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Vehicles on Beaches

4wd beach

4WD Beach driving permits

4WD Vehicles may use beaches in the Port Macquarie-Hastings, Nambucca and Kempsey local government areas with a common  Beach Driving permit472KB pdf(PDF, 472KB).

  • Permits are issued on an annual basis (valid from 1 July to 30 June).  The following permits are available for purchase:-
    - Yearly Permits                        $66.00  per annum
    - Yearly Pensioner Permits  $33.00  per annum
    - 30 Day Visitors                        $33.00 for permit period - Port Macquarie-Hastings Council LGA only

Permit holders must comply with these regulations:

  • Be a licenced driver and hold a current certificate of registration for the vehicle.   A copy of the current certificate of registration to be provided at the time of purchase as proof of compulsory third party insurance cover, registration details will be recorded on the permit.  
  • Disabled drivers may apply for a special licence under RMS unregistered vehicles provision.
  • Display or produce the temporary permit receipt on request. Annual permits should be displayed on the inside bottom left-hand side of the windscreen or near the registration label for motor cycles.
  • Only the vehicle nominated on the permit can access and drive on the beach.
  • Permits are not transferable between vehicles, one permit per vehicle is issued.  If vehicle is sold, permits can be transferred to the newly purchased vehicle, please contact Council in this instance.

Important Beach Rules:

  • Entry/exit via designated, signposted access points only and designated boat launching sites.

  • Vehicles must remain within the high and low tide marks (where the sand is firmer) except when entering/leaving the beach.

  • Obey the 50km/h speed or 25km/h speed limit when within 100m of other vehicles or people.

  • Do not drive through a surf patrol area, unless you have the permission of the patrol captain on duty.

  • Give right of way to people at all times and keep within a safe distance of other beach users.

  • Driving/parking on dunes and vegetation is prohibited.

  • If a section is encountered that cannot be passed because of sand drift situations, drivers are to turn around and not proceed through a drift section. 

Purchasing a permit:

Permits can be purchased in our area at the following locations:

Council offices

  • Port Macquarie - Cnr Lord & Burrawan Streets 
  • Laurieton - 9 Laurie Street
  • Wauchope - High Street


  • Visitor Information Centre at the Glasshouse - cnr Clarence & Hay Streets, Port Macquarie 
  • Mid Coast 4WD Centre - 25 Acacia Avenue, Port Macquarie
  • North Haven Take Away & General Store - 73 The Parade, North Haven
  • North Haven Holiday Coast Marine - 1 The Parade, North Haven
  • Laurieton Convenience Store - 40 Bold Street, Laurieton

It is an offences to:

  • Operate a vehicle on the vegetated dune of any beach.
  • Drive on any beach (except at boat launching sites) without a current beach driving permit,  the permit holder is to ensure that the sticker is displayed as required.
  • Drive in restricted or prohibited areas.

The penalty under the Local Government Act 1993 is $110 on the spot fine with a maximum penalty of up to $1100.

Port Macquarie Hastings Council reserves the right to withdraw the beach driving permit from vehicles found in breach of the Act or Policy. 


The following persons are authorised to enforce this policy:

  • Officers of the NSW Police Force
  • Council Rangers
  • Officers of the National Parks and Wildlife Service

This page was last updated on: 07 October 2020