Catalina Lakefront Retreat – Lakeside Accessible Accommodation for community groups & people with disability.

Catalina Lakefront Retreat – providing Accessible Accommodation by the lake for community groups and people with disability.

If you are a person with mobility challenges, finding suitable accommodation for a holiday can be daunting, especially if you have a large family or a member of a large group. Not anymore.

Perfect for groups

Catalina Lakefront Retreat provides short term accessible accommodation options for families and groups in a scenic and tranquil setting, on the banks of Lake Macquarie. Situated just 90 minutes from Sydney, this accessible accommodation is perfectly suited to group holidays for people with disabilities. Perhaps you are organising a reunion, birthday gathering for your family, or, you are an NDIS provider looking for a place to take a group of participants for some respite. Well, you have found just the right set up at Catalina.

With multiple accessible rooms, large catering facilities and function spaces for activities, there is space to achieve your goals tranquil setting.

RAAF Base History

An interesting history, enriched by a visionary for today's purpose.

Catalina has an interesting history, having formerly been the site of the base hospital for the RAAF Flying Boat Base. The area is in the process of preserving its military heritage, whilst enhancing its natural beauty. From a dour military base in a picture-postcard location, owners David and Heather Hagan could see its potential and turned it into a warm and inviting place to recharge. Furthermore, they wanted people with disabilities to also experience the pleasure of staying, evidenced by the name of their registered charity, Disability Life Enrichment.


Catering to people with disabilities

As a retreat geared for large groups, there is a variety of room types. From single rooms with water views to large family and bunk style rooms.

The large family rooms are equipped with fully accessible bathrooms (full wheelchair access). The bunk rooms perfect for a group of children or teens to enjoy some time together. The single sole-occupancy rooms are perfectly suited for carers and support staff to enjoy some private time. Catalina can host groups from 20 up to 100 people. Better yet, multiple people with disabilities too. The accessible features are:

  • Accessible toilet seat
  • fixed grab bars
  • mobile hoist
  • on-site disabled parking
  • service dog provisions
  • Shower chair
  • step-free access
  • step-free shower.
  • Room under bed for hoist (provided).

Welcoming accessible environment

Traditionally, Catalina Lakefront Retreat has hosted community and corporate groups, including the church, school, sporting and business groups which help fund the disability outreach of the registered charity. More recently the focus on accessibility, Catalina has had the privilege of hosting many group Accessible Accommodation disability groups who have taken up the opportunity to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the centre and surrounding areas. Disability groups who require:

  • Family camps or reunions
  • Disability retreats
  • Short Term / Medium Term accommodation (Respite)
  • Day programs
  • School Outings / Camps
  • Carer’s retreats
  • Seminars and training programs

A scenic setting with plenty to do

Nowadays, Rathmines Park is a scenic lakefront area, with extensive parklands, bush walks and lakefront access including a recently renovated jetty. Rathmines Park has level, gravel paths for a walk (or wheel). Click HERE for more information.

In fact, Lake Macquarie Council has been proactively building facilities for people with disabilities, including accessible beaches where you can hire a beach wheelchair, accessible playgrounds, and Changing Places locales. They even have the Me2 Program providing free, inclusive activities accessible for people of all abilities. The highlights are:

Blacksmiths Beach offers:

  • Toilets including accessible toilet facilities (MLAK)
  • Beach wheelchairs for use during beach patrol season
  • Accessible parking
  • Grannies Pool has amp access to the beach

Belmont Baths offers:

  • Accessible toilet and shower (MLAK) and family room
  • Accessible parking
  • A 'Mobi-Chair' (amphibious wheelchair) stored on-site for free use and accessible by MLAK

Toronto Swim Centre offers:

  • Changing Place (MLAK) fitted with a hoist, adult change table and accessible toilet and shower
  • platform lift access to hydrotherapy and 25m pools

Speers Park offers:

  • Toilets including accessible toilet facilities (MLAK)
  • Changing Place fitted with portable hoist, adjustable bed and accessible toilet and shower
  • Accessible barbecues
  • An accessible playground. Click HERE for more info.

Click HERE for more information on even more accessible features this fantastic Council have on offer..

Fun and Games

There is also plenty for you to do closer to Rathmines, some of which cater to varying levels of disability. The crew at Catalina Lakefront Retreat can assist you with recommendations to suit your mobility levels such as:

  • Disability Bowls
  • Sporting fields – Cricket, Soccer, Tennis
  • Disc Golf
  • Canoeing Tours
  • Jet Boat
  • Lake Mac Boat Tours
  • History Tours

If you fancy a day trip why not check out the Hunter Valley Wineries? Click HERE for a list of accessible ones.

There is also plenty to do at the centre. A large Function Room and a Games Recreation Room for some fun or even a disco. A Large Kitchen for training in skills for living independently, and catering space for events.

And there you have it! Start planning your getaway, click HERE for the listing information


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