Travel Blog: Our Family Escape To Hollyhall Farm

This blog post is courtesy of our partners at Accessible Accommodation.

Adam Smark, a team member at Accessible Accommodation, checked out one of our top five accessible places to stay in New South Wales.

A recent amputee, Adam understands the challenges in adjusting to a life where accessibility is crucial for his mobility. When Adam uses his prosthetic, he has more flexibility on where to stay. However, we asked Adam to critique Hollyhall as a part-time wheelchair user. This is his story:

Hollyhall is a working farm and Equestrian Training Centre set in The Southern Highlands, between Sydney and Melbourne. My partner Tracy loves horses, so when I told her we were going to stay at Hollyhall, she jumped at the chance. As we entered the automatic gates and drove down the gravel road, the last remaining autumn leaves, a nip in the air and lush green grass greeted us. Jan and John, the owners ensured the wood fire was burning for our arrival into this cosy cottage.

Arriving at an undercover concreted car parking space, I was able to exit comfortably into my wheelchair. As we entered the cottage, the wood fire was roaring. My Children Matthew (12) and Hannah (8) loved checking out the horse-themed decor. From cushions to lighting, to the equestrian medals as well as the hand-painted barn door mural of owner Johnny and his horse. All weekend we spotted more little knick-knacks in keeping with the equestrian theme.

The Cottage’s Accessibility:

It isn’t until you have lived experience with a disability, that one truly understands how important good mobility equipment is for an enjoyable getaway. Johnny is now a wheelchair user himself after an accident. So the cottage was designed for someone like himself, who has high physical needs. The electric bed, portable hoist and shower commode are ideal for those with high needs.

For myself, I was comfortable with the grab rails (both toilet and shower) and the height-adjustable toilet seat. I had forgotten my shower chair, so the Commode came in handy. Whilst the home comfortably catered to our family of four (plus our dog Charlie a Fox Terrier), my son enjoyed the multiple functions of the hi-lo hospital bed to read a book and watch Netflix. (Good WIFI!)

I found the sliding doors so much better than traditional hinged doors. It made wheelchair gliding so much easier! Of course, the doorways are wide too.

Hollyhall Cottage has three bedrooms, sleeping six guests comfortably. One with a queen bed, one with two single beds (which can be joined to create a second queen). A third bedroom has a Cobalt king single electric adjustable bed and a single bed adjacent to it. I found the bed height ideally suited for transferring from wheelchair to bed.
The third bedroom is located immediately next to the bathroom and has a barn door separating this space from the living area, enabling discreet transport by commode into the bathroom. I can imagine someone with high physical needs appreciating the privacy of transferring from the electric bed using the portable hoist, and gliding to the bathroom discretely.

Double glazing keeps the place warm in winter, cool in summer. Our winter break was set around the wood fire in the living room, and once we worked out how the fans and ducts worked, the heating flowed beautifully throughout the cottage.

You can read more about Hollyhall Farm and Accessible Accommodation at the link below.

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