Nine Mile Beach, with Redhead Beach at its northern end, is one of only a few beaches in NSW where you can drive your 4WD on the sand, park up and spend the night.


  • 4WDing on the beach
  • Beach camping
  • Surfing
  • Beach fishing

Redhead Beach

What better way to spend a weekend than a 4WD camping adventure up to Redhead Beach, Lake Macquarie. Only a short 2-hour drive from Sydney, it’s well worth the drive to get a front-row seat for sunset or sunrise over one of the many dunes.

Using a drone? Make sure you check out local rules and regulations first.

Driving on Nine Mile Beach

When you’ve gained access to the beach, take your time and drive with care to avoid getting bogged, overturning the car or getting hit by oncoming waves. Ensure your tyres are let down to around 10-15psi so they don’t cut into the sand. As there were 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.

Don’t forget a permit! The closest permit retailer is Metro Redhead Petrol Station, 100 Collier St. More details below.


red head beach, jimmy DS, 4WD cockpit


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 the creek to escape the heat and cool down. With good swell, there’s surf at Nine Mile  Beach, making it a good spot to park your car and go for a quick wave.


red head beach, jimmy DS, 4WD track


If you’re into fishing, you’ll be sure to find a good beach spot to fish from. The back side of most of the sand dunes are blocked off from vehicle access but there’s 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.

One thing we brought was a hammock and we hung this between 2 of the cars making for a good spot to chill and sleep!


red head beach, jimmy DS, 4WD hammock


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

Nine Mile Beach is an awesome spot for beach 4WDing, camping, fishing and swimming. Redhead Beach at the northern end is patrolled, but you’ll need to park your car and walk over.

Nine Mile Beach Driving Permits

Before you get to the beach, be sure to go get a beach driving permit, either online, simply fill out the application form and allow seven 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 $220 on the spot. Head to the Belmont Wetlands State Park beach access track where you will gain access.

Essential Gear

  • 4WD 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 + firewood
  • Fishing gear

How To Get There

From Sydney, head towards Hornsby to the M1 and follow this highway to the A43, taking the Lake Munmorah exit off the M1. Continue along the A43 till you see the Redhead Beach signs or the Belmont Wetlands State Park.

If you are going on the beach, make sure that your vehicle is capable of going on the sand and you have the proper equipment if you get bogged or stuck on the sand dunes.


  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • 4WD fun
  • Surfing

Skill Level

Intermediate – must have an understanding of 4WDing if you are accessing the beach with a vehicle.