Because we are all wishing we could be out there, I thought that perhaps we should remember some of the trips we have done over the years…
Here’s one from way back in late 2005. Club Member Andy wrote a brilliant report about a quick trip he ran to Stockton Beach – Enjoy
STOCKTON: 1-3 OCT 05
Life really is a beach!
Time to defrost the Patrol and head north. Sat 1 Oct saw me leading a convoy of well, myself, on the long run up to Stockton Beach just north of Newcastle – not totally friendless but the Tractors and Messervies couldn’t wait for Sat to experience the Sydney traffic transit north. So, I signed the sheet, read convoy orders to myself, appointed myself lead, middle and tail end Charlie, then proceeded off in an orderly fashion, always conscious of the need to maintain safe distances between my multiple personalities. By Goulburn I had really given myself the irrits by asking “are we there yet?” every 10 seconds.
Six hours and 4865 repeat questions later, I rolled into the luxurious Bay Holliday Park near Anna Bay (and the access to Stockton Beach), thankful to be able to ask James “are we there yet?”. After a pause of about 10 seconds to relax in my new surroundings, I threw the swag from the car and led Sherman and crew out onto the beach. For some reason Pete and Tracey seemed to prefer the serenity of the pool/spa-side camp-spot under the trees – maybe they’d heard my questions on the radio as I headed into town?
Anyway, air down to 20 psi and we’re off to play in the biggest legal sandpit for fourbies in Australia – no roads, make your own. James, Katrina, Sophie and I revelled in the smooth white sand, especially when finding some very steep hills to roll our bodies down, then some slightly less steep ones to throw our cars up. Big air, sick dude!
We cut loose on unmarked hillsides and pristine ridgelines, then headed down to the beachside and threw in some pilchards to see what we could catch for dinner, beer in hand as we watched a glorious purple sunset. Maybe the pilchards should have been attached to hooks, but we found ourselves having to order fish and chips once off the beach and heading through town. Who cares, bring on Sunday.
Sunday dawned, as it does with amazing regularity. The boys champed at the bit whilst the families enjoyed a relaxing sleep-in before being herded into the three cars to check out the damage from yesterday’s antics. Alas, the dunes had been brushed clean by the sand-fairies overnight, so we had to re-mark our trails once again. This sand driving isn’t all it’s cut up to be you know! With the Sampeys in tow (well, not literally, although it is an 80), we toured the WW2 tank traps, looked mildly interested at the Silver City humpey town in the dunes, then headed via a circuitous route (the best kind) down to the beached shipwreck at the southern end of the beach. Of course we had to stop innumerable times just to let Tracey and Pete swap seats and properly enjoy launching the cruiser into space, we just couldn’t stop them.
The motor drives on the cameras ran red hot as the top gun competition kicked off – have a look at James’ photos to see the results, but I think you’ll agree that the ice on the Patrol’s roof is evidence of some decent altitude. What a hoot, we tried to get back to the park for the kids swim but Tracey kept insisting on more diversions. I think some Finergan (spelling? You know that stuff parents have in 20litre drums) must have made it’s way into Sarah because we were given extra penalty time in the dunes when she fell asleep, lessening the pressure to run back to the park. Finally the hot transmissions begged for relief so we slipped back into the park and into the spa for some chilly relaxation. I couldn’t sit still so headed back for a last fish, landing a Shovel Nosed Ray on the last pilchard of the evening.
Monday dawned, a little bit like the last, but this time we’d have to head home, so it wasn’t as notable as Sunday’s. Nevertheless, after a ten second campsite pack of the swag it was time to face the long slog home, happy with the memories of some exceptional sand driving, and what’s more – no boggings, bending, breakages or recoveries – quite boring really! (Correction, have just read James’ post – b*gger). Maybe we need to head back to Yalwal soon?! I’ll be back to Stockton though, on my way north in December, it’s too good to leave alone. Thanks to the Messervies and Sampeys (and non-4WDing friends) for a great weekend and fine company.
If you want some more images from the trip have a look at the Gallery at https://actatc.org/…/nggallery/2005/05-stockton-beach