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My Arthurs Seat Skylift Experience

12 February, 2017

Hi readers! Over The Christmas holidays, while staying at the Sea Wise apartments in Blairgowrie with my son Ryan, we both went along to give the new Arthurs Seat Chair Lift a shot. I had already sent emails to make sure it was accessible, and made sure that there was disabled parking etc. available.

I knew that it opened at 10.00am and figured that it would be quite busy; being that it was the Christmas period, so we got there at 9.45am. And lucky we did! Many people had the same idea and there were just people everywhere. I was directed to the disabled parking spot by a parking person, got out and pushed to the ramps where the payment booth and loading area was. The lady selling the tickets asked if I had a companion card which I did so she only charged me for a children’s ticket of $15.00. We proceeded to the back of the line, which was quite long, when an attendant came and took us to the front loading area (it’s probably the only time being in a chair is helpful!). While sitting there waiting with Ryan I worked out that each gondola took six people. I noticed that a lot of families where going on together so I asked a father and daughter who were standing with us if they wanted to come on with Ryan and I, which they did. After observing people getting on the gondolas the attendant asked me if I would be okay, bearing in mind they don’t come to a complete stop. I said I should be okay, which I was. However, if need be the attendant can stop the Gondola so you can board at a standstill.

"If need be the attendant can stop the gondola so you can board at a standstill."

"The gondolas are designed with a folding seat on one side, which gives you heaps of room."

The Gondolas are designed with a folding seat on one side, which gives you heaps of room, so when it was our turn to board the attendant quickly folded up the seat and I was on board easily enough. With my son and new found friends we were soon looking at the picturesque sites over the bay. It probably took about 15 minutes to reach the summit, I was hoping that I could just stay on the Gondola and come straight back down but we had to disembark. To my horror there were people everywhere again, the line zig-zagged outside the ticket box and trailed out down stairs and snaked into the carpark. I started looking for staff to take me to the front of the line again but there were none to be found. I was thinking that we would be there all day trying to get back down, when my new found friends quickly grabbed me, saying I was their meal ticket to get back down the mountain! The father approached the ticket box and an attendant soon appeared to take us to the front of the line. It was a little uncomfortable wheeling to the front of the line again as I could imagine what everyone else was thinking, being they had been standing in line for hours!

When we got to the bottom, I thanked my friends and quickly jumped in the car and headed for Blairgowrie and the beach, so Ryan could have a refreshing swim. It had been a hot and eventful morning that could have turned into a long and uncomfortable day should it not have been made quite straightforward by the good accessibility and assistance.

The wheelchair and pram friendly enclosed cabins encompass accessibility features, including:

  • Slow moving Gondolas in the stations allow level access for wheelchairs, zimmer frames, prams and strollers to board easily (please note that Gondola doors open to 80cm and double prams or oversized wheelchairs may not fit).
  • Enclosed gondolas are available for comfort in colder weather.
  • Level accessible parking.
  • Parking will be available for mobility scooters at the Base Station but mobility scooter will not be permitted inside the gondola cabins.
  • Ramped access throughout Summit and Base Stations.
  • Accessible observation decks.
  • Accessible toilets and a Changing Places facility are available. Please visit the Changing Places website at changingplaces.org.au if you require more information about this innovative facility.

Wayne Bradshaw is a father, avid lover of football and information officer at Spire.

Tags: Blog, Travel & Leisure, Parenting & family