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Beach Camping - NSW coast


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My wife has long wanted us to have a 4x4 due to some perception of safety in traffic. I have never been keen on the idea for the reason I don't think I would have made use of the 4x4 features and all my raging against mobile sight screens in the city would therefore be hypocritical. However taking up beach fishing again and dismayed at accommodation costs for holidays has me thinking about getting a 4x4 for the next family car. The idea being we could occasionally get away and go camping somewhere, the kids could have some fun on the beach and I could have a go at some beach fishing. It might take bringing along a few mod cons for the wife to make this happen, but its the idea essentially.

Having no idea what options are around, what areas permit it, what the rules are or even what areas are practical for it I would like to tap into any information FR members might have on approaching this.

From what I can see there are a lot of long, open beaches to the north of Newcastle - are they generally accessible for 4x4 and if so are they allowed/suitable for camping? What recommendations would you have for someone who has never really done offroad driving to learn what is needed for handling a vehicle on the beach?

Any other options that you might suggest for someone wanting to do this sort of activity? Any input welcome.

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Beach driving does not require 4X4, all you need to do is reduce the psi to 16 to give you more surface contact. Anna Bay is the access point to that long beach north of Newcastle (stockton beach) and last i was there they have a tire inflation section to pump your psi back to road driving pressure. Give it a go it's hellafun.

As for camping. NSW is a pain when it comes to rugged camping, it's mainly designated sites and the desirable places like beach frontage are usually paid lots. That being said the state forests are free camping spots and you can find nice little getaways from the hussle and bussle of the suburban jungle.


Change the filter to include fishing and you'll have a whopping 7 sites :D But there are other places you can camp for free on a beach setting down south way. Personal favourite is Mystery bay http://mysterybaycampground.com.au/ (edit : Looks like they are now charging to use this place :( Guess my second choice Kangaroo Valley will be my go to place from now on. http://www.sca.nsw.gov.au/water/visit/bendeela-recreational-area )

Learning how to drive your 4x4 rig is recommended and there are plenty of clubs that will mentor you in regards to the vehicle you decide on or you can go to a 4x4 driving class held by dedicated driving schools. I recommend doing atleast 1 class so you get the basics of it down, you can even find classes that provide you with a truck to drive in. Most of your offroad driving is basically uneven untarred roads, forget about the image you see of 4x4's climbing mountains and splashing through raging river crossings, you'll only do that if you wish to persue that type of driving :)

If you do plan on getting a 4x4 for camping i suggest skipping the mods until it becomes a bi weekly exercise. The only Mod you'll need at startup will be a rooftop cargo rack where you can load your tent, luggage, comfort amenities and fishing gear while the boot takes the perishables (esky full of beer and ice).

Edited by LungFai
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Thanks - I currently have an SV6 that struggles to get clear of some kerbs, so I think it would end up playing bulldozer with its chin spoiler if I tried the tyre deflation :) But if something like a subaru forester is enough that is probably more practical for what I have in mind, I don't have visions of climbing boulders in the Kimberly - untarred roads are nothing new to me but my current vehicle is not well suited to it.

Is there anything that would prevent camping direct on the beach with a tent? That is what I had in mind.

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I drive a Rav4 2nd Gen and it drives better on the beach than my deceased Patrol (bottomed it and it snapped in two :) )

My bro-inlaw has the Forrester XT and that also handles sand, dirt and gravel with ease so yeah a Forrester can do your beach driving.

As for Camping on the Beach itself, have not done it, don't plan to either :D Too much sand = bitch of a clean up and creating anchor points in sand is harder than malleting in a tent peg into terra firma. But i don't think there are many places besides Fraser Island that has Sand Camping or allows camping on the sand. Find a place that is remote and has no Rangers and you're set.

Also leaving your truck stationary on the sand for an extended period of time that you are not familiar with usually results in a morning digging out your wheels :D

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Green Patch at Jervis Bay is pretty good. Campsites like Geroa/Gerringong are not to far away but not on the beach itself.


Most beaches do not allow you to drive along them, there is one down near Batemans, I think it was, just cannot remember its name.

If you are going to get into 4x4 and camping, have a look at the dual cab utes, the ability to throw everything in the back and still travel comfortably without rattles and squeaks cannot be underestimated..


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  • 4 months later...

I've driving on Stockton in my Prado.

It was a bit of fun, but did get stuck a bit.

Lower your tyres as much as you can and

if you have a compressor, take that so you can pump

them back up when you get on the tar again.

I'm thinking about heading up that way for an overnight fish

where we are expecting that more beer gets drunk than

casting happens, and falling asleep in a banana lounger!

you want to tag along?

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