The weekend has finally arrived and not a minute too late either. But what to do? I am looking for an adventure this weekend and some great scenery. It's time to get the four wheel drive out of the shed and head to Stockton sand dunes for some fun.
Stockton dunes are just north of Newcastle on a part of the cost line known as the Stockton bite. The best access to the dunes is off Lavis Lane at William town. Just follow the signs to Newcastle airport either past Stockton or northbound on the pacific Highway through Hexam. The service station on the corner of Lavis Lane will supply you with a beach permit which is required to get on the dunes and it's a good place to fuel up and pick up some bait if you intend to throw in a line on the beach.
You don't need the biggest, most kitted up monster truck to drive on the beach and I quite often come across standard Honda CRVs and the like, with mum, dad and the kids all having a ball. It's all about getting your tyre pressures right and using the correct driving technique.
However if you do own one of the standard 'soft-roader' type vehicles like the CRV you are best stick to the beach or the well-defined tracks. Make sure you drop your tyre pressures down to about half the normal rated road going pressure for your vehicle, engage the four wheel drive (low range if you've got it) and try to keep the momentum up through the sand. And if you're still not feeling too confident about it, go and enrol yourself in a four wheel drive course for peace of mind before heading up there.
For the more serious four wheel drivers. Grab your shovel, snatch straps and test your driving (and digging) skills out in the dunes.
There are lots of great Kodak moments along way; Tin City (tin huts in the middle of the dunes that people actually live in), The Signa ship wreck, that big blue thing just east of the sand or just a great shot of you and your mates digging like mad to un-bog your four wheel drive. Any way you look at it it's a great day out.