The first Australian made portable wheelchair mat is giving people with disability more opportunities to explore the outdoors.

Designed and manufactured in country Victoria, the GOtrax mats can be used at the beach, by the river, at outdoor grass events, getting around the farm or the local park.

GOtrax director Michael Gooden said the mats are made by his third-generation family business. “Unlike rollout mats, the GOtrax mats are made from high-density plastic and form a rigid footpath-like surface when unfolded, making it easy to wheel on. When folded, the mats are easy to carry and store in the car boot,” he said.

Mount Gambier resident and avid gardener Sheena Moir, pictured, bought the ‘biggest set available’ after her initial trial of the mats.  “Before I had the mats my wheelchair would constantly get bogged, and I couldn’t get into all the spaces, so I used to let it get overrun. I can easily wheel over the animal burrows and uneven ground and get closer to the bushes to weed underneath. I can even whipper snip the edges,” she told F2L.

Her next outing with the mats is a family day at the beach, which she had not been to for a while “as I keep getting bogged”.

Port Fairy Surf Life Saving Club member Paul Buchanan has given the mats the thumbs up too after a test run with a fellow member who uses a wheelchair. “People with disability love the beach and sea as much as anyone and, if at all possible, we should try to enable them to access it,” he said.

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Photo: Hayden Morrish, HM Flash Finesse Photography