Redbrow Garden Bed & Breakfast, Canberra

We try quite a few accessible accommodation options each year. Many work better than we expect. Some don’t.

We had searched long and hard for the right option in Canberra. Surprisingly, for a city with so many visitors and with so many accessible venues, good accessible accommodation is lacking. Most major hotels have a room or two available with suitable modifications. But we travel as a family, and what we really want is an apartment with a small kitchenette, and a maybe one or two bedrooms. Despite all the short-term apartment options in Canberra, I’ve yet to find one that is ideal.

With that dearth of options as a backdrop, we decided to try Redbrow Garden. Redbrow Garden is a B & B located on the outskirts of Canberra, between the suburb of Hall and the town of Murrumbateman. It only takes about 20 minutes to reach the centre of the city. Accommodation consists of four modern, individual en-suite rooms. There is also a three-bedroom garden guesthouse available. One of the on-suite rooms has wheelchair access and a modified bathroom.

The accessible room has a lovely outlook and is very pretty. The bathroom is also well designed. Bars are well located for both the toilet and shower. The floor is also well thought out — it’s an interesting concrete/pebble mix that is quite non-slip, even when wet.

Another interesting enhancement is that the shower is in fact two showers — one at either end of the wet area. It’s the first accessible shower I’ve seen that lets you shower with a friend!

A well-designed bathroom

However, there are also downsides. For me at least, the bed was much too high. At nearly 70cm, I simply could not get in. That made for an uncomfortable night sleeping in my chair.

Outside the room, there are some problems too. The car park is covered with large pebbles, which are attractive, but almost impassible in a wheelchair. When we tried to unload my chair became bogged in the pebbles and would not move. I had to transfer to my spare chair to get out of the bog. It was a difficult late night move, and I wouldn’t like to repeat it.

Additionally, the entry to the breakfast room is rather tricky, with a narrow sliding door and a sizeable door frame to navigate.

There’s no doubt Redbrow Garden is a lovely place. It’s a uniquely natural, small, family-owned rural retreat where the focus is on country hospitality.  It is surrounded by a delightful rural garden. Canberra’s well known cool climate wineries and gourmet eateries are also very nearby.

Redbrow Garden

Hosts David and Elisabeth Judge should be congratulated for trying to make their facility useable by wheelchair users. Unfortunately, not everything works and wheelchair-users would be well-advised to consider their needs and perhaps make arrangements to inspect before making a booking.

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