Sydneysiders are making up an increasing portion of campers and four-wheel-drive users heading to Nine Mile Beach, one of the state's most popular off-road locations.
More than 150 registered vehicles had made their way to the picturesque strip of the Hunter's coastline at lunchtime Friday.
Almost 60 camp sites had also been set up.
"It's a good mix of locals and people from Sydney," Belmont Wetlands State Park ranger Clinton Smith said.
"The beach has certainly become more popular with Sydneysiders in recent years probably because of the increase in restrictions elsewhere."
Mr Smith, who is one of four rangers patrolling the Belmont Wetlands State Park over Easter, said he expected numbers would increase as the weekend progressed.
"Last Easter we had 258 vehicles on the beach during the peak," he said.
"If the clouds clear I expect we will see a lot more people down here this afternoon."
Between 70 and 100 vehicles use the beach on a typical Autumn weekend.
By comparison there were 650 vehicles on the beach on New Year's Eve and 968 on Australia Day.
Management of the beach, which is classified as Crown Land, is overseen by the Belmont Wetlands State Park board.
Board chairman Paul Andersen told the Newcastle Herald in January that consideration may need to be given to restricting the number of vehicles that could access the beach at one time on public holidays if visitor numbers became unsustainable.
Four wheel drive visitors are required to display a permit pass on their vehicle and abide by NSW road rules.
Rangers have the power to issue fines ranging from $75 to $225 for offences including littering, riding motorbikes on the dunes, dangerous driving, not having a permit, disobeying signage and regulations and driving across vegetation.
Police also patrol the beach.
Mr Smith said he was confident the Easter break would not see a repeat of the events that followed New Year's Eve when furious locals removed more than 13 box trailer loads of rubbish from the beach.
The majority of the rubbish included car parts, discarded camping equipment, shoes, broken surfboards, ice bags, mattresses, takeaway food containers and broken bottles
Partially-burnt wooden pallets containing nails were a particular problem for those cleaning up the mess.
Visitors to the Pride in Our Backyard - Redhead to Blacksmiths Facebook page blamed tourists rather than locals for the pollution.
"Wish all the tourists would go away, all of you have stuffed it. Ten years ago we could surf and fish the place alone," one user commented.
Mr Smith said the vast majority of those who used the beach were mindful of how their behaviour affected the surrounding environment and other beach users.
"It has certainly improved a lot," he said.
"Most people are more than happy to do the right thing with their rubbish and stay off the revegetated parts of the dunes."
"We spend a fair bit of time talking to people about how to look after their campsite, what sort of rubbish they have and where they can take it on the way out."
Several portable toilets and rubbish bins have been set up on the beach to improve the area's amenity over the long weekend.