Wheelchair-bound holidaymaker John Roberts is putting facilities for disabled travellers to the test on a month-long trip – and you can follow his progress exclusively in Travel Weekly.
He has been in Brisbane, Australia for two days, staying at the Rendezvous.
Brisbane is fairly accessible but hilly. The pavements were wide and ramps were reasonably easy to negotiate, with most shops and restaurants accessible and people always ready to lend a hand.
The theatre had lifts to all seating levels and the booking desk. The staff were helpful and could advise on the seating plans and locations for wheelchairs for each performance – it seemed to accommodate wheelchair users well.
The South Bank area was really nice, and level enough for us to get along the riverside and enjoy. We also managed to get to the city beach, and the gardens had selected routes for wheelchairs which were easy to use.
We have Brisbane on our list of places to return to – we needed a few more days to fully enjoy all the city had to offer.
The Rendezvous Hotel is well located opposite Brisbane Central Station and adjacent to Anzac Square. The area is rather hilly and access to and from the hotel can be difficult.
The Rendezvous had accessible rooms with wet room shower. Ours was not in great condition – the shower seat was falling off the wall – but they swapped our room and the next one was fine.
Reservations staff advised us to take a one-bedroom room to give us more space, but the area alongside the bed was narrow and was difficult to get a wheelchair into.
The one big issue was getting in and out of the hotel. They told us they had a lift at the front and it turned out to be a chairlift. This will be fine for travellers who have no problems transferring themselves to the seat, and staff seem happy to carry your wheelchair up the steps to the top.
However it is difficult to get a wheelchair onto the platform, as it is very narrow and the ramps are not level with the ground. This needs looking at as it is not really an acceptable means of entry and exit.
The second point is that not all staff can work it. The night man had no idea when it came to checking out at 4.30am. In the end I simply bounced painfully down the steps – otherwise it would have taken us hours to get out. We would go back if they resolved the entrance lift issues.
John Roberts is a pseudonym. The writer wishes to remain anonymous during his trip.
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