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Published May 9th 2013
Waaatch Out Here I Cooomee
I am always keen to try new experiences, so whilst holidaying at Port Stephens recently, junior and I decided to try sandboarding.
We booked to go with Port Stephens 4WD tours and one sunny day made our way to Anna Bay, from where the tours operate. I had seen pictures of the sand dunes and was sure I would only be able to climb up the hill once. Secretly I hoped there was a chair lift that would transport us to the top of the dunes. But it wasn't to be.
Upon arrival at the dunes, we were given a lesson on how to go down the hill safely and handed a board. Then the climb up the hill began. I quickly figured out if I stepped into other people's footsteps, the walk would not be as difficult. And sure enough that worked.
As I got to the top of the hill, a stunning scenery opened up before me and since I left my camera at the bottom, I knew I was going to have to make another trip up to take pictures. Meanwhile junior was already on his board and speeding down the hill.
I looked around to see who else was going down to make sure we didn't bump into each other, when I spotted a lady sitting next to her board and watching everyone. I asked if she was next and she looked at me sadly and said "I've been sitting here for 10 minutes and I am too afraid to go". Looking down the hill, I could see why … it did look so steep and so big. But hearing all the laughter and happy screaming of those around us, I knew it was going to be fine.
So I turned to the lady and said to her "I know you can do it … why don't we go together?" She hesitantly sat on her board a few metres away from me. Then it was "3…. 2 …. 1" and I pushed off, flying down the hill, screaming … OMG what great fun! When I got down the hill, I turned around and saw her coming down as well. As she landed at the bottom of the dune, she was beaming. She had overcome her fear and was so proud. It was a magic moment.
The great thing with a sandboarding experience is that you can stay as long as you like. When you arrive at the lower car park on Birubi Beach (James Paterson Street, Anna Bay), you are taken by a 4WD bus to the sand dunes. The shuttles depart every 30 minutes and you can go sand boarding as soon as you arrive or relax for a while. When you are done, simply catch the next bus back.
It is a good idea to bring a sunscreen, drinks and snacks, especially if you are planning to stay for a few hours. You are given a bottle of water by the staff at the beginning, but this can quickly run out. You may also wish to bring a towel or a blanket to sit on and a hat for protection. Wear comfortable, cool clothing as it can get pretty hot. The tour operator has a tent set up, so you can rest in the shade between rides.
Birubi Beach has a lovely café, which serves a large variety of hot foods, snacks, drinks, coffee and ice cream. It is the perfect way to finish your day – a cold drink, with a stunning view of the beach.