If you have been following my blog for a while, you will be familiar with my previous trip to Australia where I visited rainforests, the Great Barrier Reef and the Aussie outback.
See more: RexyEdventures in Australia
This time I decided to kick it up a notch and visit the great southern land in search of some great quad biking spots. This burst of inspiration may or may not have come from watching the motorcycle scene in Creed II, where some locals ride motorbikes, including quad bikes on the streets of Philadelphia. Oh, yes, I can be a bit of a motorhead!
As it turns out, it is illegal to ride a quad bike on the street, so you have to find some natural terrain to take a ride on, and naturally I thought of Australia. You will know from previous posts that the terrain in Australia is vast and varied. So I felt I would have a few landscapes to choose from and was hoping to try out some different spots.
First up, I thought of the Simpson desert, which is basically one huge sand dune, crossing three Australian states. However, after a little research I found that there is scant food, water and shelter in the Simpson and decided the likelihood of my imminent demise was a little too great to follow through on, right?
I also found a beautiful spot known as Big Drift that lays near the coast in the southern state of Victoria, but it turns out this is actually a popular spot for night time hikers and riding a quad along the tranquil soft sand path would probably destroy the spot for other tourists for years to come. So, obviously I decided against that.
I finally came across the sand dunes of Stockton, NSW, which lay just behind Stockton beach, a couple hours north of Sydney. These sand dunes actually happen to be longest coastal sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere. I rented a quad bike at one of the local tourist businesses, who can also arrange tours or tracks to ride along, but me being my usual self, I was feeling adventurous and wanted to explore the local habitat on my own terms. I have to say riding a quad along the challenging terrain of a sand dune is quite exhilarating and the feeling of adrenaline coursing through my body was perfectly offset by the beautiful visual balance of yellow beach sand and blue ocean water.
I was able to learn a bit of the local history on this visit. Stockton is full of historical stories, including those of the local indigenous Worimi people to stories of the Great Depression and World War II. There is even a small ‘city’ still there, left over from the Great Depression called Tin City which is made up of powerless shacks. If you have seen the 1979 movie Mad Max you will have seen Tin City, as it was used as a set for part of the film. And yes, I felt a little like Mad Max myself as I tore up the challenging terrain, especially as I had invested in a motorcycle jacket and some motorcycle accessories just for this trip. There are also a whole heap of shipwrecks to see and apparently a lot of unexploded bombs from World War II, which thankfully I did not come across. If you are looking to experience something a bit different, I definitely recommend this place.
I had to find one more spot to hit up before travelling on to my next country on my round the world trip and settled on Gunyah Beach near Port Lincoln in South Australia. Although not as long as the dunes at Stockton, the sand dunes at Gunyah Beach which are part of the Coffin Bay National Park were up to 1 kilometre wide. These sand dunes do not sit right along the beach as they do in Stockton and you will have to travel around 15 kilometres from the coast to get to the dunes. So if you decide to make the trek, pack plenty of water and your own food. I took some local advice and visited the dunes just coming onto dusk, and I have to say the complete serenity of Coffin Bay is well worth the wait until the end of the day. The dunes looked majestic in the soft fading sunlight.
I was hoping the sand dunes at Gunyah Beach would be a substitute for what I expected biking in the Simpson desert would have been like, just on a smaller scale. I think the dunes at Gunyah were much cooler than what the dunes in the Simpson desert would have been. There was also a fair bit of wildlife such as kangaroos and seabirds around as I was leaving. Again I rented a quad bike from a local business that also offered Great White shark cage diving, something I didn’t get to do this time round but is a great excuse for me to make my way back down to Oz in the near future.
Overall, it was a great trip filled with natural beauty and some adrenaline pumping action. I’m glad I went. Next time however, I will definitely put some extra time into researching different spots to take a quad bike and keep an eye out for more side attractions.
What’s your best quad biking destination? Let me know in the comments below!