McBrides Beach, at Cape Hawke, Forster, NSW minus 4X4 vehicles could be an idyllic beach at the base of Cape Hawke nestled in Booti Booti National Park in subtropical and littoral rainforest.
Access to the beach is by driving or walking about 1 kilometre down a deeply rutted eroded and rocky in places 4 wheel drive track which even experienced four wheel drivers attempt with some degree of trepidation. While the track, as of August 2013, is currently open it is recommended that the 4 wheel drive vehicle have at minimum 30cm of ground clearance and should not be attempted without carrying a good winch. Travelling in the company of another support vehicle would also be a good idea. With some huge boulders, deeply rutted sections and some very sharp drop-offs to negotiate not to mention a water hazard about half way down, the trip is not recommended for inexperienced drivers. Many drivers do suffer damage to their vehicles on this track. If you can make it onto the beach that is an achievement but you still have to get back up the track, which could be even more challenging than the trip down. A small heavily littered camp area is found up in the southern corner of the beach but sadly the camp area and indeed the beach are in a disgraceful state and about as far from natural as one could get. The whole beach is littered with 4X4 tracks, with almost no part free of them. Beer bottles are everywhere littering the edges of the rainforest and the road down the hill. Perhaps worst of all, a huge painted graffiti tag on the rocks on the northern end of the beach dominates the view. Why National Parks have not removed this ugly graffiti and why the beach has not been closed to 4X4 vehicles is perhaps hard to fathom given the evident disrespect shown by probably a small few who use this place. Without a more responsible attitude on the part of users of this beach the days of 4X4 access here could well be justifiably numbered. There are no signs at the top carpark warning of the condition of the road or informing of penalties for littering/vandalism and there are no signs or garbage bins down at the beach.
Categories & Keywords
Keywords:4 wheel drive track, 4x4, 4x4 track, Booti Booti National Park, Cape Hawke, Forster, Great Lakes, McBrides Beach, McBrides Beach Track, NSW, Off Road Vehicle Track, rough track