Stockton Beach, NSW


4WDing across the 32km Stockton beach awaits the Sydney city slicker just two hours from the CBD.

Stockton Beach is said to be the 4WD and dune buggy playground capital of Australia, so if you’re reading this, then it is bound to appeal to you for a fast weekend jaunt away from home. Located north of Hunter River, Stockton is just two hours’ drive from Sydney via the freeway. Once there you have a giant stretch of 32km’s of sand to play on from Stockton to Anna Bay.

Things to do at Stockton Beach

4wd Driving On The Beach

Stockton Beach camping

Stockton Beach Holiday Park is located right on the beach front and offers powered and unpowered grass camping sites close to the beach and local amenities.

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Stockton Beach sand dunes

Tire Tracks On The Sand Dunes

The dunes at Stockton Bight, which runs between Newcastle and Nelson Bay, are gigantic. Some are over 30m and if there are no waves to ride, the alternative sand-boarding will send you down the hill fairly quickly. Aside from the surf, the area is popular for fishermen and boaties.

The beach averages a km in width the whole way through making it the largest mobile sand mass in NSW, with dunes moving northwards 4m each year. The consistency of the sand is variable and can change from hard to soft in a matter of metres so let down the tyres in advance.

There are two entrances to the beach, the northern end at Anna Bay and the southern Lavis Lane. Pay caution, it’s not unusual to discover what seems to be a sheer drop of the north face. The beach front has its own hazards so always carry a tide chart and driving along the beach at dusk can be hazardous as the setting sun can be blinding.

Over many years Stockton Beach has been the site of numerous shipwrecks and aircraft crash sites. The Bight is home to the wreck of the Sygna, a Norwegian bulk carrier that smashed into the coastline in 1974. Parts of the ship remain and can be reached via a short drive along the beach.

4WD essentials

  • A long-handled shovel
  • A tyre pressure gauge
  • A tyre pump
  • Asnatch strap
  • A set of D-shackles

Stockton Beach itinerary

Camel Rides On Stockton Beach

Day 1: 4WD trip

If the weather allows it, spend day one doing what you came for and go 4WDing up and down that beach until your heart is content. Just make sure you sort your permit before arrival.

Day 2: Surfing, swimming and Port Stephens

Either spend the morning surfing and swimming or learning to do so. As mentioned this place has an abundance of great spots so make the most of it. In the afternoon travel to Port Stephens for lunch at a spectacular local restaurant. After lunch join the dolphin watch cruise in the calm waters of the bay.

View a guide to Port Stephens.

Day 3: Newcastle

Take a short drive (or five-minute ferry ride) to Newcastle and experience its restaurants , cafes, markets, shopping, movies, beaches and cycle ways. It’s perfect if you require a relaxing day at the Hunter Valley Wineries, Lake Macquarie, the Barrington Tops or a Port Stephens boat cruise.

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