Great Ocean Walk bliss earns a thumbs up from man in wheelchair

A NEW wheelchair-accessible “wild” section of the Great Ocean Walk (GOW) has been given the thumbs up after a test run.

David Stratton, of Newstead, near Castlemaine, was the first to use an all-terrain wheelchair along the 9.6-kilometre section of the Cape Otway to Aire River camping ground section of the GOW on Saturday.

Parks Victoria made the section wheelchair-accessible by widening it, replacing many of the steps with planking and installing wheelchair-accessible toilets at the Cape Otway lighthouse and the Aire River west camping ground.

Mr Stratton said the trip was “bliss”.

He was a keen bush walker until multiple sclerosis meant he needed a wheelchair to get around outdoors.

He said he had no idea how beautiful the GOW was until covering the walk.

“It was uplifting to be there,” Mr Stratton said.

Mr Stratton lobbied Parks Victoria to make the Trailrider wheelchairs available in Victoria after using one in Vancouver, Canada.

The Trailrider requires at least two helpers to push and pull the one-wheel chair. 

The one used by Mr Stratton is managed by Surf Coast Shire. 

ehimmelreich@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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