Our pick: five beaches to drive on Down Under
Driving is fun. But driving on sand is more fun.
Got a craving for the great outdoors? Rent yourself a 4WD whip, read up on all the dos and don’ts and then hit the beach. Which one, you ask? Here’s our tip for anyone keen to wake up with sand in the sheets and A-grade surf at your feet.
Tassie is a dazzling treat in summer and a windswept romance come the cooler seasons. No matter which season you choose to venture out in, good times are pretty much guaranteed on the 30 kilometre stretch from Macquarie Heads up the coast along Ocean Beach. Be sure, though, to stay below the high tide mark should you go in summer – as this is where native wildlife and birdlife breed. Don’t forget your camera, obvz.
Cape Le Grand
If you don’t know about Lucky Bay, prepare those eyeballs of yours for a treat. It’s said to have the whitest sand Down Under and it’s the place where Elise Cook took THIS shot. Driving from Wylie Bay to Cape Le Grand is a must-do if you’re on Oz’s west coast – plus it’s a perfect shortcut to stop in at Lucky Bay.
Stockton Beach is like a whole other world, a beautiful alien planet that reminds you of almost every post apocalypse movie you have ever seen. It’s the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest mass of mobile sand dunes and NSW’s longest beach, clocking in at 32 kilometres. Just three hours north of Sydney, you’ll find plenty of fodder for your Insta feed, waves to ride and dunes to climb. Plus, it’s lined with rusting shipwrecks and Tin City – the historic squatters village some still call home. If you don’t want to DIY drive, there are 4WD, quad bike and camel rides to explore the area.
North Stradbroke Island
The locals call it Straddie and you’ll call it your 4WD paradise. It’s Oz’s second biggest sand island, so there’s plenty of beach to test those tyres on. There are heaps of camping sites if you’re keen to sleep under the stars, or hit up Airbnb for a beach batch on the cheaper side. By way of drives, you can drive along the beach at the tip end to Point Lookout before heading south. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, whales and plenty of surf.
Coffin Bay National Park
Looking for a just-about-deserted beach for a sleepover under the night sky? Coffin Bay National Park is your go-to. Not only is it the source of Coffin Bay oysters (get involved), it’s generally pretty quiet so you’re almost guaranteed the place to yourself. Found on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, the campsites are waterfront accessed by driving north at – and this is the important part – low tide.