it can take people with mobility limitations into areas they would not normally have access to.
This section of the Great Ocean Walk has been recently upgraded and with the installation of accessible toilets at Cape Otway Lighthouse car park and Aire River West Camp ground, it is more accessible than ever.
The nearest Trailrider chair for the Great Ocean Walk is managed by the Surf Coast Shire in partnership with Parks Victoria. It is located at the Surf Coast Sport and Recreation Centre located on Beach Road, Torquay, next to the Visitor Information Centre and Surf World Museum. Phone: (03) 5261 4606 or search for Trailrider on www.surfcoast.vic.gov.au
Find out more about Accessibility and inclusion in parks.
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