A weekend trip to the beach during spring and summer is almost an Australian tradition. If you’ve got access to a 4WD, the fun doesn’t have to stop when you reach the coast. Here are four of the many fantastic beaches in Australia that allow four-wheel drivers surfside.
This 200km coastal route in Queensland truly deserves to be at the very top of any list of beach drives. Starting on the white sand at the northern end of world-famous Noosa, you’ll take your four-wheel drive on a circuitous path along beaches of Fraser Island, Tin Can Bay and Rainbow Beach. This route includes a trip on the car ferry at Tewantin to reach Fraser Island, and on the barge from Inskip Point back to the mainland.
Stretching between Newcastle and Port Stephens in New South Wales, Stockton Beach is a 32km-long stretch of coastal paradise. It’s the longest beach in New South Wales, and is home to the largest mass of mobile sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere – making for great sand driving. The beach skirts the edge of Worimi National Park, so make sure to head away from the water to see the many fascinating cultural sites there managed by the local Worimi Aboriginal community.
This beach drive between historic port towns is not for novices. The route between Robe and Beachport involves a lot of soft sand, steep dunes, dangerous tides and jagged rocks, so it’s best suited to experienced four-wheel drivers. Those who have the skills will be greatly rewarded, as this stretch of the South Australian Limestone Coast is world renowned.
Most tourists tackle this 22km stretch of cliff-lined beach on the back of a camel, but Broome’s Cable Beach is also popular with the local 4WD community. Time your trip to reach Gantheaume Point at low tide so you have a chance to see the dinosaur footprint impressions in the rock, which are believed to be more than 130 million years old. Check in with the Visitor’s Centre before heading out in spring and summer, as restrictions can be in place during turtle nesting season.
Whichever Australian beach you decide to drive, make sure you follow the basic sand-driving guidelines. Road rules still apply (including speed limits), check the tides, lower your tyre pressure for traction in soft sand, and carry recovery equipment.