Slow driving on the beach.

There is possibly no finer feeling in Australia than visiting a beach with no other people and driving your four-wheel-drive vehicle. Aside from you, there’s nothing except blue sky, a salty breeze, and clear water. Driving on the beach might be fun, but things can go tragically wrong if you’re not mindful of what you’re doing.

This article will go over 15 of the most crucial things to know when driving on an Australian beach.

 

1. Research

Before embarking on your adventure, make sure you thoroughly research it. This is crucial to find out which beaches you can drive to and what to expect. Utilize local government websites and famous 4WD magazines. If driving is permitted on a beach, there is normally a well-marked access path with suitable signage. Use established access routes; they are not only safer for your car but also help reduce unnecessary damage to your vehicle.

 

2. Road Regulations

Although the road you travel on may have developed, road rules will remain. Rules are there to assist you. As a result, it’s critical to follow guidelines and adhere to beach driving road rules. For example, make sure all passengers in your vehicle are strapped up, stick to speed limits, and don’t drink and drive.

 

3. Four-Wheel-Drive Vehicles

Don’t take an AWD to a beach driving trip, especially if the weather is dry and the sands are more likely to engulf your car. The areas you can take an AWD are limited because most have little clearance and no low range. However, it is possible to traverse the beach in an AWD after some rain. At this time, the ground is firm, but you must stay on the main tracks. A 4WD vehicle is always the best choice.

Beach driving adventure.

 

4. Tyre Pressure

The road tyre pressures for most 4WD vehicles are between 3238psi. You must reduce the tyre pressure to spread the tyre out and increase the sand contact area as you drive on the beach. Start with a pressure of 25 psi. This will increase the tyre tread by lowering the tyres. It should, however, not fall below 18 psi. On slick roads, this enhances traction. Lower tyre pressure can cause steering and braking difficulties, among other things. As a result, when driving, keep these modifications in mind. Before going back to the tarmac, remember to restore the tyre pressure.

 

5. Drive Slowly

Although the speed limit for a 75-mile beach is 50 mph in Australia, you are not forced to operate at that speed. Having enough velocity to keep the tyres on the sand is critical when driving on sand. The tyres will dig into the sand and sink even deeper if you drive at high speeds. When approaching loose, soft sand stretches, maintain or slightly increase your speed. The slower the vehicle travels, the longer it will take to sink into the sand and dig ruts. Momentum is the key to maximizing your fuel economy and reducing your chances of getting stuck.

 

6. Be Aware of Tides

It is critical to know the tidal schedule before heading to the beach. It’s also preferable to stay on the beach for no more than two hours on either side of low tide. Ensure you’re not driving during the tide’s peaks and troughs, as tides are a powerful force for beachgoers. Before you depart, make sure you’ve packed everything you’ll need and checked the tide schedules for the location you’ll be visiting. When the tide is low, begin your expedition. The sand will harden, giving you ample time to reach your destination before the next tide comes in.

 

7. Drive Near the Water

Always get off near the water when driving on the beach. This is where the ground is the roughest. However, driving a car with water is not a good idea. If you get caught in a swell, keep your wheels straight and don’t stop until you solve the problem.

 

8. Lighten Your Load

When packing a car for a beach driving trip, it’s easy to get hooked, even for short getaways. It swiftly becomes a complex Tetris game that packs everything, including bags, bikes, coolers, and their last-minute “just in case” elements. The vehicle’s weight affects its ability to sink to the beach. Excessive vehicle weight might put extra pressure on the vehicle’s narrow tyres, causing the car to sink in the sand. You should remove any heavy items from the car and, if possible, minimize the number of passengers.

 

9. Bogging

You’ll eventually find yourself caught driving on the beach. Packing the correct recreational equipment is the greatest method to drive on the beach. Don’t try to accelerate if you get stuck. Instead, try reversing.

 

10. Have A Shovel

As stated above, you’ll get stuck in the sand sooner or later. This happens to everyone. The first step is to give up on attempting to get out of it. This delves deeper into the sand. Second, you can try to get out backward. Your tyres effectively created a ramp in the hole you were trapped in, and you can usually back it up right away. If that is infective, take out your shovel. The idea is to dig a ramp out of your hole. This usually works most of the time.

 

11. Follow Other Tracks

Don’t be afraid to keep an eye on and track the vehicles in front of you. You’ll be able to access your projected route this way. By doing this, the chances of being struck by a spectacular fall into sand or water are slim.

Tyre tracks on the beach.

12. Be Considerate

Most beachgoers are there for fun, so it is essential to maintain a positive atmosphere and avoid roadside drama. Making room for others, avoiding rear-end crashes, parking away from the main beach road, and being prepared to assist those in need can go a long way. Most beach driving destinations in Australia that allow driving have some pedestrian activity. So, you keep an eye out for people, animals, and gear.

 

13. Steering

Ensure you steer gently as you drive on the beach. The tyre pressure will drop if you move the wheel too quickly, and the rubber bead may slide off the rim. The vehicle may become stuck in the sand as a result of this. A brief push on the throttle during a turn helps the car move in the desired direction.

 

14. Clearance

If you’ve never taken your car to the beach before, get out the tape measure and measure the distance between the vehicle’s underside and the ground. Even the tiniest uneven distribution in the sand can cause the car to hit the ground if it is less than 180mm. This eventually leads to a loss in momentum, and your vehicle becomes more prone to bogging.

 

15. Avoid Littering

Littering is something you shouldn’t do on the beach. The last things we want to see in the natural surroundings are plastic bags sliding across the sand and filthy Styrofoam. Please bring two trash bags with you. The recycling trash bag is separate from the one for the regular garbage. Organic matter, such as leftover food, should not be left on the beach. Things like wild dogs and foxes are attracted to leftovers and prey on native species.

Kangaroos on the beach, Lucky Bay.

 

Conclusion

Driving down Australia’s beaches is a fantastic way to enjoy the country’s stunning scenery, and it’s an opportunity that everyone should enjoy. This post will guide you on how to prepare for such adventures.