Friday, 19 January 2018

Round New Zealand With A Wheelchair

This post is nothing to do with corporate governance or corporate finance.  But I needed a place to post something, and this is the place that I have...

In December my sister and I, with our friends Debbie and Martin, went on a holiday to New Zealand and Australia. My sister uses a wheelchair, and was blogging about disabled travel on the Forum of  It's a really good blog and well worth a look, but you do have to sign in (free) to get to it.  This particular entry deserves a much wider readership because it recommends a wonderful company, Driving Miss Daisy, who did a fantastic job.  So, here is my sister's blog.


Round New Zealand With A Wheelchair, day 3

We docked this morning at Taoranga and we had booked a private tour to Wai O Tapu Thermal Wonderland.  We had the most brilliant guide by the name of Gerard Barnard and I would highly recommend his company, Driving Miss Daisy, to any disabled travellers in the area. 

You can contact them at   

The day started with us disembarking and meeting up with our guide.  He had only been told that there were 4 passengers, one with an electric wheelchair.  Two vehicles arrived and he brought with him a manual wheelchair as he was uncertain of our needs.  Good start.  He seemed very well prepared.  We picked the most suitable of the vehicles and opted to take the manual chair with us in case my friend, Martin, needed to use it.

We headed off the 90km to Wai O Tapu.  Gerrard talked through the journey about the areas through which we were driving.  He was both knowledgeable and entertaining.

When we reached Wai O Tapu we discovered that they didn’t really understand wheelchair needs as there was a small step to the disabled toilets.  However they showed us which route was wheelchair accessible.  It wasn’t.  We did it anyway.  Gerard pushed Martin in the manual chair until it became obvious that the path was too uneven for the power chair.  He helped both me and Martin to get around the route which took us about one and a half hours instead of the half hour advised to us.
I have to tell you that the thermal sights we visited were truly spectacular and so varied and colourful.  I also have to tell you that it is not wheelchair accessible and we could not have done it without Gerrard’s help.  

After a spot of lunch we headed back to the ship.  Despite the fact that we had spent longer than expected at the thermal area, Gerard took us to Rotorua to see the lake and the black swans, and then on to a Maori church.

We had booked a 6 hour trip.  We were overrunning, but he was so generous with his time.  He made the impossible possible.

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