Life Offroad

New products, tips, hints and information you need on the journey.

Make a fast getaway to Dundee Beach

While we’re out driving across this beautiful country, we need to make sure that our presence doesn’t have a negative impact on the land. ‘Leave no trace’ is a great motto to live by when out driving and camping, and helps preserve the pristine environment that the Top End is famed for.

For many Darwinites, Dundee Beach is a popular spot, mainly because of its proximity. At only 130km from the city, Dundee Beach is perfect for a quick weekender 4-wheel driving in the dunes.

Turtle Power!

But Dundee Beach is also popular with another Northern territory resident – the endangered flatback turtle. In fact, Dundee Beach is one of only three beaches that have been selected as a venue for the turtle nesting program. This program is vital in strengthening the flatback turtle population, and we need to be vigilant when we take it offroad at Dundee, so that we don’t impact on its success.

Going Native

Driving to Dundee is a breeze, with sealed roads all the way to town. You can stop at the Dundee Lodge for ice, bait and a cheeky mint choc Drumstick before you head out onto one of the 4-wheel drive tracks out of Dundee.

One track that we love runs to the north of Dundee, up to Native Point. This 4-wheel drive track can be accessed from the northern end of Namarada Drive, beyond the left turn onto Dundee Place. It continues for around 7km and offers a bit of beach driving, dune climbing, and a tidal river crossing if you really want to show-off those 4-wheel driving talents.

For about the first 1km of the track you’ll be driving parallel to the coast, but soon you’ll reach a left turn that will take you to the beach. And oh boy, what a beach. You can lie in the shade of the trees, relax, and eat lunch. When you’re ready to continue you can either return to the track, or carry on along the beach.

Caution: Turtles Nesting!

Before you let rip on the sand, a word of caution. There are many sections of the beach that are used for the turtle nesting program, making it vital that you drive below the high tide mark. Drive above, and you run the risk of destroying turtle nests.

If, when driving along the beach, you are lucky enough to see turtles the safest thing to do is keep as far away as you can. Don’t shine lights on them, don’t make noise around them, don’t pick them up, and don’t interfere with them if they’re getting frisky. More detailed guidelines can be accessed through the NT Government website.

Cross Me a River

Whether you get there via the beach or the dunes, eventually you will reach the tidal river inlet. If you are keen to cross the river it’s best to do it at low tide when the rocks on the bottom are exposed. We always recommend walking across first to locate any boggy sections.

Over the river the beach stretches on for another 2km before the peninsula splits into a hundred small, rocky islets. The hazy blue of the ocean beyond the radiating, white sand – it is truly breathtaking.

Along the beach there is a naturally formed tidal pool that is begging to be paddled in, and you have the time you can drop a line in and see what bites. Remember that this area is still a nesting ground for the turtles, so continue to drive below the high water mark.

And that’s Native Point. Amazing landscape and home to one of the most incredible events of the natural world.

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16 Jessop Crescent, Berrimah Business Park, Berrimah, NT, Australia

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