I recently decided to trade in my Audi for something a little less city, and a little more adventurous. I bought what my family affectionately refers to as “The Beast”. The BT-50 is completely black, with massive tyres, side steps, roll-bar, bull-bar and just oozes attitude. I’ve had the ute for a while now, and I’ve made it past the ‘new car’ stage, where I couldn’t bare the thought of getting her dirty let alone taking her off road. But the time has come, 40 Mile Beach called to us. We packed all the off-roader essentials, or at least everything the salesman at the accessories store told me I’d need … a tyre gauge, air pump, tow ropes, snatch straps and a shovel incase we get caught in some serious sand. These are all of course all worst case scenario tools, but never the less you’d be silly not to pack them in your kit. We were prepped and ready, hesitant yet excited to christen “The Beast” in sand and salt.
Teewah Beach, as it’s officially known, is a stretch of the most pristine of white sand that has become a Queensland mecca for four wheel driving, fishing and beach camping. Backing onto the Great Sandy National Park, it’s easy to see why it’s a favourite weekend getaway for a lot of families. It’s not a challenging drive, but the scenery is beautiful, the waters are clear; both the sea and the nearby lagoons, and the national park is vibrant and thick with life. We arrived during low tide and took a gentle cruise as far as the hard packed sand could take us. At this point we pulled up and decided to explore the park itself for a while. The kids immediately disappeared into the trees and we were left to our own devices. Eventually finding each other at the lagoon, we swam in the still waters for a while before deciding to head back to the car and push on.
The tide had come in, our hard packed sandy path had disappeared into the water, leaving us with no option but to drop the tyre pressure a bit and push our way through the soft sand higher up the beach. At first I was a bit timid, cruising slowly over the softer sand, I soon grew bold until I realized that I had veered a little too far into the soft sand. Good thing we packed a shovel …
DISCLAIMER: Do not exceed the set speed limits or drive radically and without regard for your fellow visitors. We spent the rest of the afternoon swimming, bodysurfing and dune surfing and drove home as the sun began to sink below the horizon.
There is one thing you need to take care of before taking to the beach. You will need a Vehicle Access Permit (VAP) that is available online, saving you money, or over the counter at the National Park’s office. Costs are $15 per day or $25 per week. Online reduces this again and longer permits are available. If you intend to camp, you will also need to pay your camping fees and display the tag on your campsite whenever it is set up. Cost for camping is $5.15 per person per night. For more information and advice on beach four wheel driving, check out 4WD Action – It’s a great online resource of ideas for locations and advice.