Where to find information about accessibility and handicap in New Zealand?
Travelling with an handicap means to be very organised. Unfortunately it takes hours exploring Google to find some relevant information about accessibility. So here are information sources I found before and during my travel in New Zealand:
This organisation has some holiday accommodations adapted for disabled people. Some are only for members whereas others can be booked by anybody. The accommodations list can be found here.
It is also the CCS Disabilty Action who is responsible for delivering mobility parking permits. This permit can be especially useful if you want to stay in New Zealand for quite some time: for a working-holiday-visa or an expatriation for example. You can apply here. To apply you will need to wait to be in New Zealand. You will have to pay $NZ35 and prove your disability but once it is done you will receive your mobility parking permit between fifteen to twenty days. As for me, a simple copy of my French mobility parking permit has been enough to prove my condition.
- Facebook Group “Accessible Travel Forum for New Zealand”.
In this group you can ask your questions about accessibility and handicap in New Zealand. You will also find advice about accessible activities, accommodations and transports. Most of the people here are from New Zealand so you can have trustworthy information.
- Oyster Accessible Travel.
You will find in this website information about accessible accommodations, activities, walks and transports in New Zealand illustrated by pictures.
Travel agency specialised in adaptive activities in New Zealand for disabled people. If you love thrills just go and ask them! Rafting, jetboating, kayaking, skydiving, parasailing, horse stroll… Everybody will find an exciting activity to do!
- Access 4 All.
Website to find accessible accommodations.
- Be Accessible.
Be Accessible is a website to find information about accessible accommodations, activities, restaurants and shops in New Zealand. One thing I like with this website is that it is possible to tell your specific needs (hearing, learning and intellectual, mobility, parents, vision) in the search engine.
- Informations centres (I.Site) et Department of Conservation (D.O.C).
Don’t hesitate to ask questions to them. If you are looking for more specific information about walks and trails go directly to a D.O.C. However keep in mind that the D.O.C and I-Sites people didn’t receive specific training about disability and handicap so that would be a good idea to explain to them what you can do and what are your limits. Sometimes they are able to give answers and sometimes they don’t.
You will find I-Sites and D.O.C in medium and big cities and in every touristic places.
- Anna Jameson’s book “Accessible Walks”
A good guide to know about a lot of south island walks accessibility. For each walk she has done she rated it and gave it a level of accessibility/difficulty. This way you’ll know if a wheelchair user can do one of these walks alone, alone with a good fitness, with another person’s help or if that will be difficult. Information are accurate. You will know about how long the walk is, the length of it and also about bathrooms and parkings. Despite this book being release in 2000 I still consider it as a must have for disabled people who want to do some walks in the south island.
If you want to buy it just contact me and I will give you Anna’s email address. If I well-remember the book is about $NZ25 and you will have to pay the shipping costs.
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