The Lake Cathie Progress Association has launched this website to keep you up to date on local projects, issues, business & tourism.

Beach Access Points

Beach Driving Permits

Vehicles may be driven on approved Greater Port Macquarie beaches if that vehicle displays a current beach driving permit. The Greater Port Macquarie Council offers the following information for Beach Drivers:

  • Permits are issued on an annual basis and are valid from 1 July to 30 June each year
  • Permits cost $62.00 per annum
  • Permits are issued only to vehicles that hold a current certificate of registration. A copy of the vehicle’s current certificate of registration must be provided at the time of purchase as proof of compulsory third party insurance cover
  • Permits will not be issued to any unregistered vehicle
  • The permit is to be displayed on the inside bottom left-hand side of the windscreen of motor vehicles and near the registration label on motor cycles

Where to buy your permits

You can purchase Beach Driving permits in the Greater Port Macquarie area from the following:

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council

Port Macquarie – Corner Lord & Burrawan Streets

Wauchope  – High Street

Laurieton – 9 Laurie Street

You can also purchase Beach Driving permits in the Greater Port Macquarie area from the following: 
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council Port Macquarie – Corner Lord & Burrawan Streets

Wauchope  – High Street

Laurieton – 9 Laurie Street

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



Access Points
Approved Access Points Permissible Areas for Driving on Beaches with Permit Displayed
North Beach

Intersection of North Shore Drive and Plomer Road


10km north of access to Point Plomer access

Lighthouse Beach

Matthew Flinders Drive


6Km south of access to Lake Cathie access on Ocean Drive near Dirah Street

Lake Cathie Beach

Ocean Drive opposite Lake Cathie Sports Fields near Dirah Street


6km north of access to Lighthouse Beach access on Matthew Flinders Drive

Lake Cathie/Bonny Hills Beach

Middle Rock Road (off Ocean Drive Lake Cathie)


2km south of access to Duchess Creek (north of Rainbow Beach)

Grants Beach

Ocean Drive North Haven (2.3kms north on Ocean Drive from roundabout with The Parade)

2km north of access to Grants Head and south to 500 m north of North Haven Beach car park
Dunbogan Beach -Dunbogan

off the Boulevarde Dunbogan (take turnoff to Waste Management Facility)


8km south of access to Diamond Head access (Crowdy Bay National Park)

Dunbogan Beach – Diamond Head

Diamond Head Road (Crowdy Bay National Park)


8km north of access at Diamond Head to Dunbogan Beach access point at Dunbogan (off the Boulevarde)

Prohibited Areas

  • North Beach – from North Shore Drive south to breakwall (2 km)
  • Town Beach
  • Oxley Beach
  • Flynns Beach
  • Lighthouse Beach from Tacking Point headland to Matthew Flinders Drive access (2 km)
  • Cathie Beach – Ocean Drive access near Dirah Street to Middle Rock Road access (1 km)
  • Rainbow Beach Bonny Hills south of Duchess Creek
  • Sharkies Beach
  • North Haven Beach
  • Dunbogan Beach – northern end (1 km)


Unregistered Vehicles

  • Motor vehicles not registered under the Road Transport (Vehicle Registration) Act 1997 and Road Transport (Vehicle Registration Regulation 2007 are prohibited from all beaches.
  • Disabled drivers MAY apply for a special licence under RTA unregistered vehicles provision.

Unlicensed Drivers

All persons driving or riding motor vehicles must be licensed in accordance with the Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Act 1998 and Road Transport (Driver Licensing Regulation 1999.


Maximum Speed

A speed limit of 50 km/h applies and vehicles are required to slow to a speed of not more than 25 km/h when within 100 metres of people on beaches.


Surf Patrol Areas

Vehicles are not permitted to drive through a surf patrol area unless arrangements are made with the patrol captain on duty.


Right-Of Way

Beach users have right-of-way over motor vehicles at all times and motor vehicles must be kept at a reasonable and safe distance from other beach users.

Defined Areas

Motor vehicles are prohibited from travelling above the high water mark on all beaches except when crossing the beach to and from officially constructed access points and specifically designated boat launching sites.

If when driving on the beach below high water, a section is encountered that cannot be passed because of sand drift situations, drivers are to turn around and not proceed through the drift section.


  • It is an offence to operate a vehicle on the vegetated dune of any beach
  • It is an offence carrying a $110 on-the-spot fine to 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 – breach of this policy carries a $110 on-the-spot fine
  • Drivers of permitted vehicles are required to observe the safety of other beach users including bathers, pedestrians and persons sub-bathing. Council may revoke a permit without notice should adverse reports be confirmed
  • Any person driving in restricted or prohibited areas will be considered to be in breach of the Recreation Vehicles Act 1983 which provides for penalties of up to $500, or a breach of the Local Government Act 1993which provides for penalties of up to $550. On-the-spot fines of $110 may be also issued. Port Macquarie-Hastings Council reserves the right to withdraw the beach driving permit from vehicles found contravening this policy


The following persons are authorised to enforce this policy:

  • Officers of the NSW Police Force
  • Authorised Officers as defined under the Recreational Vehicles Act 1983
  • Council Rangers
  • Council Beach Inspectors
  • Officers of the National Parks and Wildlife Service
  • Managers of council operated caravan parks and camping areas