Wallarah Coastal Walk

2 h 30 min to 3 h

8.4 km
return

↑ 224 m
↓ -224 m

Hard track
This walk starts at Caves Beach and travels south along the coastline, until reaching the Pinney’s Headland Lookout. There are many opportunities to stop, relax and swim if you would like. You will meander through coastal heath vegetation, which offers abundant wildflowers during springtime. There are spectacular views over the coast and the side trip to Spoon Rocks Spit offers a chance to look back at the attractive coastline. This walk takes you into a seldom visited part of Wallarah Pennisula. Let us begin by acknowledging the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.
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Cafe at Caves Beach . | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Lifesaver lookout at Caves Beach. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Southern end of Caves Beach. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Steps up away from Caves Beach. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Timber steps up and out of Caves Beach. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Small creek at the southern end of Caves Beach. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Sealed footpath above Caves Beach. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Footpath to the Caves Beach Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Caves Beach Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
The view from Caves Beach Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Grassy track near the Caves Beach Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Track near Caves Beach Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Track with Caves Beach Road in the distance. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Caves Beach Road in Caves Beach. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Ocean View Parade sign in Caves Beach. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Grassy track near Caves Beach Road in Caves Beach. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Timber fence and sealed track near Caves Beach Road in Caves Beach. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
View north from near Caves Beach Road in Caves Beach. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Shadow on coastal walk track in Caves Beach. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Timber footbridge on the coastal track in Caves Beach. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Sealed track towards Spoon Rocks in Caves Beach. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Timber fence beside track on the Coastal walk in Caves Beach. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Spoon Rocks Spit near Caves Beach. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Spoon Rocks Spit near the Coastal walk . | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Track near Spoon Rocks Spit. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Track intersection and timber footbridge on the Coastal walk. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Steps and track on the coastal walk in the Wallarah Pennisula. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Timber steps on the coastal walk in the Wallarah Pennisula. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
View of Spoon Rocks Spit from the south on the Wallarah Pennisula. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Metal railing on the coastal walk in the Wallarah Pennisula. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
View of the coastline and Spoon Rocks Spit in the Wallarah Pennisula. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Safety sign in the coastal walk in the Wallarah Pennisula. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Timber walk through fencing on the coastal walk in the Wallarah Pennisula. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Blank sign on the coastal walk in the Wallarah Pennisula . | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Timber boardwalk near Pinneys Beach in the Wallarah Pennisula. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Track with Pinney's Headland in the distance. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Rocky track with timber track marker in the Wallarah Pennisula . | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Track and timber track markers in the Wallarah Pennisula. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Vandalized sign on the Coastal walk with Pinney's Beach in the distance. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Timber bridge over Pinney's Creek in the Wallarah Pennisula. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Pinney's creek in the Wallarah Pennisula. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Pinney's Creek looking towards Pinney's Beach . | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Timber bridge over Pinney's Creek in the Wallarah Pennisula. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Trail with Pinney's creek in the distance. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Trail near Pinney's Creek and Pinney's Beach. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Locked gate on trail on the coastal walk. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Intersection on the coastal walk on the Wallarah Pennisula. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Creek crossing on the coastal walk in the Wallarah Pennisula. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Views to the north from Pinney's Headland in the Wallarah Pennisula. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
View from Pinney's Headland Lookout. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
Trail with signage on Pinney's Headland in Wallarah Pennisula. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2011.
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Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start (-33.1102789,151.6463063)
Mode Bus Car (There is free parking available.)
DirectionsFrom Pacific Highway, A43
  • Turn on to Bowman Street then drive for 700 m
  • Turn left onto Caldwell Street and drive for another 95 m
  • Turn right onto Macquarie Grove and drive for another 490 m
  • Turn left onto Civic Avenue and drive for another 95 m
  • Turn right onto Pacific Street and drive for another 255 m
  • Turn left onto Macquarie Grove and drive for another 295 m
  • Turn left onto Middle Street and drive for another 105 m
  • Turn right onto Caves Beach Road and drive for another 350 m
  • Turn left and drive for another 70 m
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From Cafe Acquablu, this walk leaves the concrete footpath and enters Caves Beach, turning to the right. This walk then follows the sandy beach, keeping the ocean on your left, and after about 80m, crosses a small creek and comes to the bottom of timber steps.
Continue straight: From the bottom of the timber steps on Caves Beach, this walk follows the steps up, leaving the beach behind. This walk continues for about 50m up the concrete and timber steps, until coming to a four-way intersection (with uphill concrete steps directly ahead).....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
Stuart Chalmers Park (about 70 m back from the start).
Stuart Chalmers Park
Stuart Chalmers Park

Named after a cancer victim, Stuart Chalmers Park is a well established park close to Caves Beach. Stuart Chalmers Park has toilets, car parking, water, sheltered electric barbeques and picnic tables. The park has easy access to Caves Beach, the cafe Acquablu and the Caves Beach SLSC.
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Named after a cancer victim, Stuart Chalmers Park is a well established park close to Caves Beach. Stuart Chalmers Park has toilets, car parking, water, sheltered electric barbeques and picnic tables. The park has easy access to Caves Beach, the cafe Acquablu and the Caves Beach SLSC.

Caves Beach SLSC (about 30 m back from the start).
Caves Beach SLSC
Caves Beach SLSC

The Swansea-Caves Beach Surf Life Saving Club, south of Newcastle, was founded in 1929. The SLSC looks after Caves Beach, which runs from this southern end of the beach, for 300m to the northern Swansea (Hams) Beach. A road runs the length of the beach, with car parking along much of it. Though Caves Beach faces the south-east, it is afforded a moderate degree of wave protection by reefs in the centre and north and Spoon Rocks to the south-east.
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The Swansea-Caves Beach Surf Life Saving Club, south of Newcastle, was founded in 1929. The SLSC looks after Caves Beach, which runs from this southern end of the beach, for 300m to the northern Swansea (Hams) Beach. A road runs the length of the beach, with car parking along much of it. Though Caves Beach faces the south-east, it is afforded a moderate degree of wave protection by reefs in the centre and north and Spoon Rocks to the south-east.

There is water tap (about 10 m back from the start).
After 105 m cross the ford.
Then head up the steps (about 15 m long)
After another 30 m turn left.
After another 60 m continue straight.
After another 70 m find the "Caves Beach Lookout" (on your left).
Caves Beach Lookout
Caves Beach Lookout

The Cave Beach Lookout, on the southern headland of Caves Beach, is easily accessible via wheelchair from the car park nearby. The lookout offers excellent views over the caves of Caves Beach and also to the north and south. There are is a large stone viewing platform on which to sit and enjoy the views.
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The Cave Beach Lookout, on the southern headland of Caves Beach, is easily accessible via wheelchair from the car park nearby. The lookout offers excellent views over the caves of Caves Beach and also to the north and south. There are is a large stone viewing platform on which to sit and enjoy the views.

After another 60 m find the "Caves at Caves Beach" (50 m on your left).
Caves at Caves Beach
Caves at Caves Beach

Caves Beach derives its name from the sea caves in the headland at it's southern end. The caves are only accessible at low tide. It is best to ask at the Caves Beach SLSC for local advice before attempting to visit the caves. The caves are roughly broken into two halves, with somewhat easier access to the first section of caves, while access to the second section (further to the south) is certainly restricted to low tide and light conditions. Allow time to return before the tide changes. These caves are pleasantly cool on a hot day and offer plenty of exploring potential.
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Caves Beach derives its name from the sea caves in the headland at it's southern end. The caves are only accessible at low tide. It is best to ask at the Caves Beach SLSC for local advice before attempting to visit the caves. The caves are roughly broken into two halves, with somewhat easier access to the first section of caves, while access to the second section (further to the south) is certainly restricted to low tide and light conditions. Allow time to return before the tide changes. These caves are pleasantly cool on a hot day and offer plenty of exploring potential.

After another 60 m find the "Wallarah Pennisula" (30 m on your right).
Wallarah Pennisula
Wallarah Pennisula

