How 4WD users can share shore

4WD users pose a major threat to beach-nesting shorebirds. Learn to share the shore and drive safely along the NSW beaches following these easy tips.

Pied oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris), a shorebird, Conjola National Park

Every summer, from August to March, threatened beach-nesting birds raise their chicks on NSW’s picturesque beaches. Hooded plovers, pied oystercatchers and beach-stone curlews are locals to these beaches all year-round, while little terns make the massive journey from places as far away as South-East Asia to return home to our beaches to nest.

Unlike other birds, beach nesting birds are unique. They don’t build their nests up in trees, preferring instead to nest right on the sand.

4WD vehicles pose a major threat to these birds during this vulnerable period, as the nests are impossible to see from a car. This results in eggs and chicks being crushed and killed. However, there are a few easy things you can do to share the shore with these amazing birds:

  • Drive within designated areas – only drive on beaches where 4WD vehicles are allowed and enter/exit the beach using designated access points.
  • Drive on the hard sand – shorebirds usually nest up in the dry sand, so it’s best to stick to the hard sand that’s close to the water’s edge.
  • Avoid driving at high tide.
  • Pay attention to the signs – if you see fenced off areas or beach-nesting bird signs on the beach, read what they say and put plenty of space between you and the nesting area.
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