Coffs Harbour Camping – Why we Recommend a Winch!

By: Date: 28 October 2022

If you’ve never been to the stunning Coffs coast, then you really need to take a look at your life choices! Coffs Harbour is one of Australia’s ultimate 4WD destinations, with some of the best beach camping you’ll do anywhere in the country, and some of the most challenging 4WD tracks you’ll get the opportunity to challenge. 

Despite the scenic stretches and untapped beauty that go hand-in-hand with Coffs Harbour camping, getting there and making your way through the off-road parts can be tricky. Think soft sand combined with beachside water and you’ve got a bog just waiting to happen. This is why travelling with a winch is an absolute must when traversing the stunning Coffs Harbour area in your 4WD. Not only will a winch keep you safe, but it will also make your adventure much more streamlined and enjoyable.

In this blog, we’ll provide tips, tricks, and must-dos for winch safety, as well as outline some of the best Coffs Harbour camping & 4WD hotspots to put on your list.

Exploring Coffs Harbour’s Scenic Camping Spots

Nestled along the New South Wales coastline, Coffs Harbour is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a myriad of breathtaking camping and 4WD destinations. While Pebbly Beach may steal the spotlight, this coastal gem has a treasure trove of other camping spots and trails that are equally captivating.

Diggers Beach

Diggers Beach is a haven for campers who seek a serene escape while remaining close to civilization. With its proximity to Coffs Harbour’s amenities, it’s an ideal starting point for those new to camping or 4WD adventures. Here, you’ll find picturesque coastal vistas, pristine sandy shores, and a range of scenic walking tracks.

Sawtell Beach

Sawtell Beach, just a short drive south of Coffs Harbour, beckons campers with its laid-back charm. Set up camp amid the coastal vegetation and enjoy the stunning ocean views. The nearby Sawtell village offers a charming mix of cafes and boutiques, making it a perfect blend of nature and local culture.

Boambee Creek Reserve

For those who prefer a more secluded camping experience, Boambee Creek Reserve is a hidden gem. Tucked away in a lush, subtropical rainforest setting, this camping spot offers tranquility and a sense of being at one with nature. Accessible only by 4WD, it’s a great opportunity to test your vehicle’s capabilities.

Pebbly Beach

When it comes to Coffs Harbour campsites, there’s one in particular that you’ve probably read about in 4WD magazines and seen on 4WD TV shows plenty of times: Pebbly Beach in the Yuraygir National Park, just north of Coffs Harbour. 

There’s a valid reason why this campsite gets so much attention. Not only does it have one of the most stunning stretches of coastline to set up your camper trailer or roll out your swag, but it’s an adventure just getting there!

Just How Tough is it Getting to Pebbly Beach?

There’s no two ways about it – Pebbly Beach is no walk in the park. This is a 4WD-only campsite, tailor-made for swags, tents, and well-equipped off-road trailers. Taking a full-sized caravan down this path? Well, you’d have to be as bold as a roo in the headlights to attempt that!

Getting to Pebbly Beach is an adventure in itself. You’ll need to navigate through some serious beachfront driving, cruising through soft sands like a seasoned pro. Then, it’s time to tackle a soft sand track through the foreshore that leads you to a saltwater estuary. Sounds simple, right? But there’s a catch – you can only cross this estuary at low tide! Nature’s clock is your guide.

Once you’ve conquered the salty creek, there’s still a fair bit of sand track driving ahead. Depending on the conditions, you might face gnarly washouts and all sorts of obstacles. But hold on tight, because the journey is worth every bit of effort.

When you finally reach the campsite, you’ll see why adventurers like you embark on this epic journey. Picture this: She-oak lined grassy sites, top-notch toilet facilities, and direct beach access that’s second to none. The beach itself earned its name from its unique coarse, pebbly sand, making it a haven for surfing, swimming, fishing, and whale watching. Pebbly Beach isn’t just a destination; it’s a slice of paradise you have to experience to believe!

So, if you’re up for the challenge, gear up, and let the rugged beauty of Pebbly Beach take your breath away. After all, nothing great ever comes easy, and this adventure is the stuff of legends!

Why a Winch is Essential for Coffs Harbour Camping & 4WD

You’re probably reading this thinking, ‘Okay, a bit of soft sand, a water crossing – sounds fun, but do I REALLY need a winch?’ Great question, and as a team who have been stuck in the soft sand of Pebbly Beach ourselves, our answer is a firm ‘yes’! 

The pebbly nature of the sand makes getting bogged a very undesirable circumstance. Essentially, once you’re bogged at Pebbly Beach, you’ll want to avoid trying to drive yourself out. This is because every time your 4WD wheels spin in that sand, they’re digging you in deeper until you’re so deep that a suction effect happens. Once this takes effect, even snatching yourself out becomes a hairy task. 

Our advice? Arm yourself and your vehicle with a durable, quality winch before setting foot (or wheel) on Pebbly Beach. 

A winch, securely mounted on your vehicle’s front end, is a powerful tool that can pull you out of even the stickiest situations. When the going gets tough and the wheels start to spin, you can rely on your winch to anchor your 4WD and give it the pull it needs to get back on solid ground.

Having a winch is not just about the convenience of self-recovery, either; it’s about safety and self-sufficiency. Pebbly Beach’s remote location means that assistance may not be readily available. With a winch, you have the means to extricate your 4WD and continue your adventure, ensuring that your Pebbly Beach experience remains memorable for all the right reasons.

So, as you gear up for your Pebbly Beach adventure for a bit of Coffs Harbour camping, make sure your trusty winch is in prime condition. It’s not just a piece of equipment; it’s your ticket to conquering the rugged beauty of this remarkable destination. When the going gets tough, your winch will be there to pull you through, ensuring your journey is filled with awe-inspiring vistas, not bogged-down frustrations.

