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Published May 7th 2021
Quad bikes, camels, horses & coins
Are you planning on going to the Stockton Sand Dunes at Birubi Beach? Then you are guaranteed to have a good time! They are the largest moving sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere, so what you see there on one day, may be completely different the next - so take plenty of photos to capture your experience. The sand dunes are so vast, your photos will turn out looking like you are in the middle of the Sahara Desert!
Parking can be an issue in the summer holidays, so get there early and enjoy a coffee from the surf club Kiosk to wake you up, or grab a table at Crest Cafe and watch the waves from your seat. When ready, take a walk up to the lookout and read about the history of this unique landscape, which is part of the Worimi Conservation Lands, then prepare to have some fun!
1/ Sand Boarding down the sand dunes on a board is a fun activity for the whole family. Each day, the sandboarding companies check out the dunes for the largest sandhills and then you take a 4WD bus out to them, to have a thrilling slide. Some sandhills can get up to 30 - 50 metres high! See the websites for Sand Dune Safaris, 4WD Tours R Us and Port Stephens 4WD Tours for details.
2/ Quad Bike Tours are held all week long, so you can burn through the sand dunes with your mates! Go on a tour and learn about local attractions, visit shipwrecks, ride along the beach and hear stories from the guides. See the websites for Sand Dune Adventures and Quad Bike King. Book in early in the summer holidays!
3/ Camel Rides are available through the sand dunes and if the conditions are right, they may also take you for a walk through the waves. The sight of the row of camels slowly bobbing through the dunes is an iconic sight in Birubi Beach. If you are looking for Instagram shots, then a selfie on a camel is a must! See the website for Oakfield Camel Rides.
4/ Horse Riding is also another popular activity along the 32 kilometres of Stockton Beach. Feel the wind in your hair as the surf crashes next to you. Riders need to be of intermediate skill level and be over the age of 14. See the Sahara Trails website for details.
5/ Take a 4WD Tour to Tin City and learn about the history of the ramshackle shacks, including how they were used by shipwrecked sailors and as a bombing range! Afterwards, go for a slide down the sand dunes for some fun on the way back. See the 4WD Tours R Us and Sand Dune Safari websites for details.
6/ Aboriginal Culture Tours will take you through the sand dunes with an indigenous guide and show you how to dig for freshwater, learn about bush resources, ride past ancient campsites (middens) and then sandboard down one of the largest sand dunes on the beach. See the 1.5 Hour Aboriginal Culture & Sand Boarding Quad Bike Tour on the Sand Dune Adventures website for details.
7/ Self-Drive Your 4WD along Stockton Beach is possible, if you purchase a 3 day vehicle permit from the Worimi Conservation Lands. The entrance to the 4WD road is off Gan Gan Road, on the way into the town of Anna Bay. See the website for Worimi Conservation Lands for permit details, beach driving tips, rules and details.
8/ Running Down The Sand Dunes is completely free and a lot of fun for all ages! You don't need to take a tour to the sand dune hills, you can walk there yourself - if you have the energy! I would recommend that you wear shoes on the walk to the dunes, as sometimes you will find broken glass and sharp shells unearthed by the wind, in the valleys of the dunes.
9/ Look For Animal Footprints and see if you can spot any animal life in the dunes. Follow tiny footprints to see where they go and make guesses as to what they could be. If you are still and silent, you can sometimes see birds camouflaged in the dunes and sea eagles circling high up in the air. Every time you visit, you will experience something new!
10/ Look for Unusual Treasure while you are walking through the dunes. When I visit there with my daughter, she enjoys looking for tiny animal bones and finds multiple pieces of boat rope to tie together. It is interesting to see what your kids will creatively do with what they find. On one day, she found a handful of tarnished coins that she cleaned up and spent!
Why don't you slap on some sun cream and hit the sand slopes this weekend?