Enjoy the sweet taste of freedom in your 4WD with our carefully curated list of the best beaches to drive on near Sydney. If you’re new to the 4WD beach driving life or need a stretch of sand to give your rig a run on, we’ve got you covered.


We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Countries on which these adventures take place who have occupied and cared for these lands and waters for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

I’ve always been a beach baby and man, there’s truly no feeling like your first 4WD beach run. Zooming (safely) down a long stretch of sand, roof off, wind on your face as waves crash beside you, is one of the best experiences you can have. 

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Taking your 4WD for a run on some of the best beaches near Sydney’s gotta be on the top of your list. There are several beaches near Sydney that allow car access, and we’ve rounded up the top five for you to check out. Before we get to that, there’s some important info you need to know to help prepare you for a safe beach drive.

Read more: The Best 4WDing Near Sydney

Photo thanks to Roz Vincent

4WD Beach Driving Safety Checklist

  • Sounds obvious, but if you own an AWD, don’t attempt to drive on the beach. It’s only going to end badly for you. Read about the difference here.
  • Also, know how to use your 4WD. Again, sounds obvious but if you’re new to 4WDing, it’s a good idea to do a course or have someone teach you how to properly drive your 4WD. This is a good article to help you out.
  • Always go beach driving with another 4WD. This is in case you get stuck and need to be winched out. It even happens to 4WD pros, so don’t think you’re immune.
  • Keep a pair of Maxtrax and a winch handy in the boot. A shovel is important too, as is a snatch strap. You can never be too cautious! A UHF radio is also wise so you can easily communicate with your mate in another 4WD, or in case you need assistance and there’s no phone reception.
  • A tyre deflator/inflator is also essential for beach driving. Some tracks will have a deflator nearby, but having your own is handy.
  • Speaking of, deflate your tyres before beach driving! Each 4WD will have its own recommendations for the correct PSI level, so make sure you check. The softer the sand, the lower the PSI. 
  • Check the tides! Know when high and low tide is before driving on any beach. The tide creeps up on you very quickly (trust me), so try to stay on the beach for only two hours each side of low tide.

Read more: How To 4WD For Beginners

Best Beaches to Drive on Near Sydney   

1. Redhead Beach 

Distance / Time from Sydney: 142km north / 2 hours
Length: 11km
Entry fees: $33 (weekly permit)

Redhead Beach is situated at the northernmost tip of Nine Mile Beach and is one of the most beautiful beaches to drive on near Sydney. It stretches a glorious 11km of expansive white sand with killer views of the ocean. Better yet, it’s dog friendly, so your fur babies can tag along for the ride too. 

Looking for dog friendly camping? We’ve got you covered.

It’s right next to Belmont Wetlands State Park, so once you’ve hosed down your rig you can head to the state park for a heart-pumping hike. You’re also pretty close to Newcastle for a post-adventure feed at the pub.

You’re allowed to drive on the sand with a 4WD between Awabakal and Jewel Streets. Access to the 4WD section of the beach is from Awabakal Street or Kallaroo Road near Jewells crossing.

Buy a Permit


Photo thanks to Tim J Keegan

2. Mungo Beach 

Distance / Time from Sydney: 234km north / 2 hours and 50 mins
Length: 21km
Entry fees: National park entry fee

Less than three hours from Sydney you’ll find Mungo Beach in the beautiful Myall Lakes National Park. With Mungo Brush Campground nearby, it’s the perfect spot to combine a good campout and beach run in your 4WD. It’s a pretty cruisy beach drive, so ideal for newbies and pros alike. 

With epic sand dunes for the hardcore drivers and plenty of waves to be surfed, hiking tracks, kayaking, and fishing, there’s something for everyone. Should be noted, however, the current is strong in this area so check the weather before you go!

Please note: Only drive in permitted areas as dune and beach environments can be fragile and provide habitat for native species.

Buy a Permit


Photo thanks to Nils Wedding

3. Kurnell Beach (Boat Harbour)

Distance / Time from Sydney: 38km south / 50 mins
Length: 150m
Entry fees: $30-$35 depending on the day

If you’re looking for a beach to drive on that’s really near Sydney, you won’t find one much closer than Kurnell Beach (Boat Harbour) on the Kurnell Peninsula. This short but sweet 4WD beach is the perfect place for the uninitiated to practice their skills, but it’ll set you back $30 Mon-Fri and $35 on Sat-Sun. 

However, it’s dog friendly, allows portable BBQs, has lots of food and drink options around and is a great spot for fishing and swimming. 

Please note! Due to an increased amount of people heading out to Boat Harbour to enjoy the sun, sand, and sea, the owners of Holt Estate where the beach resides have limited the amount of season and day passes available. Make sure you’ve got yours before you drive out there to avoid disappointment! 

Buy a Permit

4. Stockton Beach

Distance / Time from Sydney: 175km north / 2 hours 10 mins
Length: 32km 
Entry fees: $33 (for 3 days)

Ask any 4WD lover where’s the best beach to give your rig a good run and they’ll no doubt say Stockton. For this reason, it gets very busy – especially on the weekends. However, it also means you’re likely to meet plenty of like-minded friends along the way.

With plenty of sand dunes in various sizes, Stockton Beach is the ideal track for newbies to the pros. The beach itself is also a beautiful spot for a post-run swim or surf. It’s also known to be a pretty epic whale-watching spot! 

Read more: Remember to leave no trace!

Buy a Permit


Photo thanks to Adrian Gray

5. Samurai Beach

Distance / Time from Sydney: 205km north / 2 hours 35 mins
Length: 3km 
Entry fees: No entry fees 

If you’re an avid off-roader with a penchant for nudity, you’ll absolutely froth over Samurai Beach near Port Stephens. It’s a short trip from the stunning Nelsons Bay, and it doesn’t require a permit to drive on, or clothing for that matter – aces!

Read more: Skinny Dipping Near Sydney

The entrance to the beach is unsigned and easy to miss if you’re not paying attention – follow Gan Gan road to the Samurai Beach access trail. The access trail itself is narrow and sandy (mostly firm sand, however), and winds through the trees before hitting the open dune system. That’s when the real fun starts, as you hit the soft stuff. Driving on the dunes is forbidden – so just don’t do it, OK? 

There’s a campground behind the beach, which is also clothing optional, however, you’ll need to book if you’re going to set up shop for the night. 

Book a Campsite


Photo thanks to Brian Yap

This is just the tip of the sand dune when it comes to great beaches to drive on near Sydney. Jump in the 4WD, get out there and find some more!

Driving on the beach FAQs

Which beach can you drive on in Sydney?

Kurnell Beach is the most accessible beach top drive on in the Sydney area.

Where can you drive on the beach in Australia?

There are many places you can drive on the beach in Australia, just make sure you check the National Parks website when driving on beaches located in national parks as different regulations may apply

Do you need a permit to drive on beaches in NSW?

Yes! Most beaches require a permit for your vehicle to drive on the sand. Simply go to the website of the council area in which the beach is located and apply for a permit.

Is driving barefoot illegal NSW?

No, driving barefoot is not illegal in NSW.

Is it illegal to drive with sandals NSW?

No, driving wearing sandals is not illegal in NSW.

What is the longest drivable beach?

Stockton beach is the longest drivable beach in NSW. It is 32km long


Feature photo thanks to Peter Nijenhuis

Table of contents photo thanks to @jackjbrookes