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About LokiPoki

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    Cool Cruiser
  1. LokiPoki

    Collapsible chair?

    Thanks Bloodgem, Haven’t tried that particular email - only P&O Australia’s general email, as I couldn’t find a special needs specific email address for them - was them just coming back with the “it had to be collapsible” response, but I might see if I can get anywhere with the address you posted. I’m sure the policies can’t differ too much across the group.
  2. LokiPoki

    Collapsible chair?

    Anyone know what constitutes a “collapsible” chair as far as cruise lines are concerned? A couple of friends have persuaded me to join them on a cruise next year. Cruise is quite heavy on tender ports, which doesn’t concern me - I’m familiar with most of them, and have had no problem tendering in the past. Concern is that P&O (with whom I’ve not cruised before) state that a chair must be collapsible in order to tender. Until now I have travelled with a folding chair, but as I use a rigid backrest and freewheel, crew (Princess) have always lifted it across without folding it. Current chair is falling apart and now completely the wrong shape/balance for my body, and I’m waiting on a new rigid frame chair - so doesn’t fold down the middle, but has a collapsible/removable backrest and quick-release wheels. By my definition, the rigid frame means it’s not a “folding chair” but as it can be “collapsed” into easily managed components, it’s “collapsible” (also weighs a grand total of about 5kg, compared with my current which is about 12kg) - but P&O customer service have offered me lots of “I’ll have to check and get back to you”, with zero follow up. Only reason I’d bother spending money on the current one to replace components is if it’s going to be essential for travel, so am interested to hear what others have experienced given that P&O don’t seem inclined to give me an answer.
  3. LokiPoki

    Power wheelchair for standard cabin

    Not sure if it’s what you’re after, but a quick google search turns this up - https://www.totalmobility.com.au/product/pride-r4/ Can’t find any photos of it folded, but it looks to have the ‘X’ frame so am assuming it folds in half, rather than forward onto itself. Looks like a few Aussie places sell it.
  4. LokiPoki

    Car Hire in Melbourne

    I’d say not “could be” but “will be”... Crown Casino is probably one of the cheapest, and that’s about $20 a day - but substantially better than a lot of the Wilson parks - which are more like $60-70+/day. Adding to your comment about opposite side of the road driving, if OP is planning to drive in the CBD, I’d suggest a little education on hook turns...they bring many a tourist (and many a local!) to grief.
  5. They get damaged too... dunno what the “damage rate” is overall, but we travelled as a group of five a couple of years back and ended up with three broken cases between us. My medical gear travels with me at all times...more to carry, but I know I’ll have it all safe if/when it’s needed.
  6. Depends on what your interests are. Bay of Islands and Dunedin (or the Otago Peninsula at any rate) are both incredible if you’ve any interest in wildlife - seals, dolphins, penguins, albatross, more other seabirds than you can poke a stick at. Napier has some interesting architecture (Art Deco - if that’s your thing), and the wider Hawke’s Bay area has some good wineries (or so I’m told; I don’t drink the stuff). Haven’t seen that much of Tauranga (only its coffee shops - as I’ve only ever visited accompanied by torrential rain and flash flooding.
  7. I’m not familiar with these ports - but depending on your situation, it might be worth looking at a “Freewheel” device, or something similar - they clip on the front of your chair (directly if you’ve a rigid frame chair with fixed foot plate, via an adaptor bar if you’ve got a folding chair), and lift your front castors off the ground so they don’t bog or catch on rough or soft ground...instead you’ve got a pneumatic tyre on a wheel that’s maybe 8” diameter. I say “depending on your situation” as they’re fairly expensive, and unless you can hire one, probably not worthwhile unless you use your chair most/all of the time and are a fairly active chair user - but if you’d likely get enough use out of it at home and future travel, they’re brilliant. I’ve got around a fair chunk of the South Pacific, NZ, Australia and the UK with mine (including rough cobbles similar to those in the pics EM posted).
  8. LokiPoki

    Akaroa Harbour questions

    The harbour on a nice day is beautiful from a kayak. I suspect you’d not get quite the same experience on a cruise ship day - but I went out with these guys a few years ago (http://akaroakayaks.com/) ended up being myself, my mate, our guide and not another human in sight. Brilliant day.
  9. LokiPoki

    Traveling outside US with controlled substance meds?

