Once upon a time, camping was allowed on Blacksmiths Beach. Now it is not.
The speed limit is 30km/ph, or 15km/ph when near pedestrians. Rangers are taking a no tolerance approach to fines, so don’t drive like an idiot.
When intense storms hit the NSW coast, erosion can wash away significant amounts of sand on the beaches. In February 2020 there was a storm surge that eroded sand at the southern entry point of Blacksmiths at Awabakal St. This entry point is now closed.
The entry at Beach Rd or Kallaroo Rd are your two options. At Kallaroo Rd, the gate closes around 5pm, and there’s only a narrow 4WD only track to get out after hours.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Council have (rightly so) made a few new restrictions for four-wheel drivers. You are no longer allowed to drive up the big dunes at the north end, near the creek. You are no longer allowed to drive behind the dunes through the four wheel drive tracks. There are now barricades to stop drivers from being able to do so. For conservation efforts, it’s important to adhere to the new restrictions. If you don’t, get ready to be fined. Don’t be a dick.
HEALTH AND SAFETY: Make sure you read the signs at Third Creek before you go for a swim. When there is low rainfall, the creek water becomes stagnant, and council will put up signs warning visitors not to go swimming if the water is not clean.
If you’re from Newcastle, Blacksmiths is just a 25 minute drive from town. If you’re from Sydney, it’s about a 2 hour trip.
Keep in mind: Blacksmiths Beach has some of the softest sand on the east coast of Australia. We usually drop the tyres down to about 12 or 14 PSI, and we rarely have issues. But the sand here is boggier than other beaches.
Here are a few reasons to pack a picnic and get to Blacksmiths Beach.
1. It’s great for a day trip with a convoy of fourbies
If you enter via Kallaroo Road, head straight for the lagoon, or opt for a beach front spot.
Go fishing, surfing, swimming or just enjoy a picnic.
2. Test out your suspension on the sand
The dunes are no longer open for driving, but it’s still great fun driving along the beach.
4. Even during summer you’ll find a quiet spot
The beach is so huge that even in the middle of summer you should be able to find a quiet spot to set up for the day.
On long weekends the beach can become pretty packed, but there’s plenty of room for you to find solitude and go fishing and let the dog have a run around.
5. So much room for activities
Bring an old boogey board and slide down the dunes into the lagoon. Or, pack your surfboard and find a good break along the beach.
Pack a beach fishing rod and try your best at fishing. Not that we’ve caught much off the beach – fishing tips are welcome in the comments section.
6. The sunsets are unreal
7. You’re guaranteed to find your own private campsite
8. Get there early to watch the sunrise
Get there nice and early to see it for yourself – it’s never busy at this time.
9. The beach is pet friendly
Up until you hit Redhead Beach, dogs are allowed to run around off-lead. There are plenty of dog-friendly beaches in Newcastle, but this is the perfect place to take your dog for a swim in the lagoon or on the beach.
No more camping
Thanks to irresponsible campers, things are changing at Blacksmiths Beach.
Council and locals have had enough. Camping has been banned.
Get ready to be hit with a penalty of $220 if you choose to not buy a permit before driving on the beach. There are a few options for permits, but generally the cheapest covers you for one week or one month, and the other option lasts for one year.
Check to make sure you’re getting a permit that covers how often you want to drive on Blacksmiths Beach.