DO YOUR HOMEWORK As with any off-roading, research where you're going. Local council websites can be helpful as to which beaches permit the use of vehicles. If in doubt, contact the local tourist information centre. Check out tide times to make sure you're not caught off guard. Aim to start your journey on an outgoing high tide - the sand will be firm and you'll have ample time to reach your destination before the next high tide returns. Stay clear of the water's edge - one rogue wave is all it takes to lift or roll a vehicle.
LOWER YOUR TYRE PRESSURE Most 4WD vehicles will have a road-driving tyre pressure between 32-38psi. Lowering your tyre pressure will help spread the tyre out, increasing the amount of surface area in contact with the sand. You may find there's a lag in steering and braking response so account for these changes while driving. Don't forget to bump the pressure back up before you hit the road home.
MAINTAIN MOMENTUM If you're coming up to an area of loose, soft sand make sure you maintain or marginally increase your speed. The slower the vehicle is travelling, the longer it has to sink into the sand and dig itself into a rut. Momentum is the key to maximising your fuel usage and reducing the likelihood of getting bogged.
BE PREPARED TO GET BOGGED Accept the inevitable - at some point, you're going to get bogged. Shovels, snatch-straps and shackles, MaxTrax high visibility treads or equivalent, a tyre deflator and a compressor are all essential recovery gear. If you do get bogged, don't spin the wheels as this will only dig the tyres in deeper.
LEAVE NOTHING BEHIND A plastic bag skimming across the sand or a hunk of dirty styrofoam poking out among the leafy dunes are the last features we like to see dotting our natural vistas. Take two rubbish bags with you, one for recycling and one for general rubbish. Even organic matter like scraps from lunch shouldn't be left behind - feral dogs and foxes are attracted to leftovers and predate on native species. Driving on the beach is a fantastic way to enjoy Australia's wild coastlines and it's a privilege that future generations should be able to enjoy as well.
-advice courtesy of Australian Geographic