Exploring The Pink Caves on The Central Coast of NSW (2023)
This post was updated on: September 1, 2023
We first found the Pink Caves on the Central Coast on Instagram. We were drawn to it due to the cave’s pink rock and beautiful turquoise ocean water in the pictures we saw. Honestly speaking, our first thought was that maybe the bright pink colour was fake, but we can confirm – IT IS REAL!
Keep in mind that visiting any sea cave can be dangerous, so you need to make sure that you are safe when you go in there. In this article, we will tell you how to find the caves, when is the best time to go and also tell you about another great spot to visit while you are there.
What are the Pink Caves?
The Pink Caves, also known as the “Cotton Candy Caves”, “Deep Cave Bay”, or the “Pink Boulder Sea Cave”, are a unique and beautiful set of three caves that have been tinted pink by nature. There are two main caverns you can explore.
The reason for the inner pink rock colour is actually unknown for sure. From what we could research, there are no more pink caves anywhere else in the world, so this natural phenomenon is unique to Australia.
Please note that this attraction is currently closed to the public due to being extremely unsafe to visit.
How to find the Pink Caves?
The Pink Caves are located in the Munmorah State Conservation Area on the NSW east coast, between Budgewoi and Catherine Hill Bay. It’s only a one and a half-hour drive north of Sydney.
The breathtaking pink sea caves are located at the northern end of Moonee Beach on the Central Coast of NSW. So wherever you are coming from, set Moonee Beach as your destination in the GPS and enjoy the ride.
We recommend parking your car (the only way to get there, as there is no public transport nearby) next to the sign which says “beach access” and going from there, but we will also talk you through a longer route to get there if you wish to do so.
If you don’t have your own car, you can hire one here.
VERY IMPORTANT!! Check the tides before going. Low tide and low swell are essential to exploring this area.
How to get to the Pink Caves?
Once you arrive at Moonee Beach, you have two options to get to the pink boulder sea cave. The first one is a long route that goes through the Moonee Beach walking trail, and the second is the route we chose, much shorter and easier to get to.
The longer option
The longer alternative is around a 5km return trip, and you will walk along the Moonee Beach Trail. We decided not to take this route as we read this trail has nothing special about it, and we did not have much time to waste before the tide started getting high.
We also read the trail feels more like a fire trail than a walking track with very few views, but if you enjoy hiking and are looking for some extra exploring, this trail could be a good one.
Once you’re down on Moonee Beach, you will walk towards the northern end of the beach, the same route as the shorter option described below.
The national park’s website has a great guide on the Moonee Beach Trail if you are interested in reading it
The shorter option
The shorter alternative was the way we decided to go. We parked on Hooey Street near the Beach Access sign and followed the trail to the beach from there. It is only a short 200m walk until you hit the beach sand.
Once you hit the sand, walk towards the northern end of Moonee Beach, towards the rocks that follow the ocean. Continue north and stay on the lowest section of the rocks. If you follow the main track up into the bush, you will NOT be able to access the pink caves from the top.
The rock platform section is pretty wide, but we would recommend not getting too close to the water edge just in case. A crazy big wave could come and knock you off. Waves crash very close to you all the time.
The walk is a pretty easy one, and most of it is pretty flat. Again, make sure you only visit this area when the tide is low. You’ll also see some lovely rock pools along the walk.
From where we parked, at the beach access sign, to the cave opening is about 1km one way.
The sea caves are easy to find. You will know you arrived because you can’t walk any further without crossing the ocean to the other side. The cave has a split rock platform that won’t let you go any further. In the cave you go.
Keep an eye out for slippery areas at the mouth of the cave. We found out about this the hard way, and both of us slipped over on the rocks. We would also recommend wearing closed shoes or at least thongs when walking over the rocks; some are very sharp along the walk.
What to expect when visiting the Pink Caves
The day we visited the pink caves, the tide was low (we checked this website before deciding on what time to go); however, the waves were big. We would hear and feel a big thunder of the waves crashing into the cave, which was a little scary.
When we tried to look inside the cave, the sun was so bright that we couldn’t really see the colours very well. We thought maybe we were at the wrong caves.
The cave is actually pretty big inside, so once you are inside and away from the sun, you can start to see the pink rocks at almost any time of day. However, with the larger waves and the amount of rain we had around the region a couple of days before we visited, the water didn’t have the sensational turquoise complexion you would see in the pictures.
Inside the pink sea cave, apparently you can also see some rock pools that have the same pink colour but because the swell was big, we were not able to see these.
Are Pink Caves safe to visit?
We would only recommend visiting the caves on a low tide and small swells. I would be careful when getting too close to the slit when waves come in and crash against the sides.
Always visit safely by watching the waves before you go in and while you are inside the cave.
The Pink Caves in the Central Coast are definitely worth a visit. They are located right next to the ocean and make for a great place to explore. Just be careful when visiting and always obey any warning signs that may be posted.
Ghostie Beach is a must
After visiting the pink caves, if you have some extra time in your day, we strongly recommend walking down south to Ghosties Beach. We almost decided not to walk there, but we are so glad we did it. Ghosties Beach was totally worth visiting; with its high cliffs and two other caves to visit, make sure not to miss this spot.
To find Ghosties Beach, walk south along Moonee Beach and then follow the path between the dunes. It is just over 1 km to get to Ghosties Beach from the rock platform at Moonee Beach, and it’s an easy walk.
You can read more about the Ghosties sea caves in this post.