Ah mud. One of the key ingredients to having a great weekend. Now just add dirt bikes and you have the ultimate recipe for fun and adventure.
But where to ride is the next question. Well in the Newcastle area there are several options and it all depends on your circumstances. If you own a registered dirt bike and have a license to ride it, there is the Watagans National Park. The Watagan Mountains as they are known are situated west of Lake Macquarie and are a virtual haven for dirt bikers with endless trails and several camping spots if you want to take more than a day to check the mountains out. Of course you should always check with National Parks and Wildlife Service to see what permits are required.
If you want to take the guess work out of it you can take a guided dirt bike tour through the Watagan Mountains with Watagans Trail bike tours. They run one, two or three day tours and you can even hire a late model KTM 450 for the tour if you don't own your own bike or just want to try out something newer and faster than what you've got.
If sand is more you're style then try out Stockton sand dunes. This will also require a registered bike although it is the only place in NSW you can ride a bike that has recreational registration.
If your dirt bikes aren't registered and you want somewhere for you and perhaps the kids to ride check out Barliegh Ranch. Barliegh Ranch is located just north of Raymond Terrace off Italia road which runs off the Pacific Highway and unless you own or know someone that owns a private property this is the only place in the area you can legally unload your motorcross bike, your kid's peewees, thumpstars or just your old cluncker and go for a spin without requiring a license, registration, racing license or membership of a club. Simply pay a small fee (between $20 and $40 based on bike size), sign the waiver and ride to your heart's content.
There is a MX track and a junior and senior flat track. The MX track is a load of fun and a good challenge but if you are inexperienced it may be a little too much of a challenge and it might be best to start on the flat track. There is also a canteen that serves good food and drink which you will need to sustain yourself for a good days ride and toilet facilities.
If you don't ride dirt bikes then I have some serious advice for you. DO! Sure the initial outlay can be a bit disheartening but if you can tackle that hurtle, then for a few dollars for fuel per weekend, you will be provided with years of the most exciting hobby/sport/adventure that money can buy. And it's not just for the boys, I spend quite a bit of time in bike shops and on the tracks and there are more and more mums and daughters popping up on the dirt bike scene everywhere so you have no more excuses.