Discover Caves Beach with kids

Caves Beach is a beautiful white sandy beach located at Lake Macquarie, just a two hour drive north of Sydney. There is actually a network of sea caves that can be explored at low tide.

caves beach nsw at low tide
View from the caves at low tide. Check tide times at Caves Beach here.

This beautiful area makes a terrific day trip for Sydney families, or visit as part of a weekend away to Lake Macquarie.

Two hours driving may be too much for some families, but Caves Beach is easily accessed via the M1 Highway and it never feels as crowded as  the Sydney beaches. This area can be busy in summer but we have always managed to find a car park. And, it is free, hooray!

A visit to Caves Beach is a great excursion for families who are seeking a bit of adventure and like to discover new places. The location is stunning and the beach has excellent facilities. The only drawback is that it doesn’t have a playground.

However, there are lots of things to do at this beach. Simply enjoy being surrounded by this piece of paradise with its gentle waves, sand dunes, rock formations, rock pools and caves.  What else? Shh, you can also have a beer at the surf life saving club, which is adjacent to Stuart Chalmers Park and the picnic area.

caves beach near swansea
Caves Beach always has a relaxing vibe

Visiting Caves Beach 

Caves Beach Road, Caves Beach NSW 2281

By Mireia Garriga Seguranyes

Caves Beach is one of the most pristine beaches on Lake Macquarie’s 32km coastline, it is near to the township of Swansea.

Caves Beach 4
From the lookout you can admire the coastline with its impressive caves

The southern end of the beach is the most popular because of the caves. Also, there is a café, picnic tables, barbecues and a new amenities block.

As well as the main attraction of the caves, there is a lookout where you can enjoy stunning views of the beach and the caves. Caves Beach also has some sand dunes, which are perfect for boogie boarding. Our daughters had a blast.

beach fun at Caves beach nsw
Heading to the flags for a swim

Although the waves are not too big, we always recommend swimming between the flags. The beach is patrolled from the October school holidays to the April school holidays. So, no excuse. Also, for older kids, there is a learn-to-surf program during the school holidays. Visit Newcastle Surf School for bookings.

The northern end of the beach is the place to go if you have a dog, or if you hate crowds. However, be careful as it has the bigger waves than the southern side, which can be potentially hazardous due to strong rips and rocks.

Hams Beach, which is the continuation of the main beach, is exposed to more swell, with the best breaks for surfing.

Caves beach australia
Miles of sand to walk along

Information For Your Visit

Toilets: The amenities building meets the needs of people with disabilities as it features a hoist, adult change table, accessible toilet and a shower. In addition, the amenities include a parent’s room that also has a disabled toilet.

Nearest takeaway coffee: Yes, Two Pines Caves Beach is located next to the Surf Live Saving Club. The café-kiosk serves great coffee. Also, the menu includes dishes like fish and chips, and bacon and egg rolls.

cafe at Caves Beach

Mum’s report: Caves Beach is family favourite of Lake Macquarie families but it also attracts other visitors including Sydneysiders. The main attraction is the network of caves on the southern side of the beach. But, there is more to discover besides the caves. Find amazing rock formations and have a splash in the rock pools, grab a boogie board and slide down the sand dunes, and enjoy the vista from the lookout. With well-maintained barbecue facilities and picnic areas, this beach is a great destination for a family day out or a short weekend away.

caves beach rock exploring
Exploring the rock pools at Caves Beach

How to get to Caves Beach

The best way to travel is by car. From Sydney, you only need to take the M1 Pacific Motorway. Once you reach the Twin Servo Stations, the exit to Doyalson interchange is only few kilometers away.

Bus stop nearby: You can go to Caves Beach from Newcastle, via Belmont, Charlestown and Kotara with the bus route number 14. For more information, check Transport NSW website or Newcastle Transport

Parking: There are three car parks. The most convenient car park is the one next to the toilet and change block, surf club and picnic area, as you can access t the patrolled beach area and the caves are at a reasonable walking distance. Besides this car park at the southern end of the beach, there is another car park at the northern end, which is technically Hams Beach. And, you can also park next to the lookout and then go down to the beach using the stairs.

caves coastal hams beach
Caves Coastal makes a great place to stay. Photo credit: Caves Coastal

Where To Stay At Caves Beach

Caves Coastal Bar & Bungalows is a family-friendly venue that offers casual dining opposite to Hams Beach. The beer garden is called the Corona Beach Garden and it has an awesome kids’ play area. 

Check dates and costs for Caves Coastal on here.

caves coastal bar beach
Overlooking the beach at the Caves Coastal bar. Photo credit: Caves Coastal

If you are planning a holiday in this area, don’t forget to read our article about 25 things to do at Lake Macquarie. It has lots of information, including where to stay.

Note: For more information about the area, head to Lake Macquarie Visitor Information Centre: 228 Pacific Highway, Swansea NSW 2281. Telephone:1800 802 044


Other Things To Do At Caves Beach  

Caves Beach 3
The stairs provide access to the lookout, which offers great views of the beach and the caves
  • The Caves Beach walk: Would you like to explore all the caves? Then, you can find very detailed information on Wild Walks
  • Caves Beach playground and Speers Point playground. Caves Beach playground is the closest playground, although it is not located on the beach. You can find it on 124A Caves Beach Rd. It is a classic neighbourhood size playground that has equipment for early primary school-aged children and a shelter with a barbecue and picnic table. However, if you are seeking something special, Speers Point Playground at Speers Point Park on the shores of the Lake Macquarie is only a 30 minutes drive from Caves Beach. Read our review here to find all that you need to know about it. 
  • Also, you might be interested in visiting Newcastle. Here you can find the 10 best things to do in Newcastle with kids. 

Useful Information Before You Go 

  • Read and observe the safety signs. You can visit the caves but it is at your own risk. The most important is that you check the tide times to avoid getting trapped.
  • Council lifeguards patrol annually from the September / October school holidays through to April. Patrol times are Monday-Sunday, 8.30am-5pm with Surf Life Saving Club volunteers also patrolling Sunday 8.30am-5pm. Patrol times may extend during busy or dangerous conditions.
  • For the dog lovers, dogs are not permitted on the beach at the southern end near the caves. However, Hams Beach is dog friendly, which is the continuation of Caves Beach.
  • Take with you hats, umbrellas or tents. Shade is quite limited on the beach. However, you can find some shade in the picnic area.
  • Don’t pack too much in summer, as you might need to walk a little bit from the car park.
Caves Beach 5
Playing at the caves

Caves Beach is a great place to spend the day with kids. The caves are quite unique! My daughters had lots of fun, when we explored them.


 PS This post contains some affiliate links meaning that, if you buy an item using the link, a small commission is paid to support Hello Sydney Kids, at no cost to you. Read my full disclosure policy here.


Share with a friend

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. says: Judy

    Great overview of this lovely area. Note though that the cafe is not open over the winter but may open in the school holidays during that period.

Leave a comment
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *