Top five Australian beach drives
If you have a 4WD that is set up for beach driving then you might already have some great beach drives under your belt. There is nothing like taking off for a few days and heading for the beach, particularly if you can cruise along the beach and camp in the bush overnight. If all this sounds like your kind of trip, here are 5 beach drives you might not have considered.
Rainbow Beach, Noosa
Whilst Noosa is famous for its long, silky white beaches, not many take to the beach in their 4WDs. This is a shame because this is a beautiful part of the world and the beach drive from Noosa North Shore to Rainbow Beach is some of the best 50kms you will ever experience. With sand cliffs and lush national parks on one side and the ocean on the other, you can enjoy camping, fishing and swimming on your way north or south.
Cloudy Corner, Bruny Island, Tasmania
If you are heading to Hobart in your 4WD, don’t forget to take a side trip to Bruny island via the ferry and then a short 2-3km beach drive to Cloudy Corner with two cheap and cheerful campsites. This is a remote location and the camp sites don’t have electricity or fresh water, but it’s also very beautiful and you might even see some of the resident penguins!
This 60km beach drive from Robe to Beachport is not for the faint-hearted, but if you have enough experience under your belt this is a trip you need to tick off your bucket list. Located on the Limestone Coast, Robe lies on one of our most breath-taking coastlines with plenty of spots for fishing, bushwalking and camping. The accessibility to the camping grounds varies and is generally via unsealed roads. You will need to bring your own fresh water and solar power and bogging is frequent on the sand, so don’t forget a shovel, sand tracks and a snatch strap.
Tims Thicket, WA
Just about everyone dreams of beach driving in Broome, but for something closer to Perth you can drive 90km south and check out Tims Thicket at Yalgorup National Park. Tims Thicket running down to White Hill Beach is a popular location for 4WD beach drives, but it’s only accessible all the way at low tide. Unfortunately, you can’t camp on this beach, so it’s suitable for day trippers only – but the fishing is awesome.
Stockton Beach, NSW
Just north of Newcastle, you will find the popular 4WD Stockton Beach, more than 30km of flat beach driving bordered by the huge Stockton Dunes (some up to 100ft tall) with numerous shipwrecks along the way and ending at Anna Bay in Port Stephens. There are plenty of designated camping spots behind the dunes, but beach camping is no longer allowed due to environmental damage.
Tips on beach driving
The two most important components of successfully driving along the beach and not becoming bogged are the pressure of your tyres and your speed. Reducing tyre pressures spreads the weight of your 4WD across a larger surface area, resulting in more traction and less likelihood of your tyres sinking into the sand. As a general rule, reduce the pressures by half normal and if that doesn’t work, take another 4psi off and that should do the trick.
Many beaches restrict speeds to 40km/hr and staying close to this speed will give you the momentum to skim over the sand and not become bogged. Driving on sand too slowly will inevitably result in bogging, so you need to keep up sufficient speed so that the tyres don’t have time to sink. Also try to stay in high range so that you don’t spin your wheels, but if you do start to sink, drop into low range and this should give you enough traction to drive forward.