Did you know if you were to visit one Australian beach per day, it would take you more than 32 years to visit them all? Australia’s 60,000km coastline is home to nearly 12,000 beaches – some of which are best explored by 4WD. So here it is, the best 4WD Australian beaches to add to your off road bucket list!
Portland Dunes, Victoria
Location: 364km west of Melbourne
Closest Marshall store: Port Fairy
Portland Dunes are located within Discovery Bay Coastal Park, a remote reserve stretching between Cape Nelson and the South Australian border. The park is home to 55km of ocean beach, freshwater lakes, rugged coastal headlands and rolling dunes that make for a unique off road experience. A number of tracks provide controlled access to the beach for those keen for a spot of fishing or swimming. There are also a number of campgrounds within the park for those keen to settle in overnight.
Vehicle and camping access permits can be booked through the Portland Dune Buggy Club.
Nine Mile Beach, New South Wales
Location: 140km north of Sydney
Closest Marshall store: Charlestown
Nestled amongst the native bushland, coastal wetlands and dunes of Belmont Wetlands State Park, this 4WD track stretches between Blacksmiths Beach in the south, to Redhead Beach in the north. With more than 10km of sandy coastline to explore, you’re bound to find your own private piece of paradise. Edging on the northern tip of Lake Macquarie, the park is also a popular spot for fishing, swimming and surfing. There are two access points – Kalaroo Road near Jewells Crossing and Awabakal Street at Blacksmiths Beach.
Vehicle and camping permits can be booked through the Belmont Wetlands State Park website.
Myall Lakes National Park, New South Wales
Location: 95km north of Newcastle
Closest Marshall store: Tuncurry
Home to large freshwater lakes, coastal headlands and heritage-listed Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse, Myall Lakes National Park is a must for those keen to get off the beaten track. There are two beaches in the park that allow 4WD access – Mungo Beach in the north, and Lemon Tree Beach in the south. There are many campgrounds located within the park, all of which serve the perfect base for vehicle-based beach fishing, surfing, sailboarding and kayaking along lower Myall River. Mungo Beach can be accessed from Dees Corner campground, while Lemon Tree Beach can be accessed from Piper’s Creek.
Vehicle and camping permits can be booked through the NSW National Parks website.
South Smoky Beach, New South Wales
Location: 306km north of Newcastle
Closest Marshall store: Nambucca Heads
The Mid North Coast of New South Wales is a mecca for 4WD beach enthusiasts, with more than ten accessible beaches scattered along the coastline between Diamond Head and Nambucca Heads. One of our favourite off road hot spots is South Smokey Beach, offering the longest stretch of 4WD access in the region. Spanning 14.5km in length, this long sandy stretch is nestled between Hat Head and South Smokey Lighthouse, both of which offer incredible views along the coast!
Vehicle and camping permits can be booked through the NSW National Parks website.
Stradbroke Island, Queensland
North Stradbroke Island is home to some of the most scenic 4WD beach drives in Australia. Some of the most popular tracks include Flinders Beach on the northern tip of the island and the 24km southern venture through Main Beach to Jumpinpin Channel. For the experienced off road adventurer, Keyholes Lakes Track is also a must! There are plenty of 4WD-only campsites scattered across the island, along with many hidden spots to enjoy world class diving, snorkeling, fishing and watersports. The island is accessible by ferry from Cleveland on the mainland.
Vehicle and camping permits can be purchased through the Queensland Department of National Parks website.
Great Sandy National Park, Queensland
Where beach driving meets beachfront camping! Located between Noosa Heads and Rainbow Beach, Great Sandy National Park is home to one of the most popular 4WD beach tracks in Australia. Stretching 30km in length, the Cooloola Way Track weaves through towering pine plantations, dense woodlands and rolling sand dunes. If staying overnight, Teewah Beach Campground offers multiple beachfront campsites in the Cooloola Recreation Area. This track can be challenging, so high clearance vehicles are recommended!
Vehicle and camping permits can be booked through the Queensland Department of National Parks website.
K’gari (Fraser Island), Queensland
Location: 212km north of Brisbane
Closest Marshall store: Harvey Bay
The only way to get around the world’s largest sand island is by 4X4! Home to the native dingo, natural swimming holes, coloured sands, the infamous Maheno Shipwreck and of course, 75 Mile Beach, Fraser Island is definitely one for the bucket list! The island is accessible by ferry from Inskip Point in Rainbow Beach, and River Heads in Hervey Bay and there are plenty of beachfront campsites to choose from.
Vehicle, barge and camping permits can be purchased through the Queensland Department of National Parks website.
Yorke Peninsula, South Australia
Location: 228 north of Adelaide
Closest Marshall Store: Adelaide
Boasting 700km of sandy coastline, Yorke Peninsula offers two incredible beach drives for 4WD adventurers – a 20km stretch between Parsons Beach and Minlacowie, and a scenic route between Flaherty’s Beach and Point Turton. Keep your eyes peeled as dolphins are regularly cruising alongside the peninsula.
Coffin Bay, South Australia
Location: 688km west of Adelaide
Closest Marshall Store: Port Lincoln
Situated on the tip of Eyre Peninsula and just 50km west from Port Lincoln, Coffin Bay National Park is a remote coastal wonderland offering fantastic boating, surfing, sailing, fishing, scuba diving and windsurfing. With towering sand dunes and coastal cliffs, the region’s 4WD beach trails are well worth the venture. The northern beaches of the national park are home to Coffin Track, an off road scenic route between Yangie Bay and Gunyah Beach.
Sandy Cape Track – Tasmania
Location: 314km north-east of Launceston
Closest Marshall Store: Smithton
One for the experienced drivers! Beginning in Temma, the initial route weaves through coastal headlands towards Greenes Creek. From here, drivers will be rewarded with a 12km stretch of remote and rugged coastline to Sandy Cape Beach. The views across Tasmania’s west coast from Sandy Cape Lighthouse are well worth the challenge. There are also a number of campsites located throughout the park – our favourites are Sandy Cape and Greenes Creek.
All drivers require an Arthur-Pieman Recreational Drivers Pass which can be cooked through the Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service website.
Yeagarup Dunes, Western Australia
Location: 349km south of Perth
Closest Marshall Store: Busselton
From Yeagarup Lake to Warren River, this short yet rewarding drive will have you climbing across some of the largest sand dunes in South West WA. While the route can be challenging, the views across the ocean from the top of the last dune are well worth it! The track continues down the dunes to Yeagarup Beach, before continuing south along the coastline to the idyllic waters of Warren River. We highly recommended staying overnight, with loads of incredible camping spots in South West WA to choose from.
Before you head off…
Australia’s diverse terrain caters to different driving abilities and conditions. While some beach tracks may be suitable for beginners, others require experienced drivers. Be sure to check tide times, weather conditions, required clearance levels and recommended tyre pressure for your vehicle before you set off. A reliable tyre deflator, 12V compressor and tyre pressure gauge will come in handy, as will a trusty shovel or snatch strap in case you find yourself bogged! If planning on travelling through salt water, Lanolin spray is recommended to avoid rust from developing underneath your vehicle.
A reliable battery is a must – especially for those remote corners of the Australian coastline, so don’t forget to visit your closest Marshall store for a FREE car battery check!
Curious about how best to set up your 4WD with batteries for the ultimate off road adventure? Watch this demo of a Marshall Batteries 4WD battery set-up for a Toyota Landcruiser. This battery set-up enables the 4X4 to travel through remote locations in rugged conditions and without mains power for extended periods of time.
And remember, if you find yourself in need of roadside assistance in Western Australia, you can always holler for a Marshall on 1300 627 742.