Trek Information Page - Stockton Beach
Location:

Stockton Beach, NSW.

Regional Map:
LandSat Image:
Grade:

If you stick to the beach, and follow us on the tracks in and out, then it's easy going with practically no chance of getting stuck. Go off into the dunes, however, and this rating can jump anywhere from 3 to 5, so be warned: only go off to play in the dunes if you know what you're doing. Most of them are BIG and STEEP, which is, of course, why we go!

4WD Vehicle Requirements:
ESSENTIAL
RECOMMENDED
• Tyre gauge.
Extra jerry cans for fuel.
• Long-handled shovel.
• Extra spare tyre.

 

• Toolkit.
Basic spare parts & filters.
 
Dual-battery setup.

 

• Air compressor.
This would be a decided advantage for airing up. Otherwise use the air at the service station.

  • Radio.
  • Basic recovery gear.
Snatch strap, drag chains , gloves, etc.
Road Car Options:
You can leave your car in the car park at the end of Lavis Lane and hitch a lift up the beach to the camp site. You'll find quite a few cars in the car park - not everybody who enjoys this place is necessarily a 4WD owner.
Privacy Level:

Moderate level of privacy for play, with certain limitations. It can be quite a busy place, being the 4WD sand driving mecca of the eastern seaboard. As such, there's a lot of traffic, both along the beach and all around the dune areas. However, at night, the place really goes quiet, with the exception of the occasional vehicle travelling along the beach. There's the odd camp site and fisherman about, but you'll find that the dunes themselves are totally deserted. If you wanted to drive out into the dunes in the darkness, you could get your subby into all sorts of trouble out in the sands. It's like another planet - an alien landscape. I'll leave the rest to your imagination.

Activities:
Fishing   Swimming   4WD Sand Driving
Sand Dune Tobogganing
Accommodation:
Camping

Notes:

We'll be camping either on the beach, or in the dunes. Either way, it's sand, sand, and more sand. Make sure that your tent pegs are large enough to suit the soft ground - snow pegs work especially well here.
Access:
Sealed road up to the approach for the car parking area of Lavis Lane. Gravel road from there to the car park itself. Sand track thereafter; strictly 4WD only from that point onwards.
Places:

24 people or 6 trucks.

Cost:
If you have a 4WD and wish to drive on the beach, you must have a valid beach driving permit. A 6-month permit is around $12 and a yearly one is around $25. Permits may be purchased at the Metro service station located on the north-eastern corner of the roundabout at Lavis Lane in Williamtown.
Meeting Point:

In Sydney, we'll be meeting at the Budget Petrol service station located on the corner of Commercial Rd and Kingsgrove Rd, Kingsgrove.

33º 56' 23.4" S, 151º 06' 01.6" E (WGS84)

Departure Point:

The Metro service station located on the north-eastern corner of the roundabout at Lavis Lane in Williamtown.

Estimated Travel Time:
We should be on the beach around 3 hours after leaving the Budget Petrol service station in Kingsgrove.
Radio:
Unless otherwise advised, we will be on UHF CB Channel 15, with a frequency of 476,775 MHz. This is a simplex FM channel.
Fuel:
Fuel is available from the Metro service station at Lavis Lane.
Notes:
Cooking
Cook over an open fire, or use a liquid-fuel cooker.
Firewood
There's plenty of firewood available near the southern entry point of the beach. After setting up camp, we'll go for a wood run and gather enough material for one bloody good raging bonfire. There are plenty of dead trees to cut up. Stockton is one place where you don't need to worry about firewood.
• Power
Whatever you can get out of the inverter in your 4WD, or from batteries.
• Showers
Battery-operated showers or solar showers are the way to go.
Supplies
Some supplies are available from the Metro service station at Lavis Lane. These include drinks, snacks, ice, bait, toiletries, etc. Once you're on the beach, though, it's a different planet. You will need to be self-sufficient in everything else.
• Toilets
See the shovel? Grab a roll of paper and head for the dunes.
• Water
You will need to carry sufficient water to last you for the duration.
Trek Outline :

Stockton Beach lies around 30 km north of Newcastle, and is the 4WD mecca for the east coast of Australia. Some have said that the sand dunes are higher than those in the Simpson Desert. I'd believe it. Although it can carry a lot of 4WD traffic, it's relatively easy, even on a weekend, to have a large area of the place all to yourself.

Stockton Beach stretches for 32 kilometres, and is a very popular spot for beach fishing. At the southern end of the beach, you can see the wreck of the Sygna, which came to grief on the 26th of May, 1974. At the northern end of the beach, you can go swimming. It's not a good idea to go swimming anywhere but the northern end, as the rips are very big, and consequently very dangerous. There are huge gutters all the way along, and these make for great fishing spots.

We'll be making our way from the Lavis Lane end of the beach. This is the southern entry track. There is another entry track at Anna Bay in the north, but we will generally be using the Lavis Lane track. Stopping just before the track reaches out onto the dunes, we'll be airing down the tyres to around 0,8 bar, before proceeding straight for the beach. Cruising up the beach, we'll locate a suitable camp site, and set up.

The dunes make for an alien landscape, and as the sun sets and the beach becomes deserted, the place takes on a unique atmosphere. You can go walking on the dunes, fly down the dunes on a toboggan, go fishing, or just chill out walking along the beach, staring out at the horizon. We do a lot of driving over the dunes and this can be great fun if you have passengers who aren't used to being in a vehicle that's heading straight towards what appears to be a vertical wall of sand at 60 km/h.

One advantage of being at Stockton Beach is that if you really need to go and get something, like bait, drinks, or whatever, it's an easy drive down the beach and out through the track back to civilisation. Although there is a fair bit of traffic on the beach and quite a few vehicles tackling the dunes, you'll still have your privacy, unless you're silly enough to set up camp right in the middle of the tyre tracks as they go up the beach.

Some might think that going to what is, effectively, a huge sand pit, would be a boring experience and that there's nothing for you to do there. They haven't seen the sun set over those dunes. They haven't walked up a dune face in the soft sand, carrying a boogie board. They haven't sat on a camping chair right where the waves lap on the beach, and sipped a glass of red wine, while watching the moon rise above the surf.

They don't know what they're missing.

Dramatic sunset skies.
 
Watch the moon rise over the surf.
 
An alien landscape.

 


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