A four wheel drive with some wheel lift on the track down to McBrides Beach.


*Note: NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has permanently closed 4WD access and camping at McBrides Beach in NSW. This story was written prior to the closure. 

On a recent getaway with the camper trailer in tow.

I decided that we needed a detour on the way home that involved some good wheeling.

With a couple of days up our sleeves before the Monday grind would return.

I decided to take my partner (now wife) Bec on her first real bit of off-roading.

For those that know McBrides Beach the first 50m of the track is a good bit of fun.

Plenty of flex if you’re coil sprung, big wheel lifts if you have an IFS 4 wheel drive.

Would this scare Bec? 

Would she take it in her stride or scream a little, when we take the 1km track down to paradise? 

Only time would tell.

A four wheel drive with some wheel lift on the track down to McBrides Beach towing a trailer.


After a brief stop in Forster to top up on some refreshments and snacks, we headed away from the population.

We were off to a nice little cove in paradise for some beach camping.

With the proven camper trailer in tow we headed out towards Cape Hawke.

Rather than take the right up to the lookout we took the left to the start of McBride’s Beach Trail.

I dropped the tyre pressures in both the ute and camper trailer to 16psi.

That’s my go to pressures in my 4×4, it just works.

The first 50m sees us dipping into the first hole, there is a flatter bypass section, but why would I do that?

This brought on Bec’s first comments of ‘who would do this for fun?’ 

‘This is not normal behaviour!’ 

A sunset over the water at McBrides Beach.


As this was my third time down I wasn’t worried, and proceeded to let Bec know that this isn’t normal behaviour.

However I am far from normal (insert smiley face here). 

This is where I like to go to escape the masses. 

Also being a Thursday afternoon, I was hopeful we may be lucky to have the place to ourselves.

Just like I did back on a solo trip in late February this year.

A lady standing under a canopy on A four wheel drive with some wheel lift on the track down to McBrides Beach.


It was a different experience for me this time, my first time down here with a camper trailer, and Bec who’d never been wheeling like this before. 

I talked her through it so she knew what was about to happen.

I explained how being in first gear and low range with me only pushing the brake pedal occasionally was normal. 

She settled into the rhythm and began to enjoy the experience.

I don’t think it will be too long before she wants to get behind the wheel and have a crack.

The first part of the track goes down to the split between the harder track (go straight) or the easier track (turn right).

This appeared a lot more rutted than when I last drove it. 

It was after the school holidays and October long weekend, so no rain and the track was pretty dusty but still grippy.

A car and camping set up on A four wheel drive with some wheel lift on the track down to McBrides Beach.


We took the easier track on this descent. 

With two parts on the harder track where it may have been a bit tricky in the tight spots with the trailer. 

Besides, we were super keen to get down, set up and relax to enjoy this beautiful spot.

On hitting the sand, it was a bit on the soft side.

But this wasn’t an issue until I was turning around in the camp spot where we started to bog down.

A quick pressure drop to 12 psi worked a treat and we were setting up and having a drink in no time at all. 

Steak and vegetables cooking at the campsite at A four wheel drive with some wheel lift on the track down to McBrides Beach.


Seeing as we had the camper with us, 100 litres of water and the instant gas hot water system.

We treated ourselves to a nice hot shower, some fresh clothes before it got dark.

After that we spoiled ourselves some more with a nice beach campfire.

With dinner cooking on the burners on the back of the ute, a bottle of red followed a few CC and Dry’s we had earlier. 

Then we settled in for the night with the sounds of the ocean and only 4 other camping groups down there. 

A whale showing its tale at A four wheel drive with some wheel lift on the track down to McBrides Beach.


The following morning, we peeked out of the camper window to a beautiful sunrise.

Bec was still amazed how beautiful this spot was and wondering how many more exist like this?

Whilst we were cooking breakfast, she spotted a whale breaching to the North. 

Unfortunately we weren't quick enough to capture it.

So we decided to keep the camera and drone handy in case more were to pass and what we saw later was truly amazing! 

Bec got shooting on the stills while I sent the drone out on a mission.

It was just incredible, it really did top off our morning. 

You can check out the quick clip I took that morning below.


With our camp all packed up and the site left cleaner then when we got there, we headed out the easier track.

I was keen to do a bit more filming on the way out so we grabbed some more footage. 

There are spots where you can do some big wheel lifts.

But we had other vehicles coming up behind us so we limited it.


Words by: Jereme Lindsell

 Pictures: @Trickydevil_Offroad and @imagesbybec

******************** History & Facts *******************

McBrides beach is located within Booti Booti National Park

Booti Booti NP was created back in 1992 and covers 1,566ha of scenic coastline, beaches and rainforests.

It’s name was derived from the Worimi aboriginal word ‘butibuti’ meaning ‘plenty of honey’

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