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A Guide to Short-Term Accommodation (STA) in Sydney

Sydney, is a city known for its stunning landscapes, vibrant culture, and a wide range of activities for everyone to enjoy. For people with disability, finding suitable short-term accommodation and accessible activities is crucial to ensure a memorable and fulfilling stay. We also understand the STA landscape can be a little bit confusing, so in this guide, we'll explore:

  • What is STA?
  • What can STA funding be used for?
  • How does the NDIS fund STA?
  • Unisson’s STA Hornsby cottage
  • The type of stays guests can plan with Unisson


What is STA?

Short-Term Accommodation (STA) is a gateway to new experiences, a chance to explore, learn new skills, re-energise and an opportunity to connect with people. STA supports people with disability to have a short stay away from their usual home, while providing planned respite for those caring for a person with disability.

What can STA funding be used for?

People can choose to tap into STA for a few hours a week, for a holiday, arrange for trained staff to support them at home or to simply plan a break.

What the NDIS may approve:

  • If it helps a person to do more activities
  • If it helps increase a person’s independence
  • If it helps a person maintain functional capacity
  • If it means a carer can support a person with disability for longer
  • If it reduces a person’s need for support in future

What the NDIS generally disapproves:

  • If a stay exceeds 14 days in a row, or a total of 28 days per year
  • If a stay is requested for purposes outside of STA guidelines

Read a more in-depth overview of the NDIS STA guidelines to ensure this is the right type of support.

How does the NDIS fund STA?

STA is funded under the Core Support category ‘Assistance with Daily Living’ (Category 1).

Each case is assessed differently depending on the amount of support a person requires. If a person requires higher levels of support from their informal network or carer, the more respite they may need. This in turn generally warrants a higher level of STA funding.

Here are a few examples of what STA funding might look like:

  • Jo has high support needs, with her primary carer being her mother. Due to the high level of daily support that is required  to be provided by Jo’s mother, a greater amount of respite may be required to sustain the support long term. The NDIS granted Jo with the full amount of STA funding available, this being 28 nights of respite accommodation.
  • Jessica has mid-level support needs, and is hoping to transition into a SIL house. To do so, Jessica needs to build up her independence and skills to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible. The NDIS provided Jessica with enough funding to cover a two-night weekend STA stay once a month for 6months.
  • Tom has low-level support needs, with goals to increase his community participation. Tom’s Uncle is his primary carer and can’t always take time off work throughout the school holidays. The NDIS granted Tom with enough STA funding to cover a 2-week holiday camp, to work towards Tom’s goal and allow his uncle to work.

Unisson’s STA Hornsby cottage

Unisson’s STA Hornsby cottage provides a supportive and happy environment, where guests can try new things, make new friends and learn new skills. Our prime location makes our cottage the perfect gateway to Sydney adventures where guests will have the chance to visit new places, try new activities, and be part of the local community.

There have been some big things happening at our STA Hornsby cottage recently. Our team have been working hard to make some exciting changes for our visitors, including:

  • New, private bathrooms have been added
  • Split-system air conditioning has been added to every bedroom
  • The common areas have been brightened up with new paint and light fittings
  • Additional accessibility features have been added to ease moving around the property
  • There is comfy new furniture, and the garden has been refreshed

Prior to staying, we work with our clients and their person of choice to plan activities and experiences that meet the individual needs and preferences of our guests. Our staff will also plan to make sure all support needs are met, including:

  • Personalised nutrition, meal planning and cooking
  • Personal care
  • Medication and appointment support
  • Attending day programs or maintaining existing routines

The type of stays guests can plan with Unisson

We work with our guests to understand what sort of stay they are looking for. This could be a special event trip, a holiday or a staycation within the comfort of our Hornsby cottage.

Special Event Trip

Sydney hosts an incredible array of exciting events and experiences. From the Sydney Royal Easter Show, to Vivid Sydney’s spectacular light show, an array of musicals and concerts, big sporting events, festivals and so much more. See below a few upcoming events to consider:

Sculpture by The Sea – 20th October to 6th November 2023

Sculpture by the Sea is returning to the Bondi to Tamarama Beach coastal walk as the world’s largest free to the public sculpture exhibition in 2023. The spectacular coastal walk will once again be transformed into a 2km long sculpture park over three weeks featuring more than 100 sculptures by artists from Australia and across the world. Make sure to have a read through the Sculptures by the Sea Accessibility information.

Find out more about Sculptures by the Sea.

Jurassic World: The Exhibition - 25th October to 3rd December 2023

Jurassic World: The Exhibition in Sydney's Superluna Pavilion, is an immersive experience bringing you face-to-face with life-size dinosaurs.

Walk through the iconic Jurassic World gates and prepare to be left in awe as the ground-breaking movie franchise is brought to life! This is the closest you’ll ever come to living dinosaurs in your own backyard. One carer can get in for free when attending with a person with disability. The exhibition is wheelchair accessible and offers SEN sessions for those who have sensory sensitivities, offering a quieter and calmer experience. 

Find out more about Jurassic World: The Exhibition

Wicked the Musical – 1st November to 15th December 2023

The Broadway sensation Wicked is coming to Sydney’s Lyric Theatre. Pulled from the Wicked website, take a read below to get an idea of what it’s about:

Wicked looks at what happened in the Land of Oz… but from a different angle. Long before Dorothy arrives, there is another young woman, born with emerald-green skin, who is smart, fiery, misunderstood and possessing an extraordinary talent. When she meets a bubbly blonde who is exceptionally popular, their initial rivalry turns into the unlikeliest of friendships… until the world decides to call one “good,” and the other one “wicked.”

Find out more about Wicked the Musical.

At Unisson we can work with our guests to plan their STA stay around particular events to get the most out of a trip. Guests can let us know their ideas and we can create a spectacular trip away together.

Holiday Stay

Sydney, Australia, is a a destination that offers something for everyone! When guests plan to have a longer holiday stay in our STA Hornsby cottage, we can work together to come up with an exciting itinerary. This itinerary can include things like:

  • A visit to Taronga Zoo Sydney
  • Exploring Sea Life Sydney Aquarium
  • Relaxing by the beach
  • A picnic in the Royal Botanical Gardens
  • A trip to Cockatoo Island
  • Posing at Madame Tussauds
  • Discovering the Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Attending an outdoor cinema experience
  • Jumping on a harbour cruise

The options are endless are we are here to help our guests make their stay truly unforgettable.



A stay-at-home holiday (staycation) in a short-term accommodation house offers a unique and inclusive retreat experience. Our specialised STA Hornsby cottage prioritises accessibility, comfort, and convenience, offering a space to unwind and recharge in a safe and calm environment. From wheelchair ramps and well-equipped kitchens to accessible bathrooms and bedrooms, every detail has been thoughtfully designed to cater to varying support needs.

Our STA Hornsby cottage offers a range of fun activities to enjoy in the comfort of the cottage. We have space to explore cooking and baking, a beautiful outdoor garden to sit in or tend to, a range of fun board games and puzzles, an indoor mini basketball hoop, lots of movies to watch, a range of arts and crafts materials and so much more. We can work towards building skills or guests can simply enjoy time to wind down.


To organise a tour of our STA Hornsby cottage or find out more information, call us on 1300 266 222 or reach out via the contact form and one of our friendly team members will be in touch!

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