Chris Kerr is no stranger to adventure but her dream of snorkelling at the Abrolhos Islands seemed out of reach, despite the archipelago being just 60 kilometres off the coast of her hometown in Western Australia.
However, some innovative disability aids recently made that dream possible, and she now hopes others with disabilities or mobility issues will be able to explore this remote paradise too.
Reaching the archipelago off the coast of Geraldton can be difficult, with access mainly by private boat, light charter plane or licensed tour operator.
When Ms Kerr and her husband Zane D'Mello first travelled to the islands a few years ago, they were stunned by their natural beauty.
Ms Kerr said one thing became clear to them after the trip.
"We believed that it could be so much more accessible to people with disabilities to experience how amazing it is out there," she said.
So after that visit, Ms Kerr was determined to find a way to return to the islands and explore their spectacular underwater world.
Ms Kerr started using a wheelchair after a horseriding accident when she was 15 and has since explored the world.
She loves discovering new places but accessing anywhere off the beaten track can be challenging.
"We've done lots of travel where Zane had to lift me, piggyback me," Ms Kerr said.
"I've had to crawl across floors and through doorways."
But she says as they get older, they are turning to tools that can aid their travel.
Creating an inclusive experience
One of the first challenges wheelchair-users face when trying to get to the Abrolhos Islands is boarding a charter plane.
Unable to find a passenger chairlift on the market, Ms Kerr and Mr D'Mello decided to make their own.
Mr D'Mello sketched a design up on the back of a napkin and approached a farmer with a knack for innovative tinkering.
The couple work for charity Access to Leisure and Sports (ATLAS), which became the vehicle for the project.
Through ATLAS, they were able to advocate for improved accessibility at the islands.
The WA government was funding infrastructure upgrades at the same time, so new boardwalks, toilets, and shelters on East Wallabi Island were all constructed with accessibility in mind.
A trial run
Ms Kerr trialled the new chairlift in December to see how much easier it made getting into a small charter plane.
"What it means is dignity, for one," she said.
"So for people with disabilities, or people who are older and have some limited mobility issues … it opens up a whole new world of opportunity that they can still experience [because] they can get into a light aircraft."
For the first time, Ms Kerr went snorkelling around the islands using a water scooter.
"It was something I've always dreamed of doing and here it was happening," she said.
"It was beautiful. I've never seen anything like it.
"It was just like a whole new world had opened up."
Ms Kerr said the chairlift, water scooter and other facilities were all available for the public to hire through ATLAS.
"Knowing that other people now can follow and have that same experience … It's very humbling that you can kind of make those changes and see it come to fruition."