Exploring New Zealand in Autumn: A Wheelchair Road Trip Adventure

AccessibleLakeTekapo 354x470 - Exploring New Zealand in Autumn:  A Wheelchair Road Trip Adventure

Travelling through New Zealand is a dream for many, but doing it in a wheelchair can seem daunting. Enter Ben from Adapt to Perform, a recent customer of Freedom Mobility, who, along with his partner, embarked on an incredible journey from the top of the North Island to the bottom of the South Island in one of our specially adapted hand-control vehicles.


A Unique Autumn Adventure

While summer is often the preferred season for travel, Ben and his partner chose to explore New Zealand in autumn 2023. Despite the challenges of travelling in a wheelchair, they found autumn’s mild temperatures made for an enjoyable experience, with fewer crowds to navigate.



Documenting the Journey

Ben and his partner did an amazing job of videoing their trip, providing a great guide for future travellers to New Zealand. Their videos showcase a range of accessible accommodation options, from backpackers to more luxurious choices, demonstrating that even budget-friendly options can work well for those travelling in a wheelchair.  Here at Freedom Mobility we have been compiling accommodation recommendations from many of our customers who have travelled around New Zealand, take a look at our accessible play and stay directory for accessible accommodation options through out New Zealand.


Accessible Attractions from North to South

Their adventure began in the Northland region with a visit to the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds, a site rich in cultural significance and mostly accessible for wheelchair users. Moving south, they explored the vibrant city of Auckland, visiting the iconic Sky Tower with its breathtaking views and wheelchair-friendly facilities. They also used some of Auckland’s accessible public transport options to explore the beautiful Mission Bay.

No trip to New Zealand would be complete without a visit to Hobbiton, and Ben and his partner were thrilled to discover other fantastic Lord of the Rings destinations throughout both the North and South Islands.

Autumn was also a brilliant time to enjoy some of the accessible stargazing opportunities in Lake Tekapo as well.

Discover these accessible activities and more on our accessible stay and play directory.





Tips for Planning Your Own Wheelchair Accessible NZ Road Trip

Inspired by Ben’s journey? Here are some tips for planning your own wheelchair accessible road trip across New Zealand:

Plan Your Route:  Research accessible attractions and accommodations in advance to ensure a smooth journey.

Vehicle Choice: Contact Freedom Mobility to discuss which vehicle would best suit your needs. We offer hand-control cars as well as a range of wheelchair-accessible passenger vans.

Stay Flexible: Be prepared to adapt your plans if needed, and embrace the unexpected moments that make travel so rewarding.

Enjoy the Journey: Allow extra time for driving to soak in the breathtaking landscapes and stop at many of the amazing roadside spots with incredible views.

Fitness on the Road:  To keep up arm strength for driving or just maintain fitness while travelling, check out Ben’s website, Adapt to Perform, where he offers tailored fitness routines to meet your requirements.

Drive Safe:  For advice and tips on how to stay safe on New Zealand roads, click here.


Other Wheelchair Accessible Travel Options

If road tripping isn’t your thing, consider an organized tour with companies like Ability Adventures, which will customize an itinerary to your preferences. They use our specially adapted vans for their trips, ensuring well-catered transport.