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Driving up to the water’s edge

Driving up to the water’s edge

Experience rough roads and relaxing backdrops on some of Australia’s best beach tracks.

Mount William National Park, Tasmania

The northern section of the Bay of Fires, on Tasmania’s east coast, extends into the secluded Mount William National Park. Two hours’ drive from Launceston, Mount William National Park is, like the south, fringed by gorgeous coastline – but, being further from any significant township, it’s less trafficked and has a somewhat wilder way about it. The landscape, stretching from Ansons River to Musselroe Bay, includes plummeting hills, rough headlands and white strips of beach streaked with the Bay of Fires’ characteristic lichen-hued boulders, while at the park’s extreme north a string of marshy lagoons is hidden by windswept coastal dunes.

Moreton Island, Queensland

About 40 kilometres offshore from Brisbane, Moreton Island is visible from the coast at Redland Bay, all the way up to the Sunshine Coast. Vehicle access is via barge, with only high-clearance four-wheel drives permitted on the Island. Moreton is a large sand island (aside from a few rocky headlands), and approximately 95 per cent of it is designated as national park. Its highest point reaches 280 metres above sea level at Mount Tempest, the highest coastal sand hill in the world and well worth exiting the vehicle to trek.

Stockton Bight, New South Wales

Slightly north of Newcastle, Stockton Beach’s expanse of monstrous sand dunes stretches just over 30 kilometres towards Port Stephens. The dunes offer some of the most challenging beach driving in Australia in an area that isn’t too heavily trafficked, especially midweek and outside of school holidays. They are also easily accessible and within a short drive of several enticing coastal towns.

Check out the Summer 2021–2022 edition of Caravanning Australia to discover more of Australia’s best beach tracks.

Pictured is Moreton Island. Image courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland.

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