    I found it was extremely easy to get permission to carry controlled meds - had to send a notarised copy of my scripts and a letter from my doctor to the UAE embassy here in Australia, they sent said letter and script back with a stamp confirming I had permission to carry the drugs. And of course, because I did the right thing (and paid the $$ to get the permissions done) - nobody even looked at what I was carrying, never mind checking whether I had permission to do so. I’m sure a lot of the horror stories you hear about people being jailed for carrying a single codeine pill (or something equally trivial by Australian standards, probably western standards generally) have a lot more to them than what’s presented in the media, but given the meds I take, I wasn’t taking a chance.
  10. LokiPoki

    New Zealand sweet treats

    Whittakers has some interesting chocolate varieties you can’t buy here. I know he won’t be able to go ashore in Akaroa, but if anyone in your family/group does, there are a couple of shops selling pretty good handmade fudge. There’s a sweet shop in Wellington that sells goodies from all over the world - but can’t remember the name...hopefully some NZ members will have an answer for you.
  11. LokiPoki

    Wheelchair Transport in new Zealand Ports

    It must vary from day to day; I’m fairly certain there was only a single accessible shuttle when we were in Wellington - and know there was in Dunedin. No priority coming back to port either, just everyone making a mad rush and pushing through for the next bus to come along, and never mind us chair (and scooter users) who’d been waiting for much longer.
  12. LokiPoki

    Wheelchair Transport in new Zealand Ports

    Hi Maree, I can well understand that ... I’ve just got a power assist device as my wrists and shoulders are shot after years in a chair, and the freedom is amazing! Yep, it was a Princess cruise. You had to pay for the shuttle - except in Wellington, as pedestrians weren’t permitted to walk through the port area (I think when we were there, the ships were docking in a different spot to normal because of earthquake damage - whether that’s been fixed or not, I don’t know) I think otherwise it was about $5 - not a huge sum. Not sure if you’ve already looked at either of these sites, or how much help they might be - http://accessiblenz.com/wp/tour-options/new-zealand-cruise-ship-tour-shore-excursion/ http://www.toursnz.com/services.htm Laura
  13. LokiPoki


    Not sure, but at a guess could be Brisbane Ranges NP ... there certainly is (or at least was) a koala research project in Brisbane Ranges. Maybe Serendip Sanctuary as well. Not sure what sort of “interaction” you’d get - I’d suspect sightings, rather than “up close and personal” - roos might approach if they’re used to humans (usually because they’ve been fed by tourists, which creates a whole host of problems. Koalas generally are not able to be handled by the public - I think Qld, possibly South Australia are the exceptions. Not as cute as they look either...they’ve got bloody big claws and they bite (though not as dangerous as drop bears ...)
  14. LokiPoki

    Wheelchair Transport in new Zealand Ports

    When we did round NZ last year, both those ports (plus Tauranga - as the ship docked in Mt Maunganui, which is a little way from Tauranga itself - though I assume your tour guide will pick you up from the ship anyway?) had a shuttle service running. It appeared that there was only a single bus each time that was wheelchair accessible, so if you take that option, make sure you allow plenty of time to return to port... with the multitude of scooters, I think I had to wait for the bus to come around three times in Dunedin before I could get on. Also very steep to get off the bus, as the bus just pulled up on the asphalt rather than having a kerb to drop the ramp onto. Once there, I found Wellington and Dunedin both okay to navigate in my manual chair - decent pavements, and enough kerb cutouts and the like to get around okay. Not sure about independent tour operators or taxis though, sorry.
  15. Assuming no salties have been sighted! I’ve swum at Wangi Falls and they - and Litchfield generally - I find a spectacular place, but when my parents visited a couple of years later they weren’t permitted anywhere near any of the pools as a number of large crocs had been sighted in the weeks before they were there. Agree about a tour of Darwin being worthwhile if OP decides to pass on Litchfield.