A few weeks ago we took a spontaneous getaway to Port Stephens. AJ’s trial exams were over and BJ is still at home and not attending his day program and he’s always up for an adventure. AJ had one request when we decided we’d take a few days away – “Can we go quad biking again?”. After our fun experiences in New Zealand and Fiji I thought it was a good idea but I wasn’t sure we could be accommodated as well in Australia. I was short on time so phoned the local visitor information centre and they suggested Sand Dune Adventures. While I was pleased to have a contact, I remained dubious.
I was absolutely thrilled to find the staff at Sand Dune Adventures were open minded and keen to assist and work out a way for BJ to join in. I sent them photos of the set up we used to strap BJ to a bike in Fiji and they confirmed we could do the same with them. The kids were thrilled and we had an amazing tour. We loved the fact they could help us make quad biking accessible.
SAND DUNE ADVENTURES PORT STEPHENS
BJ was able to double on the quad bike with Hubby. He was comfortable with a back rest which helped him to sit well. We took our own strap for around BJ’s waist and a piece of non-slip matting to help BJ not slide around on the seat. It worked a treat.
A full face helmet is required for riders, but the staff from Sand Dune Adventures offered us the option of a bicycle helmet but advised we would have to go at a slower pace. Our boys have a need for speed so a full face helmet it was and BJ wore it quite happily.
Once the quick safety briefing was over we were off. Quad bikes and I have a complicated relationship. Basically I like riding them but I’m hopeless at driving them. I’m good with other vehicles but just can’t master a quad bike. AJ on the other hand, is awesome at it! So Hubby rode along with BJ doubling and I doubled behind AJ. It also allows me to capture the experience in photos which BJ loves sharing with anyone who is interested.
As we emerged from the bush and landed on the moonscape-like sand dunes of Stockton Beach we felt like we’d been transported far from home. In reality Stockton Beach is only around two and a half hours from Sydney but exploring on the tour it seemed a galaxy away.
We all loved every minute. It was a still day and ideal conditions for our ride.
The tour stopped for a short break at an ideal spot atop a sand dune with the ocean in the back ground.
Our guide chatted to Hubby about the history of the area while I clicked endless shots of the kids and the surrounding dunes.
After the break we were asked if we’d like to tackle the “big hill”. AJ and I decided camera duty called (code for we were chickens!) and the boys went with the rest of the group to descend one of the steep sand dunes. Unfortunately, the photos don’t do the size of the sand dune justice. As I saw them poised to head down the side, fun Mum exited the building, quickly replaced by anxious Mum. Of course as soon as they were safely down, fun Mum returned and cheered them on.
The dunes are magnificent and although we’ve explored them before, quad biking is my favourite way to do it.
On the way back our disappointment that the tour was over was tempered by spotting some grazing wallabies.
COVID-19 SAFETY & HYGIENE
We are paranoid about COVID and therefore only do an experience when we are thoroughly satisfied that the measures in place will keep us safe. The helmets are all sprayed and the bikes wiped down at the end of each tour. I watched and saw it was done well.
A strap clipped around BJ’s waist and entwined through the bike frame secured BJ to the seat.
A small piece of non-slip matting stopped BJ from slipping forward when tackling the big hill.
We paid in full for our adventure and would do it again in a heartbeat. We feel the guys at Sand Dune Adventures well and truly live by the information on their website about accessibility – “we are very flexible in our delivery to ensure that everyone gets to experience the dunes in some shape and form.’
You can find out more about the quad biking tours and other tours they offer on the Sand Dune Adventures website.
Reshma Upadhyaya says
This is Reshma here and we are planning a port stephen trip these school holidays. My son is 11 and has DMD,and was hoping to go quad biking. It was really encouraging, reading your post. I am hoping that the technique you used will work for my son as well, as he lacks the muscle strength to hold on. Also, would really appreciate any information you may have on beachwheelchairs in Nelson Bay. It says that Little beach and Fingal beach, have them.
Thank you and best wishes
I’m glad our information was helpful. I’ve been away so I’m only just seeing this now sorry. Yes, there is a beach wheelchair. At Little Beach you only need a MLAK key to access it. I think at Fingal Bay it is at the lifesaving club.
This looks great. Do you know if a para is able to ride their own quad bike or would they need to be doubled also? Thinking this would be great for my son and his mates.
you’d need to contact the company directly. I can’t see why not but you’d best ask them.