If you're in the Sydney area and looking for a beautiful and adventurous place to visit for a day, try Stockton Beach.
What you can expect:
32 kilometers of beach 19th century shipwrecks Deserted shacks that form 'Tin City' – more about that later! Beautiful breath-taking view of kilometers of dunes Warmth (19-27 °C in winter, 8-18°C in summer!) What you can do (if you want):
Four-wheel drive (4WD) on the dunes Waterbed-ski in the freshwater lakes Run around and have the feeling you're in the Sahara
Have a great BBQ while you're at it
Entering the Stockton dunes is like entering unlimited kilometres of piles of sand. If you rent a 4WD car and you're not too bad at driving then you will definitely enjoy driving on the dunes of Stockton! It feels like a Mario Kart game: you drive up and down the sand and drift until those butterflies in your stomach turn into pure fear.
Though you should only fear when the wheels are stuck in the sand and digging doesn't help. Therefore we recommend that you shouldn't go by yourself. It's wise (and more fun) to go with a group and hire at least two cars. And be careful, some dunes are 30m high and very steep.
Stockton Beach is known for its 19th century shipwrecks and for 'Tin City', a cluster of shacks built in the 1930s and occupied by squatters. How and whereabouts can you find this city? – No one really knows! Its sand moves with great speed and with tremendous amounts: it has been reported to move inlands at a rate of 17 hectares per year. So because of this, Tin City only appears a few times a year.
Going to the Stockton Beach is not costly if you're able to split the money amongst your friends (think of: renting 4WD cars, petrol, BBQ meat: $70 each for a great day) and it's roughly a 2-hour drive (220km north from Sydney). You can access the beach via Lavis Lane in Williamtown or via Anna Bay in Porth Stephens with a special purchased permit. Go via Lavis Lane and you'll pass the conservation area 'Worimi' where you can spot some wild kangaroos.
Stockton Beach can offer you the ride of your life (4WD driving is such an experience), give you the feeling you're in the Sahara witnessing a Fata Morgana (Tin City disappears in the sand now and then) and can be a lovely beach for you and your friends to chill out on. Have fun!
Wow! This definitely looks like something me and the kids could do over the weekend! They are big fans of Mario Kart and I sure as hell like me to do some crazy driving!
By Anonymous Tuesday, 2nd of August @ 09:09 am
Fantastic. It definitely sounds like a place where I can 'test' the true capabilities of my 4WD, as well as have loads of fun with friends and family.
By Anonymous Wednesday, 3rd of August @ 06:04 am
Wow that looks so nice!!! Thanks for this tip! I am really going here soon :-) nice!
By Anonymous Wednesday, 3rd of August @ 10:24 pm
That's awesome!!! Thanks for the tip!!
By Anonymous Friday, 5th of August @ 09:59 am
That looks amazing! Very nice tip, thanks!!
By Anonymous Sunday, 7th of August @ 01:33 pm
Just a reminder please be careful on sand dunes seen many serious accident - straight on approach or you can roll and stop at the top, if it is too step drive the ridge till safe, no angled turns, if you have a cb aerial put a flag on top so others can see you and if stuck drop tyres 5 psi at a time till you can go - great article brought back memories of the 80's, you can always join a 4wd club to obtain experience
By Anne Dignam - senior reviewer Monday, 23rd of December @ 06:32 pm
I grew up in the area, make sure you take a cardboard box to sit on and go flying down the sandhill - best fun ever! And what Anne says is very true, some terrible accidents by people who dont know what they're doing.