First good sand fun and fears

Hey all

I only ever did a few hundred meters of beach driving and now that my 2016 BT50 is not as new, I wanted in on the fun.

The only place in Shitney is where the sand dunes used to be at Kurnell but no more dunes, just a small beach, $40 fee and a strict speed limit of 20km.
The ranger bloke said they prefer slower and said I won't need to lower tyre pressures, just let the high tide drop and drive down the beach.
Nothing much to learn there.

Went up to Stockton near Newcastle but only have a $30 fee and no other entry point than the tourist area with 100s of people and too many idiots.

Then I remember the nudy beach near Anna bay and find the entry track, long tight windy sand track.
A scary challenge as I was running 43psi and too late to stop.
Had to just keep up it as I feared losing momentum and hoping no one is doing the same head-on, had to back up into a passing bay twice.
They seem like arrogant city-type people, not even giving plenty of space while I back up, they did wave though.

As the track opens out near the beach entry I still feel it best to give it heaps and just stay in the tracks as there were 2 big soft sections and I was alone.
Sort of surfed sideways a lot and plowed a bit where the tracks are deep ruts.

When on the beach and parked up in the soft sand, I just deflated to 30psi so I could road it to the servo instead of doing it hard in 36C heat.

Wondering if It is much benefit running 30 or 28 when 20psi is prob where it's at for that proper soft sand.

Seemed OK coming back out with the extra up-hill thrills and fears.
Even the beach exit is big so it was a worry and I gave it some speed to keep that momentum.

Should I drop to 20psi for sand work like that to get some more tyre bagging?
Is there a risk of rolling a tyre off the rim with all the tight turns on a sand track like that?
I have no experience but felt giving it some was the safest way to not lose momentum.

Are any of the Stockton entrances quiet or short as I don't like the risk of a head-on with an idiot?

I also don't like the greed that made Sydney turn to pay for everything bar a water bubbler.
In principle, I won't pay the high fees for driving on a road, parking, driving on a beach, or entering a national park.
I don't care if it's govt, corp greedies, or aboriginals, I just tend to avoid those pay places and go elsewhere.
It wouldn't surprise me if the Boat Harbor fee goes to the company that took the Kurnell sand dunes away for profit.
It should all be stopped, not supported, but no chance of that until We the Sheeple of Shitney wake up.

When I first ran for the hills, you could still ride bikes and drive 4x4s on lots of the local Blue Moutain tracks but they are all well locked up now..


Well-Known Member
On eastern beaches I start at 20 psi, down south I start at 14psi. On the Limestone coast you will quickly find yourself at 12 psi. Stopping to adjust tyre pressures as soon as your engine starts to labour will save you having to perform a recovery. Get yourself a compressor, there is nothing worse than sandy tracks that are corrugated due to people who run high pressures.


Well-Known Member
A major consideration is the wheels size compared to the OD. In other words the sidewall height.

Assuming about 800mm diameter tyres, then you shoud not use bigger than 17", preferaby 16" rims.

if you have larger rims, get rid of them, or stay above about 18 PSI.
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I carry a Thumper that is pretty quick, just not keen on getting stuck and doing recoveries.
I avoid bog holes where possible but this sand feels like it wouldn't take much to get bogged.

I was thinking 20 will be the next try and air up before the tar.


Well-Known Member
you’ll get bogged a few times and work it out. 30 psi is not deflated. If you have LT tyres I start around 21psi and head south from there as necessary. There’s no future in speeding along single tracks trying to not get bogged - by then it is well past deflation time. A mate of mine did exactly that up north of Broome and was lucky enough to meet his doppelgänger and have a head on in the middle of nowhere - they both then had heaps of time to consider their actions.


Well-Known Member
The quietest entry at Stockton is at the southern end at Fern Bay. It's the newest entry and many aren't aware of it. It comes out not far from the NP campsites. Not sure if you can buy a pass anywhere close though. Lavis Lane has a servo and a Macca's that's why it's busy, and Anna Bay has a pub and supermarket.
I've never rolled a tyre off a rim driving sand in every state and territory in over 30 years at 15psi. On some SA and WA beaches you'll need to go lower, they're deadly soft, but the good thing is they're still free. People roll tyres off by hooning too fast. If the pressure is low enough you don't have to punch the gas anywhere near as hard.


Well-Known Member
Lower tyre pressures require lower speed. There are two issues with speed and low pressures. The first is sustaining unseen damage to the tyre by making the carcass heat up an work hard in a way it was not designed to do that reveals itself later when the tyre fails at higher pressure or you might roll the tyre off the rim.

A thought, If you are always racing the clock when going to beautiful places you are missing why we do what we do. Stop and smell the Rose's so to speak.


Well-Known Member
Only ever rolled one tire off a rim and that was over 15 years ago when starting out, all the twin locked boys and 35’s with the little old disco 1 , open diffs trying to do massive ruts and heaps of mud with 32’s out the back of Warburton in the thick red mud, we live and learn but you have to be going pretty hard on the car to roll a tire , gently does it and you will never have a problem
Some of the older members might remember old Jack in his shorty
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I only used enough speed that I thought would keep the momentum but with no real experience, it's just baby steps.

It may be deceiving and with low pressure, maybe I can get away with less speed, it does feel suss though for losing grip.
What sort of speeds or gears in the 6 speed auto are we talking about on the medium soft sand in NSW, just ballpark.

All I could do was drive by feel and was too scared to not gas through the big soft looking sections and stay in the ruts for a harder bottom.
It seemed about the same as you see on TV and could have been in 3rd but didn't think much about it or a speedo check.

I run Falken Wildpeak ATs in the std 17 size, 265 or whatever. They were very cheap but not light truck ply as no markings.
Will prob go the same and just step up one size next time as they are a great tyre but will cost a lot more next time.

Now that I have actually done it, I should go back for some utube learning as it's been a while.
The young bloke from some other state that stopped doing them was good and also had a modern BT50, dark blue from memory.
Can any of you blokes recommend good vids for tips?


Well-Known Member
With correct pressures you can stop and start again in sand (towing a trailer) no problems. There is no need for momentum with correct pressure.
If you aren’t towing with the BT50 there generally isn’t a need to go for low range in sand unless you are lugging the auto box and heating it up. Just make sure you press and hold the stability control button for 7 secs until it flashes - every time you start the engine in sand. I towed a heavy trailer pretty extensively in sand with the Ranger version for 8 years.
265/70/17’s are a good fit for the car. The tyres themselves make stuff all difference in sand, it is the lowering of the case pressure to spread the load over a larger area and exert less PSI on the loose sand so that it can repose the wheel torque - that make the difference.
Yeah, the modern BT50 is more capable than me with so much torque that it never struggles.
I just put it in high 4x4 and turn the stability control off and go.

Next time, I will go 18psi and see how slow I can do it all.
With the lower air, hopefully, I can just use the gas when needed and later.

Watched a few vids and the tips all make sense like you blokes on here.

Used the car wash joint for a big clean under but may waste another 500ml of Inox as Mazda skimped on paint to save a buck and they get chassis rust without even going on a beach.

I suspect that 80% or more of the beach users in the near new vehicles are not airing down and the ute ahead of me was way too fast to follow on the track. He was just gone and I had to back up twice to let other oncoming cars pass.