Wheelchair-Accessible Thermal Pools in New Zealand


Cherrie enjoying the nicely accessible thermal pools at Hanmer Springs, New Zealand.

Unfortunately I have to preface this blog post with this notice. The photos on this blog are the copyrighted property of Charles Pannell, and SATW and/or its employees or agents have no authority to use them in any way or to repost them. Sorry guys, but after having photos lifted twice in less than a week by the organization, I’m a little wary.

Now.. on to the meat of the post.

I have to say that I continue to be impressed with the accessibility in New Zealand. Take today, for example, when we visited the thermal pools at Hanmer Springs. Sure, I expected to find accessible changing rooms and barrier-free access to some of the pools; but they of course went one step further.

And Cherrie really loved it.

First of all they have a wonderful zero-step entry to one of their more popular pools. Of course you can’t roll a wheelchair in the pool, but this is a great option for slow walkers who need railing support and can’t do stairs. And I saw many folks use it during the day. It’s also very nicely done from an appearance standpoint, and it just goes to show you that access doesn’t have to look institutional.

Candy and Charles enjoyed the thermal waters at Hanmer Springs too!

Of course the impressive access didn’t end there. There was also lift access to the same pool, which is of course what Cherrie used. There’s also a nice caf’ there, if you want to make a day of it all.

Although it’s a bit different from the hot springs I’ve visited in the states, it was a great experience — and one that’s accessible to everyone. So if you happen to find yourself on the South Island of New Zealand, don’t miss it!! I guarantee, you’ll be equally impressed!!


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