Escape to Red Head Beach, Lake Macquarie (NSW)

Highlights:

  • 4x4ing.
  • Camping.
  • Surfing.
  • Beach Fishing.

What a way to spend a weekend with the boys, then a 4×4 camping adventure up to Red Head Beach, Lake Macquarie. This spot is one of only few places where you get beach access with a vehicle and you are able to camp on the beach. Only a short 2 hour drive from Sydney, it is well worth the drive to get a front row seat of either the sunset or sunrise over one of the many dunes at Red Head Beach.

Essential Gear

  • 4×4 car
  • Water & Food
  • Surfboard
  • Camping gear (sleeping bags, swags, cooking gear, camping chairs and hammock)
  • Air Compressor
  • Tyre Gauge
  • Cameras
  • Towels / Sunscreen / Swimming clothes
  • Music
  • Lights or fire making tools
  • Fishing Gear

How to get there

From Sydney, head towards Hornsby to the M1 and follow this highway road to the A43, taking the Lake Munmorah exit off the M1. Continue along the A43 till you see the Red Head Beach signs or the Belmont Wetlands State Park.  Before you get to the beach, be sure to go get a beach driving permit, either online at www.belmontwetlands.com.au, fill out the application online and allow 7 days for the permit sticker to be sent out, or you can purchase directly from one of the local outlets – Readhead Metro Petrol Station, Ocean Jewel Take Away, Belmont North, Marks Point News Agency and Belmont Golf Club. A full list of outlets are on the Belmont Wetlands website.

Once you have got your beach access permit, make sure you have this displayed on the left hand visor in your car or the rangers will fine you on the spot $220. Head to the Belmont Wetlands State Park beach access track where you will gain access.
Make sure that if you are going on the beach that your vehicle is capable of going on the sand and you have proper equipment if you get bogged or stuck on the sand dunes.

Activities

When you have gained access to the beach, take your time and drive with care to avoid getting bogged, over turning the car and or getting hit by oncoming waves. Ensure your tyres are let down to around 10-15psi. As there was a few of us and our cars we decided to just cruise around the beach, going up and down the allocated driving zones, testing out our cars and taking in the surroundings.

We made our way to the creek at the bottom of one of the dunes, where most people had set up camp and were using this creek to escape the heat and cool down.
With good swell, there is surf at this beach, making it a good spot to park your car and go for a quick wave.

If your into fishing, you’ll be sure to find a good beach spot to fish from. Behind most of the sand dunes are blocked off from vehicle access but there is a small spot just behind the creek where you can still take your cars and head to a more private area to explore or to set up camp, which we ended up doing to escape the wind. Just be sure not to disturb the vegetation and clean up after yourselves. 

We stayed the night away from the beach just behind the sand dunes near the creek, where we set up camp for the night, getting our camping gear and cooking gear out.

One thing we bought was a hammock and we hung this between to of the cars making for a good spot to chill or to even sleep at night.

Setting up a camp fire was a way to cook our food but also keep us warm at night which definitely needed as it got quite cool at night. It also was a way to create some light at night and a place to chill at night with music playing as we sat down as a group and swapped stories and tried to crack some jokes.

Skill Level

Intermediate, must have an understanding on 4×4 if you are accessing the beach with a vehicle.