Trying something new: instead of a normal story or article, a report from the road. If you're reading this in an RSS reader and don't see the videos click here to check them out.
Last Sunday I hit the road with a bunch of new friends from Sydney to the Stockton Sand Dunes just outside of Newcastle in Port Stephens, NSW, Australia for a day of 4WD (in the indestructible Toyota HiLux, no less) and sandboarding.
The Stockton Sand Dunes are the largest moving sand dunes in the southern hemisphere and most visitors to Sydney have no idea the Dunes exist. Hell, most Sydneysiders don't seem to know the Stockton Sand Dunes exist.
You won't hear people talking about them and you'll find almost no information about them if you're looking up things to do near Sydney. Granted, Newcastle is ~180 kilometers from Sydney, but it's only a 2 hour drive.
Parts of the movie Mad Max were filmed here. Specifically in the Tin City area:
About 5km down the shoreline from Tin City is the Sygna shipwreck. The Sygna is really close to shore as you can tell by this photo:
After hitting the dunes for a while we chilled out, ate (thanks to my host Agata for making me an awesome vegan lunch!), and then headed out for more fun:
If you're a fan of the outdoors, getting dirty, and possibly getting hurt, the Stockton Sand Dunes are sweet as (as they say in Australia/New Zealand).
Don't have a car and want to get to Stockton Beach from Sydney? No worries. Get there in about 3 hours via public transportation:
- The CityRail Central Coast and Newcastle line train leaves from Central Station Sydney a few times per day. It arrives at Newcastle Station after a 2 hour 45 minute train ride.
- Walk to Newcastle, Queens Wharf (less than 200 meters) from Newcastle Station and get on the Stockton Ferry to Stockton, Mitchell St Nr Ferry Wharf. (5 minute ferry ride)
A full day pass on the train and ferry to Newcastle is $9.50 for an adult and $4.70 for a child. For more info on fares check out http://www.131500.com.au/faresandpasses/.
If you don't already have gear, there are a few companies that offer 4WD sand dune and sandboarding tours for $20 and up. You can also hire (rent) a quad (4 wheeler) if that's your bag.
Coming soon to Ridiculously Extraordinary: How To Travel The World In One Carry-on Backpack. Everywhere I go people ask me "Is that all your stuff?" and responding with a prideful "yes" is one of my new favorite feelings. ;)