The Tasman Sea rushed in intermittently, making entry into the cave difficult. I’d decided it was too dangerous for kids, until, upon closer inspection, I grabbed them one at a time and hoisted them into the sepia darkness. Unwary Chinese tourists fell into the waist high water and I helped one to her feet. Her camera and pride went under but otherwise all was okay. I wondered why people with no knowledge of the sea were exploring the caves before low tide.
I joined the kids in the moonscape tunnels tinged with shadow and adventure and explored the caves. The tide made exploring fun, challenging and we jumped across sections of the coastline when the timing was right. The sea charged across luminous rocks, creating a maelstrom of froth in the blink of an eye. Inside, the caves contained a lagoon as well as dark, dead ends replete with lifeforms that lurked between the quiet and tumult of tidal madness.
I stooped beneath the vaulted gloom and took in the silhouettes in front of a day by the sea, through an aperture that began in mystery and ended in action. Walking towards the latter, I notice the tide was heading out and I returned to encourage the younger and more timid to share in the fun.
This was my first visit to Caves Beach, a beach in the Lake Macquarie region of NSW. I love tidal caves and this, like any other, should only be explored when the time is right. I haven’t heard of any deaths but I could easily see – particularly after watching foolish landlubbers – the place could be a death trap if caution isn’t heeded.
Caves Beach itself is just north of the caves, although the area was originally known (at least by settlers) as The Plains. It then became Plains Beach before taking its present name. I’m not sure what history and mystery lies within its chambers, but the place is well worth visiting. I wonder what it’s like at night?