Stockton Beach – the longest beach in New South Wales at 32 kilometres in length – leads sand-savvy four-wheel drivers from Newcastle to Port Stephens via brilliant white sand dunes and uninterrupted ocean views.
The area belongs to the Worimi Aboriginal community, and there are a number of cultural sites to be aware of when you’re travelling through. Ensure that you display a valid Worimi Conservation Land permit while driving, which can be purchased from local service stations or the Port Stephens Visitor Centre.
You’ll also find the remains of shipwrecks and a historic squatters village known as Tin City (made famous by Mad Max), both of which are half-buried in the sand. Let these landmarks be a warning to you – obey the tide or your vehicle may fall victim to the same fate.
In recent years, the dunes have been battered by severe storms, leaving parts of them inaccessible and dangerous. Vegetation is key to preserving the area, as it keeps many of the dunes intact, which is why you should avoid driving over existing vegetation.