I'm a keen hiker, world traveller & exercise enthusiast. It's no wonder that my wife Beck and I, collectively known as the Speed Hiking Couple, founded www.travelmademedoit.com - a hiking guide website.
Published August 21st 2020
How to explore the 'Pink Sea Caves' on the Central Coast
The Munmorah State Conservation Area located between Budgewoi and Catherine Hill Bay on the Central Coast is an underrated natural haven. Secluded beaches, mesmerising sea caves and scenic walking trails await you.
One of the most renowned walking trails of the area is the Moonee Bay Trail. Traditionally, it's a 4km return walk, taking about an hour, on a management trail overlooking the stunning Ghosties, Timbers and Moonee beaches. It's certainly worth the visit with the fantastic coastal scenery on offer. However, with a little extra exploring, you will be able to discover the amazing pink sea caves that you wouldn't otherwise see if strictly sticking to the trail.
Otherwise known as Deep Cave Bay or Pink Boulder Sea Cave, the breathtaking pink sea caves are located at the northern end of Moonee Beach. To access these otherworldly sea caves, simply continue your walk onto the rock platforms at the northern end of Moonee Beach. But be warned, this should only be attempted at low tide for safety reasons. So check the tides before you go.
Care should be taken when negotiating the rock pools and varied platforms. It can be quite slippery at points. Expect the constant but calming crashing of waves, seagulls screeching and an ocean breeze. There will likely be people rock fishing at the water's edge. So watch out for fishing lines and equipment. After only a few minutes, you'll have arrived at a narrowed sea cave.
Before you reach the main attraction, you'll start to see some of the pink-tinted rocks submerged in the numerous small natural ocean rock pools. The crystal clear water inside them produces a sensational turquoise complexion. Honestly speaking, you'll already be amazed and satisfied with the natural setting on offer. Plus, on a hot day, you may even be tempted to dip your toe into the water to cool off. But there's even more amazing natural landscape just around the corner. Soon enough, you'll have arrived at a narrowed sea cave.
Due to the forces of nature, a gap has been formed in the rock platform within the sea cave, creating a passage for the waves to rush through. When this occurs, the gap is violently filled with water. Within the confines of the sea cave, a magnificent echo is produced when the waves roughly infiltrate the split in the rock platform. It's enough to give you a fright if you're unsuspecting. But once the force of the wave diminishes, and the water drops, that's when the sea caves come to life. An amazing bright pink, with a splash of purple, colour of the rocks are revealed in the split rock platform. It's a seriously impressive natural wonder.
You'll see rugged edges of the split rock platform weaving its way into the sea cave. An inconsistent brownish top layer of the rock gives way to this exuberant and unbelievable bright pink tone. Once the whitewash within settles, you'll again have turquoise ocean water magnificently contrasting with the inner pink rock, the top light brown rock layer and almost white rippled sandstone interior of the cave.
Peering out to the ocean from within the Pink Sea Cave
Again, be careful when approaching the split rock platform. Because when waves penetrate through, they will crash and splash within the sea cave. Even during low tide, it's dangerous to get too close to the split rock platform.
So once you have admired this geological phenomenon from a safe distance, reverse your steps back to the Moonee Bay Trail. Safe to say, the pink sea caves are the highlight of the Munmorah State Conservation Area! Being located between Newcastle and Sydney, it makes for an easy day trip from either city.