Why driving on Blacksmiths Beach is always a good time

Once upon a time, camping was allowed on Blacksmiths Beach. Now it is not.

If you’re from Newcastle, Blacksmiths is just a 25 minute drive from town. If you’re from Sydney, it’s about a two hour trip.

Here’s why driving on Blacksmiths Beach is one of our favourite things to do in the area.

1. It’s great for a day trip with a convoy of 4x4s

If you enter via Kallaroo Road, head straight for the lagoon or pick a beachfront spot to park the car. Go fishing, surfing, swimming or just enjoy a picnic.

Don’t forget to pack shade, such as a Coolcabana, awning or umbrella. There is no shade on Blacksmiths Beach.

2. Put your suspension to the test

The dunes are no longer open for driving, but it’s still great fun driving along the beach over the bumps.

4. There’s always a quiet spot available

The beach is so huge that even in the middle of summer you will 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.

The lagoon is always packed, but if you get there early you should be able to get a spot.

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. Honk at the golfers

Or don’t. Just saying.

7. There’s always somewhere to go surfing

With such a long stretch of sand, if the popular surf beaches are busy, drive onto the beach and find the perfect wave without anyone else around.

8. Get there early to watch the sunrise

Nothing beats watching the sunrise over the ocean. If you choose to go for a sunrise swim stay close to the shore – dawn and dusk are when shark incidents happen most often.

Or, stay late and watch a beautiful sunset.

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.

Things you need to know

  • The speed limit is 30km/ph, or 15km/ph when near pedestrians. Rangers are taking a no tolerance approach to fines.
  • Flying drones is not permitted on the southern end of Blacksmiths Beach. Always check OK2Fly.com.au before using your drone.
  • 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.
  • 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. Beach Rd entry has some fun mud pits to drive through.
  • Council have (rightly so) made a few new restrictions for four-wheel drivers. You are no longer allowed to drive up the sand 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. If you don’t follow the rules, get ready to be fined.
  • 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.

No more camping

Thanks to irresponsible campers, things have changed at Blacksmiths Beach.

Camping has been banned for a few years now. I know this post still attracts attention from Google traffic searching for “camping at blacksmiths beach”, and I’m sorry to say if you’ve landed here searching for a campsite, you’re out of luck (and a few years late).


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.

April 2, 2024

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *