Robe to Beachport beach run ?

millsy

4x4 Earth Contributer
I am thinking about doing the beach run between Robe and Beachport. Has anyone done it? Any hints? I have not tried beach driving yet. I know that tyre pressures will need to be quite low ( maybe 12 or 15 psi ? ) and to stay away from the water! Am a bit wary, and will probably see if I can hook up with a group that might be going my way on the same day in case I need rescuing!

Can anyone suggest how risky such a drive could be? I suppose every beach is different as far as risk goes.

Does anyone know about whether the tide heights are a factor for this run, and so whether the time of the day is an issue for this particular trip?
 

millsy

4x4 Earth Contributer
Actually, just remembered an incident from many years ago when we had to drive 20km along the beach in a fully loaded UC Torana. We were on holidays, coming home from Geelong along the Great Ocean Road to Adelaide. About 20km north of Kingston we saw a sign to 'The Granites' - two large granite boulders rising up out of the beach sand. There was a cement boat ramp nearby and so I lazily drove down it and parked right next to the boulders.

But with a loaded car, including a roof rack, we could not drive back up the steep ramp! The wheels just spun on the smooth, sand covered cement. So we headed back to Kingston along the beach! It just happened they were having their annual fishing competition, and so every one or two km we passed a tent and a 4WD parked high up on the beach and the fishers casting out into the waves. I wonder what they thought as we passed by in our little 2WD!?

Luck was with us! But I was pretty glad to see a gentle boat ramp at Kingston so that we could climb back up to terra-firmer!
 
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4X4

Moderator
Millsy, You can't drive all the way from Robe to Beachport along the beach. There is a bypass at Nora Coreina. Check the tide times with the locals before driving on the beach. From Robe head out past the rubbish tip. Stay above the high water mark along this section. 18 PSI tyre pressure should see you through most situations. If the sand is soft, deflate to 15 or less then inflate back up to 18 PSI. This will depend on how much traffic has been along the beach.

Have fun, take another vehicle if possible.
 

Knackers

Active Member
Hi millsy, when you have a good trip leader who knows the traps (tides etc) it's a great drive. My preference would be to not tackle it without another vehicle. Weather can be windy (and crap) around November.

Cheers
Knackers
 

millsy

4x4 Earth Contributer
Thanks fellas. Yeah, Knackers, I might wait till I have someone who knows a lot more than myself about beach driving. Until then there's plenty of other tracks to choose from. Might try some of the forests east of Melbourne instead.

Those stories and pictures of cars drowning in the surf are a bit scary. Was up at Rainbow Beach in Queensland last week, late in the day, having a good surf in the evening waves, and saw quite a few
fourbies coming home from their beach runs. Looks like a big thing up there. But they would need to be sure about the tides because they had near vertical 50m high cliffs at the back of the beach. No escape!
 

Jarh73

New Member
I did the trip in Jan 2007 and went from the "Little Dip" to Robe which is about a 3rd of the way and it was good fun but very challenging.

We had a great guide who had done the trip 20 or more times, seems easy to get lost in that area.
Only a few sections run along the beach so tides were not a problem.

First week of January I'm doing the Salt Creek to Kingston run.

Like all sand driving tyre pressures and momentum are critical and it puts a lot of strain on the vehicle as your are working the engine and gear box very hard to maintain momentum, some sections of sand were very difficult with a few hills requiring multiple goes and LOTS of throttle.

Cheers

Justin
 

millsy

4x4 Earth Contributer
Sounds like the thrashing I gave the old MQ three months ago when I did about 40km at the top of the Border Track ( the border between SA and VIC south of Pinnaroo ). Had to get up some speed at the botrtom of the hills and 'give it heaps', I think in 2 high if I remember correctly, to get to the top of many of the hills. But the tracks up the hills were corrugated in such a way that the car was rocking in a strange side-to-side manner as well as back-to-front as on normal corrugations. So the shockers were working overtime as well as the motor and gearbox! (I bought a couple of spare 2nd hand shockers from the local wreckers, one front and one rear, ready for a trip up north to Innaminka this coming winter).

So might find something a bit different for this trip after your 'heads up' as they say.

Might have a look through the Glenelg National Park near Nelson on the way through to Geelong.

Thanks Jarh73, and hope you have fun on that next trip down to Kingston, Millsy.
 

mickyd213

New Member
Hi Millsy,

We have just done the drive from Carpenter rocks to Millicent and it is a really good drive (Canunda National park). Had tyre pressues down to 20psi but would have gone lower if we had of gone through to Southend but the tides currently are at high tide around 2pm.. Drove on the beach around here last year and had tyre pressures down to 15psi. No problems at all. Went fishing a few days later with my Father in law and suggested to go down to 15psi but he knows boats... so it's fair to say we didn't fish muh but spent the next 1 1/2hrs digging. Had to go down to about 12psi to get out.
I must admit though that me and another member who i won't mention due to the embarrasment factor got stuck on the beach here a little over 12 months ago and witha little local help and knowledge avoided any more problems.

If you decide to drive on the beach... avoid the wet sand and stay high up on the beach. You seen to get stuck easier in the wet sand around Southend as opposed to up north. All the best and as othrs have mentioned, travel with someone else...

Mick
 

millsy

4x4 Earth Contributer
Thanks Mick. Some more good info to work with. Must admit all these returns are tickiling my curiosity, so after saying I would bypass this trip for now, I'll probably 'dip the toes in' to test the conditions and make my mind up on the day! I'll haver a chat with the locals, maybe strike it lucky and be able to tag along with some-one else.

Will check out the maps again and have a look at the Carpenters Rocks to Millicent option also, and do some more research on the Explore Oz site.

Thanks for your help, Millsy.
 

mickyd213

New Member
We picked up a map done by the local 4wd club for the Canunda National park drive and also the Nora Creina drive from the information centre in Beachport. Gold coin donation but maps are very helpful. I think they also have them in the visitor/ information centre at Millicent as well.
 
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toochie

New Member
We`ve just come back from Kingston SE this Saturday. Did the Little Dip national park on thurs (Nora Crena to Robe).
Some sections were reasonably challenging but not overly difficult, worst section was the last few hundred metres, very soft sand with lots of traffic, whatever you do don`t go down the beach at the Robe end very very soft sand, had to dig a 4b out took us 5 goes to get him back up to an area where he could turn and get out.
On fri we did beach port to Nora crena run, far more challenging than little dip, sand is much softer at the beaches need to get out and take a look before you commit to driving the beaches, there are alternate tracks if the beach is not viable.
Had a great time there, whatever you do don`t go alone and have recovery gear with you as you or someone else will need it. We ended up helping three individuals out and one of these was a local who had been on the tack before but was unfortunate to be on his own.
Hope you enjoy when you eventually do decide to go there, it is highly recommended and heaps of fun.
 

millsy

4x4 Earth Contributer
Thanks for all that toochie. It looks like am well and truly intrigued and sucked in by all these reviews and tips. So tonight I finished the house painting and fence building, and tomorrow it will be pack all the recovery gear and Robe here I come! Hope the white pointers have not been reading these posts 'cause they will be having to share those lovely beaches with me. ( Now just in case anyone finds an MQ all by itself, you can have it as long as you give it plenty of love and attention as I have done over the last 12 months - it could use an oil change about now, and some new plugs and points in about 10,000km, . . . )

Was down at the Port Markets today with the missus and picked up a couple of great 4WD books with heaps of tracks all around OZ. One was callled 'See Australia - 4WD' by Ron and Viv Moon and it had the Robe to Little Dip trek described, and the other was a much bigger book called 'Explore Australia by Four Wheel Drive'. It is set out with very precise track instuctions for all of its treks, measuring out the exact distance between every intersection, plus warnings about conditions.

I might try their Otway Ranges trip after the Robe 'run'. Then on the way back to Adelaide, if I am still up to a few more shakes and bumps, there looks to be a good trip description for the Grampians.

Have just been 4 wheeling for about 12 months and at this stage have not been bogged, so I will let you know if I am still a virgin or not when I get home! From what you have been telling me I might be in for a bit of spade work tomorrow! Thanks again everyone, Millsy.
 
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millsy

4x4 Earth Contributer
Well I was obviously not trying hard enough. Got through most of the Little Dip Conservation Park without needing the spade! Came close to getting stuck trying to get off one of the beaches, as it took two attempts. A bit worrying because the tide had come up quickly and I did not want to risk cruising the beach to find another exit! ( Had the tyres on 15, but if I was desperate I could have lowered them to 10 I guess, just to climb the soft exits. Not a lot of torque in the old 2.8 litre petrol motor!)

One of the earlier beach exits was just too steep. I might have been using the wrong gear. ( I think I tried 2L first, and then when that did not work I tried 1L. But that was even worse. Maybe 1H or 2H would have worked? When I went through some soft sandy tracks in the Big Desert on the way home I found 1H and 2H were the best choice as 1L just was too slow in my truck, and the tyres just dug themselves in rather than 'floating' across the top!)

Agree with the feedback I had before leaving home! Great fun, great challenge, great views.

Hardest part for the car was the trip along the inland dirt road, along the east side of the park. Very corrugated! After pumping the tyres up to 35 just before leaving the park, I then had to drop them back to 25 to stop the bus from rattling apart on the way down to Beachport!
 

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Grumpy

Moderator
Millsy keep your eye on the members map and u may be able to PM someone in the areas u are travelling who know the local knowledge of the area and may be willing to join u on a trip and maybe give u some tips on different driving conditions ect, This goes for any run people may be thinking of doing. CHEERS
 

Jarh73

New Member
I completed the Beachport to Robe run last wednesday (7th of January) no real problems except for a two points getting off the beach, steep and hard to get a run up!

2000 model Nissan Pathfinder 245/70 tyres at 15 psi.

The beach sand was not a problem for me, second gear low range or thrid gear depending on how fluffy it was.

Just need to keep the momentum up, the Pathfinder is not the most powerful vehicle but 4500 rpm in second gear low range got me through the deepest and fluffiest beach sand.

My brothers SWB pajero (94 Model grey import 3.5L motor) was virtually un stopable in the sand, the two beach exits that took me several goes he did easily in high range. In fact he hardly used low range except in the very rocky sections.

I'd recommend the Beachport to Robe run to anyone its fantastic!

Cheers

Justin
 

millsy

4x4 Earth Contributer
The first one I gave up on I first watched a late model Patrol and also a newish Landcruiser have trouble. They each needed 2 or 3 shots at it before clearing the area for my turn. They had to go way back, about a 60 metre run across the soft beach sand before hitting the exit ramp at speed. If I remember rightly they radioed back to me saying they used 2H.

But I was not happy with doing this one at speed because half way up there was a broken set of wooden railings that had been laid across the sand to provide extra traction. The bottom two rails were broken in half and so not secure, but also not removable because of the strong chains at either end. I could just imagine one of these loose planks getting flung up by the wheels and ripping through some vital 'organ' under the car! I do have three bash plates under the 'belly' but I preferred to try a slower more controlled attempt so that if I did go over these planks they would not bounce up with so much energy. But even in 1L there was not enough torque to overcome the claws of the sand, and the engine stalled on me. I gave up and found an easier exit just down the beach about 0.5km.

Did you do this exit with the wooden planks?

I think I actually got out of the second close one, about 1.5km further south, by using 1L and just flooring it harder and harder to keep the revs up around 3000. I could feel the wheels sinking, sinking, the car going nowhere, and then they just grabbed something and they popped out and we clawed up the incline! Phew!

I had a chat with a group of fourbies about 50km north of Warnambool the next day. They said that they had a big day out in the Park from Carpenters Rocks, but that the sand was really soft and had to use only 10psi to get through. Even then they bogged, and so had to lower the pressures to 8psi to get out of the bogs. They reckon it was harder than the Little Dip park.
 

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Jarh73

New Member
Yes I know the wooden planks!!!!!!

I made it up in the end but it took a few goes, the planks spooked me when i first went up and i lost momentum as i didn't quite know what they were and at the last second i went "oh dear" (not actually what i said but the actual words are not appropriate for this forum) timber that could do some damage.

I found i got over the wood ok but got bogged on the otherside, eventually made it on the 4th attempt, i could always seem to get a good run up in 2L.

Once again my brothers SWB pajero got up in one go and made it look so easy!

In hindsight i should have taken the other exit, I had used that one back in 2007.

The other one i had troube with getting off the beach was not so much steep but heavy corrugations right at the base and run up point that were so harsh i could not get enough momentum with out shaking the car to bits!

Its the spot where you have to watch the rocks to your right cause its a little bit narrow.

Cheers

Justin
 

millsy

4x4 Earth Contributer
Thanks for that Justin, glad you had trouble also, but well done on your tenacity!

Looks like those '94 Pajeros with the 3.5 litre motors might hold their value for a while!

All the best, John.
 

jomar

New Member
We stayed at Southend a couple of years ago and did daily runs to Nora Creina/Robe via Beachport and also in the opposite direction to Carpenter Rocks.
The section to Carpenter Rocks saw many getting stuck as it was very soft.
Also if you get off the beach on the way to Robe you will find the area the Robe Buggy Club uses.
The big dune faces here are around 125 feet high, and make for some challenging high speed climbs and some getting airborne over the top...driving flat out at what looks like a wall from the drivers seat takes a bit of getting used to.
 

Desert Lux

New Member
Beachport - Robe

Millsy,
I've done this trip and it is worthwile for sure. Would make sure that you take in the beach drive from Kingston up into the Corrong. It's a great drive and then you cross over the lagoon to get back over to the main road.

Do it. You won't regret it!
 
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