BELMONT WETLANDS STATE PARK, NSW

Annual beach permits are your best option if you plan on regular visits to Blacksmiths. Pic: belmontwetlands.com.au

Belmont Wetlands State Park is home to Blacksmiths Beach; a blissful, sun-bleached blessing for strung out Sydneysiders craving a close-to-home sand driving fix.

Just 135km northeast of Sydney’s CBD, Blacksmiths is the closest place to town you can legally get some sand between your tread, yet it couldn’t feel further removed.

For a long time all offroad action on Blacksmiths Beach went down almost completely unregulated, however the Belmont Wetlands State Park have implemented a permit system that has been in effect for some years now.

Weekly, monthly and yearly passes are now available from local outlets, and you don’t want to get caught out without one as stiff fines can be issued on the spot.

STUFF TO DO

4WDING is allowed on the stretch of coastline along Nine Mile Beach between Red Head and Blacksmiths.

Vehicle access is limited to the beach itself, the two access points and tracks that are maintained by the Belmont Wetlands State Park.

FISHING is popular with visitors, and a range of species are caught all year. In summer sand whiting and dusky flathead are caught in good numbers, with fresh beach worms and pippi baits doing most of the damage.

During the cooler winter months, tailor and Australian salmon are prolific and can be reliably targeted on metal slugs or gang-hooked pilchard baits.

IMPORTANT INFO

LOCATION: Blacksmiths Beach is located 135km north of Sydney and is around two hours drive north of the CBD.

Follow the Pacific Highway north before taking the Swansea exit and following Ungala Road out to Blacksmiths Beach.

CAMPING areas are not designated anywhere on Blacksmiths Beach, according to the Belmont Wetlands State Park website, but nor is it expressly banned. The website states that campers must stay clear of wetland areas and are responsible for their belongings and rubbish.

PERMITS are required to drive on the beach at Blacksmiths and weekly permits are available for $33, monthly permits cost $44 and annual permits are available for $88. Permits are available HERE.

FUEL is available in Swansea, Newcastle and on the Pacific Highway.

MORE INFO is available at www.belmontwetlands.com.au