Why a 9000lbs Winch is a Necessary bit of Kit

Now, you may be wondering what type of winch is best suited for this kind of rough off-roading trip. Or you might be feeling pretty chuffed with the winch you’ve already got. Before you get going, though, let’s take a  look at the best (and really the only) winch that will get you through the terrain of Pebbly Beach and other Coffs Harbour camping & 4WD tracks: a 9000lbs winch.

Having your 4WD equipped with a 9000lbs winch will ensure that you can slowly drag your way out of that suction pit onto the top of the sand, without spinning wheels and digging in deeper. The good part about the tracks leading into Pebbly is that they give you a number of options of places to winch from, too. As previously mentioned there are plenty of she-oaks lining the foreshore that you could run a winch strap around. Of course, it’s always wise to be travelling in a convoy, so being able to winch from another 4WD is ideal. Another option is to carry a sand anchor. These smart little devices are designed to dig into the sand to give you something to winch from.

Another thing to remember is that it’s important that your winch is a powerful 9000lbs one, like ARK’s XO Series 9000lbs Winch. As mentioned, getting stuck in the sand will have a suctioning effect on your 4WD which means your winch will be working overtime to pull you out, especially if you’re towing a camper trailer. Having that power is the best way to ensure your winch can do the job!

Other Reasons a Winch is the Perfect Bit of Kit for Coffs

Coffs Harbour has been called a ‘4WD Mecca’, and for good reason; there are hundreds of tracks for all levels of ability on offer from the relatively tame National Park tracks around Yuraygir to the infamous England Track which is only for those with a lot of experience and a heavily modified 4WD!

Having a winch installed on your 4WD gives you peace of mind when you’re tackling Coffs Harbour’s tough tracks, and it really is a versatile piece of recovery gear that every 4WD should be equipped with – especially if they’re planning on Coffs Harbour camping.

Off Grid Camping Coffs Harbour

ARK’S XO Series 9000lbs Winch

Our XO Series 9000lbs Winch has been tried and tested on Australia’s toughest tracks by the team at ARK. It features a rated line pull of over 4 tonnes, a 3-stage planetary gear train with a 5.2hp motor, synthetic rope for ease of use and added strength and an aluminium fairlead to look the part.

If you’re planning to explore some of the gnarlier tracks that Australia has to offer, then talk to the team at ARK to see how an XO Series Winch is the ideal bit of kit for you.

Winch Safety Tips for Your Coffs Harbour Camping Adventure

When you’re gearing up for an off-road adventure in the rugged beauty of Coffs Harbour, having a reliable winch can be a game-changer. However, it’s essential to remember that a winch is a powerful tool that requires careful handling to ensure both your safety and the safety of those around you. Here are some winch safety tips to keep in mind as you embark on your Coffs Harbour camping expedition:

1. Know your winch inside out: Before you hit the trails, take the time to familiarize yourself with your winch and its operation. Read the user manual thoroughly, understand the controls, and practice using it in a safe and controlled environment. Knowledge is your best ally when it comes to winch safety.

2. Use proper safety gear: When operating a winch, ensure you and anyone assisting you are wearing appropriate safety gear. This includes gloves, sturdy footwear, and eye protection. These precautions are essential to protect against potential hazards like flying debris or tensioned cables.

3. Keep clear of the cable: When winching, always keep a safe distance from the winch cable or rope. Never place any part of your body near the cable path or allow others to do so. In case of a cable failure, the recoiling cable can be extremely dangerous.

4. Use a dampener: When winching, especially in recovery situations, always use a winch dampener or a heavy blanket to cover the cable. This helps absorb energy in case the cable snaps, reducing the risk of injury or damage to nearby objects.

5. Anchor points matter: Ensure that the anchor points you use for winching are stable, secure, and rated for the task. Never attach your winch to fragile objects, as they could break under the strain, leading to accidents.

6. Keep a clear path: Before engaging the winch, make sure the path is clear of obstacles and bystanders. Warn others in the vicinity of your actions, and ensure they maintain a safe distance during winching operations.

7. Regular maintenance: Your winch is a mechanical device that requires proper maintenance. Regularly inspect it for signs of wear and tear, and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for maintenance intervals. A well-maintained winch is a safer winch.

8. Communicate clearly: Effective communication is vital during winching operations. Establish clear signals and communication with anyone assisting you. Ensure everyone understands the plan and follows it meticulously.

9. Be patient: Winching can be a slow and methodical process. Avoid rushing or using excessive force. Applying steady and controlled tension is more effective and safer.

By adhering to these winch safety tips, you’ll not only enhance your safety during your Coffs Harbour camping & 4WD adventure but also ensure a smoother and more enjoyable off-road experience. A winch is a valuable tool, but it must be used with caution and respect for the potential hazards involved.

Track Recovery Winch

ARK are the Off-Road Experts!

Here at ARK, we love to get off-road just like you! We regularly hit the tracks, testing all our gear in real-world conditions to ensure that every one of our products ticks all the boxes when it comes to touring Australia.

ARK is 100% Aussie-owned and independent, and we’ve been the leaders in trailer parts, towing gear and 4WD accessories for over 40 years. Whether it’s winches and winch accessories, trailer equipment such as jockey wheels and coupling, or 12V power systems and battery packs to enhance your camping experience, the team at ARK has you covered.

So, get out and enjoy the great outdoors of Pebbly Beach and Coffs Harbour with some premium equipment. Armed with our XO Series 9000lbs Winch and some must-have camping gear, you’ll be set for the adventure of a lifetime!