Tin City: The City Beyond The Dunes

by Jessica Polak

Image credit: Jonah Jones
Image credit: Daniel Allen
Image credit: Wolter Peeters / Sydney Morning Herald
Image credit: Jaysee&Dali 1.0 / Flickr
Image credit: Dean Osland
Image credit: Dean Osland
Image credit: Dean Osland
Image credit: Dean Osland

Tin City may not actually be made from tin, and with only 11 huts making up the entire neighbourhood, this small community can hardly be called a city. And yet, nestled alongside Stockton Beach, Tin City continues to thrive amongst the sand dunes with only a handful of inhabitants to call it home. If you’ve ever wondered how a community truly secluded from outsiders lives, then Tin City is the place to explore.

Unless you want to walk 10-kilometres from the nearest town – and through sand, no less – then a 4WD is your only option if you don’t want to get bogged down. Don’t expect to find any free WiFi here, Tin City is practically the definition of “off the grid”. Their electricity comes from solar panels and their supply of water is taken from right underneath them, and there isn’t any working sewerage either.

As its claim to fame, Tin City and its sand dune surrounds were used in several scenes of the popular 1979 film Mad Max. However, none of the residents technically own any of the huts, they aren’t allowed to sell them but instead pass them on from generation to generation. Some choose to live at Tin City on and off although when they return, the inhabitants often find they need to dig up their homes from the sand.

Since Tin City is a community found close to the shoreline, it should come to no surprise that residents rely on fishing to supplement their diets - who needs fine dining when you can have a first-class view of the ocean for every meal of the day. In recent years, there has been a growing problem with the erosion of the front dune which has made it easier for sand to build up over the city, but still this secluded neighbourhood continues to fight on regardless.



If you enjoyed Tin City: The City Beyond the Dunes, you’ll love our other Sydney Stories and Attractions around Sydney:


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