Stockton beach lies just to the north of Newcastle and is 32 km (20 mi) long and stretches. Over many years Stockton Beach has been the site of numerous shipwrecks and aircraft crash sites. In some areas it is as much as 1 km (0.6 mi) wide and has sand dunes over 30 metres (98 ft).
Each year the dunes move north by approximately 4 m (13 ft). The sand on Stockton Beach varies from hard to soft packed and changes daily with the changing winds and weather. The dunes are the largest continuous mobile sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere and make for great 4 wheel driving and photography.
Due to storms and shifting of the frontal dunes access along the entire beach has been reduced for a period of time however there is a tourist company that operates buses to the Dunes and “Tin City”.
In the late 19th century shipwrecks on Stockton Beach were so common that two tin sheds were constructed on a part of the beach to hold provisions for shipwrecked sailors. During the Great Depression of the 1930s a group of squatters constructed a series of tin shacks at the site. During World War II the shacks were torn down to make way for an Army camp.
Today, eleven of the shacks, known collectively as “Tin City”, remain but no new shacks may be built. Nor can existing shacks be rebuilt if they are destroyed by the elements.
A bus load of Sundancers (a Newcastle based group of photographers) piled into the bus and headed down the beach in pitch black to shoot “Tin City” at sunrise.
This one was taken about an hour before sunrise:
This is the dunes on sunrise:
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