PEOPLE of all abilities can now enjoy Oberon district tourist attraction Mayfield Garden.
The garden has officially opened the Camellia Walk, a mobility-friendly pathway that allows wheelchairs, prams and other mobility devices to navigate the area.
After gathering feedback over 18 months, Mayfield has created the wide pathway which circles the water garden to overlook Mayfield Lake, avoiding the stairs and boardwalks that were previously the only option available for exploring.
Invited guests were able to test out the path as it opened.
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Mayfield chief executive officer Hamish Keith said it was a great day for the garden and its patrons.
“We are so excited to be able to expand the opportunities for all visitors to Mayfield regardless of their physical limitations or age to explore more of the beautiful garden,” he said.
Bathurst resident James Horsburgh was one of the guests at the opening.
He suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury in 2004 in a diving accident, leaving him a quadriplegic, but has gone on to do his Masters in Law and today is one of five partners at McIntosh McPhillamy and Co in Bathurst, one of the oldest and largest legal firms in regional NSW.
“Having been to Mayfield before, but not being able to access the garden, it is awesome now with the opening of this new walk,” Mr Horsburgh said.
“[To be] able to come out to Mayfield and share the experience with my family is something that I’ll treasure.”
Julie Jones, from the website Have Wheelchair Will Travel, which shares tips and experiences, was at the opening of the Camellia Walk with her son.
There’s so many people who actually need that access.
Though accessible tourism is seen by some as a niche market, she said the Camellia Walk will be used by “people who have knee surgery, people with prams, people with wheelchairs”.
“There’s so many people who actually need that access. Just somebody who can’t do stairs anymore will be able to enjoy the garden,” she said.
She said when life was filled with things like therapy, doctors’ visits, and appointments, reconnecting as a family, travelling and enjoying day trips helped her family bond.
“It keeps siblings together, and families together, and makes us a happier family,” she said.
The new Camellia Walk at Mayfield Garden will be open 363 days a year.