Accessible Lake Mac
Published on 17 May 2022
We strive to create an accessible city, where those living with a disability can seamlessly live, grow and connect.
With accessible features installed in swim centres, playgrounds, pathways, libraries and art centres and throughout our shared pathway network, everyone is able to experience Lake Mac to their full potential.
One person doing just that is Braeden Jones.
The 26-year-old is non-verbal and has cerebral palsy, meaning he relies on wheels to get from place to place.
Braeden’s mother, Julie Jones, said Braeden’s strong thirst for adventure has thrived in Lake Macquarie as he explores beautiful beaches, nature reserves and creative spaces.
“Lake Macquarie has so much to offer visitors needing wheelchair accessible activities, which allowed us to have so many lovely experiences as a family,” Ms Jones said.
Beaches across Lake Macquarie including Redhead, Caves, Catherine Hill and Blacksmiths boast a variety of accessibility features.
“Caves beach is our absolute favourite and there’s a number of sandy caves that can be accessed by wheelchair, which we were particularly excited about,” Ms Jones said.
The beach is wheelchair accessible and features accessible toilets, barbecue area, function room for hire and parking.
Blacksmith’s Beach has a sand cruiser beach wheelchair free to use during patrolled hours, and Grannies' Pool provides a safe and shallow area to swim.
“There’s fantastic access to the beach and the walk along the Swansea break wall,” Ms Jones said.
“And a beach mat across the sand made it very easy for Braeden to get to the water.”
Toronto Swim Centre is an all-inclusive environment, which boasts a vast range of equipment to suit all abilities.
An impressive platform lift allows wheelchair users to be lowered into the hydrotherapy and 25-metre pool.
“I have never seen this feature before,” Ms Jones said.
“The pool wheelchair has movable arm rests that lift out of the way for easy transferring from a wheelchair if needed.”
Toronto Swim Centre has an accredited Changing Place (MLAK) fitted with a hoist, adult change table and accessible toilet and shower.
Pool goers with disability can enjoy to the fullest at Lake Mac Swim Centres, with all facilities equipped with accessible toilets and seat-style lifts.
Accessible playgrounds can be spotted across Lake Mac, but no one should pass up the opportunity to play at Variety Playground at Speers Point Park.
“The fenced playground is extensive, with many accessible features including a wheelchair swing, water features, musical instruments, a quiet zone and more,” Ms Jones said.
Images kindly provided by Julie Jones.
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