Located in Sydney’s Northern beaches overlooking Collaroy Beach, I was completely blown away when first arriving at this amazing resort, from the fantastic staff members, world-class facilities to the huge self-contained units, this place was nothing short of truly amazing.
I was greeted by a friendly staff member that helped me get checked in, exactly like a hotel. The room key comes in two forms: a click a button or a fob that you can swipe against the doors, it even comes on a lanyard you can wear around your neck or wrap around your hand. The staff will assist in taking your luggage to your room and give you a rundown on facilities.
Upon entering the room, I was immediately impressed by the size and the accessibility features. This included an extra-wide door that is automated and has a pushbutton to allow you to exit the room. We had two single beds which can be pushed together to make a double and it had adjustable height along with head and knee adjustability plus, a foldout sofa bed!
We had a very generous size bathroom which had a heated towel rack and heated floor (both great features for me, as thermo-regulation for me personally is hard), a rain shower, a large mirror above the basin and an automatic sensor for the bin lid.
The unit also had iPad controls for the air-conditioning, the bed, the blinds and the TV. Our unit came with a built-in ceiling hoist, but I took and used my sling.
In the kitchen, we had a height-adjustable bench, and I tried my hand at making a cooked breakfast of pancakes! (I think I did a good job!). We had access to a dishwasher, kettle (that has an easy-pour option), pantry and fridge. I had pre-ordered my food through Woolworths and the staff here were so helpful and loaded our pantry and fridge for us before our arrival.
Within the unit, there are low windows, set at the height for a person in a wheelchair to be able to view. I was lucky enough to have a veranda that overlooked the ocean.
As I was flying from interstate to Sydney, I was equipped with interstate taxi vouchers which worked a treat, they allow you to have $25 off your taxi fare; it’s fantastic as the ride is approx. $100 from the airport to Sargood.
Sargood is located close to public transport. We were able to catch a bus to Manly and had a nice lunch overlooking the water. Don’t forget your companion card, this works interstate!
We got to enjoy the buy one, get one free with it!. We caught the ferry from Manly into Sydney Harbour and it was a pleasant view looking up at the harbour bridge. The ferry terminal is only a five-minute walk to the Sydney Opera House and being a real tourist; we had to go and check it out! We met a friendly staff member who worked there and showed us around and gave us a fun fact: there are more than a million tiles on the Sydney Opera House.
After a cocktail looking out over the harbour, we had a quick walk and checked out ‘Sydney Tower’ and got a great view of Sydney. As always when travelling you must be prepared for a change in plans, and due to the weather, we had to cancel sailing; Instead, we got back on public transport and headed to the closest movie theatre checkout ‘The Joker’. Across the road from the Sargood, you can find several takeaway shops, IGA and the surf club.
Sargood encouraged and supported me to step out of my comfort zone and worked with me on what is required to go ahead with certain activities. And as previously mentioned, they also provided an accessible vehicle to and from activities, so it was one less thing to worry about.
I had pre-booked several activities for my stay, from snorkelling and surfing to drone flying and sailing.
Upon waking up to a beautiful clear day, I was anxiously awaiting my first activity of snorkelling. Sebastian (my allocated services officer) provided an excellent rundown of the goings-on, what would happen etc. The group loaded into the wheelchair accessible van and headed to a protected cove where we prepared to get into our wetsuits. My excitement surrounding snorkelling was the same for trying on my first wetsuit. Before you know it, the staff have you suited up in your wetsuit, placed in a beach wheelchair and had you raring to go!
Upon entering the water, I became very buoyant due to the wetsuit. Believe me; this was a very weird feeling as I’ve never been able to float in the water before! I’m not going to lie, I did struggle but after some excellent mentoring from Sebastian & support from my carer, I was able to go snorkelling for about 3 whole minutes-Yay!!!
Once we returned to Sargood, I was booked in for some drone flying lessons and I was able to fly a drone with 3D adapted controllers, I enjoyed it so much, I should add this to my Christmas wish list (Hey Santa…. 😊)
One thing to remember is that all activities are included and if you’re travelling with a carer or family, they are included in the activity as well, so you won’t be doing things alone.
The next big day of activities was surfing, and as the Beachboys say “Catch a wave and you’re sitting on top of the world!”
Once again, I was greeted by Sebastian, who assisted in placing me in my wetsuit on my bed. Once I was back in the wetsuit, we headed down to the activities room and was transferred to a beach wheelchair and got to check out my surfboard which has elbow supports and electric fins!
After a short five-minute walk to the beach, I was wheeled into the water, floated out into the ocean and laid down onto the surfboard. This is not the most gracious of positioning, but once I was in position – I was keen to get going.
Sebastian positioned himself on the back of the surfboard and guided me through the waves. Due to a malfunction of the fins, we could only catch a couple of waves, but I had a fantastic time, and I can officially say I’ve caught a wave with an SCI!