NORTHERN NSW – 5 October 2020
After we’d finished our caving exploration, Phillip offered to take us to a sea cave later in the afternoon. I imagined that I’d be just walking down to a beach and then along some sand, you know, like at Caves Beach. Rookie error, should have asked more questions. I didn’t take my walking shoes, figured Crocs would be the way to go on the beach.
We drove to a beach up the coast from the sea cave, whilst the fire trail down to the beach parking spot wasn’t 4WD, it did require high clearance for the vehicles.
And walked down to this stunning beach. There is a camping area at the back of the beach – nice grassy campsites – it was idyllic.
“Just up here” says Phillip, it was a jungle of Lantana, Pandanus, and Lomandra – all of which were scratchy and spiky, and the Crocs weren’t coping. Not to mention that it was very snaky and I didn’t wear my gaitors – what was I thinking?
Fortunately we stopped and Phillip said, “I’m sure there is a track on the hill”, and sure enough we stumbled onto it. There was still a lot of Lomandra (black snakes love Lomandra) so I had to constantly check where I was putting my feet. And then another cove appeared – it was like Treasure Island!
And there was our cave (that dark slot in the rock). I couldn’t wait to get down to it and swim into the slot.
Another idyllic beach, also with a lovely grassy spot at the back of the beach for camping (no water source though), although such a short walk, you could carry the water in, and lots of firewood for campfire!
We made our way over to the rocks, to get over to the slot.
Sadly, although it was low tide, there was no way we could get into the slot, well, you could get in but you’d be hard pressed to get out.
So Phillip took us up the rocks, and this is where it became really scary in the Crocs, pandanus leaves all around (which are slippery), rocks that broke up when you held onto them and the guys had scampered ahead so I had no idea which way they’d gone, I’ve never been so thankful to get to the top, my next concern was going down that rockface where I could easily fall to almost certain death!
So, we’re on the other side to the slot now, and that dark spot on the cliff is another cave.
Sea is a bit choppy, no way would I consider hopping in here.
Looking into the cave, at the back are thousands of black rocks, polished smooth by the waves. Phillip says it depends on what the weather’s been like, sometimes you can walk into this on sand.
So this slot actually meets up with the other cave at the back where all the pebbles are.
And this is looking the other way, where the cave goes into the slot that we first visited, you can walk all the way through the slot to the pebble cave (at low tide and with favourable seas). We walked down on a section of the cliff that hadn’t yet dropped into the slot (mid photo at the top on the right), but one day it probably will collapse!
Looking up the coast, stunning day!
The others playing on the rocks.
Pandanus trees, Philip actually collects seeds from these trees, grows them and then plants them up the back of the beach.
Instead of going down the scary cliff to the rocks again, we followed the track and it led us right to the first beach, easy as.
And then had a swim at the beach. I’d taken my swim suit, but wasn’t keen to get in the water, after all, it’s only Autumn, but when I got in it was fabulous, perfect temperature.
Thank you so much Phillip for taking us on this little side trip. The guys spent a lot of time planning a diving or snorkeling trip to get into the slot/cave, as I don’t do either, I may just have to cross my fingers and hope that the tide is low enough for me to swim in when they go! Definitely worth a return trip, maybe just to spend the night camping at the beach … next time I’ll wear shoes though!
There’s nothing glamorous about bushwalking, caving or canyoning, but it sure is fun! If you’re an armchair bushwalker, someone looking for new adventures, or one of my friends who just wants to see what I’ve been up to, this site is for you, sign up to get email alerts now!