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Caves Beach (NSW 52) derives its name from the sea caves located on the south side of Shelly Head, which forms the northern boundary of this 2.5 km long beach. The caves have been cut by the waves into softer 180 million year old shales. Immediately south of the caves eroded white Pleistocene dunes underlain by cofferock back the beach, suggesting slow erosion of the beach. The beach faces east-southeast and ends at Plumbago (Buchanans) Head in the south, with a small creek crossing the centre. It is an exposed higher energy beach, backed by some active dune blowouts, and fronted by an energetic double bar system dominated on both bars by prominent rips. Up to 10 rips cut across the attached inner bar, with strong permanent rips against both headlands. Access is by foot from Lake Arragan rest area in the south. A walk-in camp site is located on the northern Shelly Head.
Beach Length: 2.6km
General Hazard Rating: 6/10

Patrolled Beach Flag Patrols

There are currently no services provided by Surf Life Saving Australia for this beach. Please take the time to browse the Surf Safety section of this website to learn more about staying safe when swimming at Australian beaches. Click here to visit general surf education information.


Formal parking area
Formal parking area



Topographic rips


SLSA provides this information as a guide only. Surf conditions are variable and therefore this information should not be relied upon as a substitute for observation of local conditions and an understanding of your abilities in the surf. SLSA reminds you to always swim between the red and yellow flags and never swim at unpatrolled beaches. SLSA takes all care and responsibility for any translation but it cannot guarantee that all translations will be accurate.