A couple of kilometres from Lake Macquarie and Swansea you’ll find the stunning Caves Beach. As the name suggests, the beach has sea caves – and they are some of the best caves in the whole of New South Wales!
Caves Beach is located roughly halfway between Newcastle and the Central Coast. The beach is about a kilometre long but the caves lie at the southern end of the beach – click here to see the exact location of the sea caves.
Read on for everything you need to know about Caves Beach – Lake Macquarie!
How to get to the caves on Caves Beach
By public transport:
Note that driving is the desired way to reach Caves Beach as it takes a lot longer to get here on public transport. However if public transport is the only way for you to reach Caves Beach it is still relatively straightforward (just time-consuming!).
You will first need to get to Newcastle (roughly 2.5 hours on the train from Sydney). From Newcastle you will need to take the number 14 bus from Customs House to Swansea Heads. Get off at Caves Beach Road opposite Park Avenue stop. It should take around 1 hour 15 minutes. Note not all the buses stop here so please check the timetable beforehand!
It is a lot faster and more convenient to reach Caves Beach by car as opposed to bus. It should take around 1 hour 45 minutes from Sydney and 40 minutes from Newcastle.
When you get to the locality of Caves Beach, drive down Caves Beach Road towards Caves Beach Surf Life Saving Club. Just after the SLSC at the junction of Bligh Avenue and Caves Beach Road you’ll see a parking area (on the side opposite to Bligh Avenue nearest the sea). Parking here is free and there is space for probably 25 cars. There are other car parks along Caves Beach but if you park at these you’ll have to walk a fair bit along the beach to get to the caves. This one is the most convenient and is right above the caves.
As you walk towards the beach from the car park you’ll see some stairs nearby that go down to the sand. Before you head down, keep walking straight on the grass at the edge of the cliff (there is a fence here, don’t worry) and you’ll come to a viewpoint that offers stunning views over the beach and nearby Stinky Point (yeh, what a name!). The viewpoint you are on now lies directly above the sea caves.
Head down the stairs and then go round to the right under where you were just stood at the viewpoint and you’ll see the most impressive cave first. The opening is really wide and crescent shaped.
Exploring the sea caves at Caves Beach
If you stand at the back of the cave you can get some really nice pictures of the sea behind the opening of the cave. You can also explore around this cave as there are a few side entrances (you’ll have to crouch down to go through some of them as they are quite low and narrow!).
When you exit the side of this big cave on the left you can walk across the rock platform to a few more sea caves. However there is often quite a bit of moss on the rocks so do be careful as it can be very slippery and the rocks are often a bit uneven to walk on. I even several times stepped into pools of water by mistake so just watch your footing. You’ll also find lots of sea creatures in these tidal pools! I do recommend wearing shoes if you want to walk around here (even thongs/flip-flops will do) as it can be quite painful to walk barefoot on these uneven rocks.
If you don’t fancy exploring this part don’t worry as the first cave is definitely the most picturesque and best for pictures. This is the only cave that has sand inside and it goes directly to the sea whereas the others look out onto the rock platform.
When is the best time to visit Caves Beach?
It is best to visit the caves at low to mid-tide. During high tide the waves come a bit into the cave so it is not advisable to enter then. So make sure to check the time of the tide before you arrive – you can check the tide times here.
If the sunrise coincides with low tide, this is a great time to visit as the beach will be a lot quieter so it will be easier to get pictures without other people in. As the sun rises on the East Coast of Australia it will rise over the ocean so will make for some fantastic photos.
Note that Caves Beach is not patrolled during the cooler winter months (May to September) so do take care if you or your young ones go for a swim.
Any time of the year is good to visit Caves Beach though – even if it gets a bit busy there is so much space to spread out. If you do want to get pictures without other people in, as always visit early. I was here at around 9am and it was low tide and there were quite a few people around exploring the cave already so I did have to be patient and wait a few minutes to get pictures without people in. Especially during the school holidays this beach will get busy.
Amenities at Caves Beach:
- showers and toilets: at the SLSC
- BBQ, picnic facilities & kiosk: by the SLSC
- shade: there is minimal shade here so bring your own and suncream/hat.
- lifeguard: Caves Beach is patrolled only from the September school holidays until April.
- parking: free
Other things to do at Caves Beach and nearby:
Caves Beach is also a great place to go surfing, have a dip in the water or simply relax on the beach and sunbathe (or sun bake as the Aussies call it). You can also do the walk down to Stinky Point and back or up to Hams Beach and back.
20 minutes down the road by car is the stunning Munmorah National Park. This is a great place to go if you want to escape the crowds. There are some lovely secluded beaches here where you can camp overnight – my favourite being Frazer Beach.
If you will be spending some time in the Central Coast and are looking for some great walks these are the best ones to do:
Also make sure to stop off at Long Jetty in the Central Coast and walk down (you guessed it) the long jetty here.
Are you looking for more beach caves in Australia? Why not check out Port Willunga Caves in South Australia!
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