Wallarah Penisula, also referred to as the Swansea Pennisula, is surrounded by water and includes the Wallarah National Park. The Wallarah Pennisula stretches from Lake Macquarie in the west to the ocean in the east, from Swansea and Caves Beach in the north to Catherine Hill Bay and Lake Munmorah in the south. Within the Wallarah National Park, there are plenty of things to do, including walking, fishing, swimming and surfing. The coastal views are spectacular, and this is also a good whale watching spot. The Wallarah National Park co-operates with its park neighbours, including Stockland Wallarah Peninsula Pty Ltd, on a wide range of issues relating to the management of the Wallarah Peninsula through a joint management agreement.
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Wallarah Penisula, also referred to as the Swansea Pennisula, is surrounded by water and includes the Wallarah National Park. The Wallarah Pennisula stretches from Lake Macquarie in the west to the ocean in the east, from Swansea and Caves Beach in the north to Catherine Hill Bay and Lake Munmorah in the south. Within the Wallarah National Park, there are plenty of things to do, including walking, fishing, swimming and surfing. The coastal views are spectacular, and this is also a good whale watching spot. The Wallarah National Park co-operates with its park neighbours, including Stockland Wallarah Peninsula Pty Ltd, on a wide range of issues relating to the management of the Wallarah Peninsula through a joint management agreement.

After another 150 m pass the cave (80 m on your left).
Turn left.
After another 115 m turn right.
After another 20 m turn left, to head along Caves Beach Road.
After another 20 m (at the intersection of Copper Valley Close & Caves Beach Road) continue straight, to head along Caves Beach Road.
After another 50 m turn left.
After another 450 m continue straight.
After another 180 m find the "Spoon Rocks Beach" (85 m on your left).
Spoon Rocks Beach
Spoon Rocks Beach

Spoon Rocks Beach, south of Caves Beach is a sheltered sandy beach. Spoon Rocks breakwater forms the southern end of the beach and has allowed sedimentation of sand to occur and created this attractive beach. The beach is 300m long, faces north-east and is good for swimming. The Spoon Rocks Beach is worth the walk in to it.
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Spoon Rocks Beach, south of Caves Beach is a sheltered sandy beach. Spoon Rocks breakwater forms the southern end of the beach and has allowed sedimentation of sand to occur and created this attractive beach. The beach is 300m long, faces north-east and is good for swimming. The Spoon Rocks Beach is worth the walk in to it.

The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to End of Spoon Rocks Spit. To start this optional side trip turn left here. On returning from this side trip turn left when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
After another 40 m continue straight.
After another 290 m continue straight.
After another 95 m turn left.
After another 155 m head up the surface|wood steps (about 15 m long)
After another 15 m pass the sign (on your left).
After another 5 m come to the viewpoint.
After another 20 m turn left.
After another 240 m veer left.
After another 70 m continue straight.
After another 165 m veer right.
After another 235 m veer left.
After another 50 m find the "Pinneys Lookout" (6 m on your left).
Pinneys Lookout
Pinneys Lookout

Pinney's Lookout overlooks the northern side of Pinney's Beach on the Wallarah Peninsula. From this timber platform, the whole of Pinney's Beach can be seen, including Pinney's Headland to the south. Some of the timber on this lookout was missing when visited, so take care.
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Pinney's Lookout overlooks the northern side of Pinney's Beach on the Wallarah Peninsula. From this timber platform, the whole of Pinney's Beach can be seen, including Pinney's Headland to the south. Some of the timber on this lookout was missing when visited, so take care.

After another 10 m find the "Pinneys Beach" (145 m on your left).
Pinneys Beach
Pinneys Beach

Pinney's Beach is a good beach for fishing, surfing and swimming. This beach is accessible on foot, via the coastal walk. This beach is not patrolled and rock platforms can be dangerous, even when the seas appear calm. Personal fishing is permitted off all the coast in Wallarah National Park, although a licence is needed. A midden (dated to about 1200 years old), with about 20 stone artefacts, was discovered here in the 1960s, but unfortunately 4WD vehicles have caused erosion to this site.
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Pinney's Beach is a good beach for fishing, surfing and swimming. This beach is accessible on foot, via the coastal walk. This beach is not patrolled and rock platforms can be dangerous, even when the seas appear calm. Personal fishing is permitted off all the coast in Wallarah National Park, although a licence is needed. A midden (dated to about 1200 years old), with about 20 stone artefacts, was discovered here in the 1960s, but unfortunately 4WD vehicles have caused erosion to this site.

After another 10 m veer right.
After another 15 m cross the bridge (about 6 m long)
After another 15 m turn left.
After another 10 m head through/around the gate.
After another 95 m cross the bridge (about 15 m long)
After another 4 m turn right.
After another 170 m head through/around the gate.
After another 135 m turn left, to head along West Pinney Trail.
After another 460 m (at the intersection of Southern Headland Trail & West Pinney Trail) turn left, to head along Southern Headland Trail.
After another 70 m (at the intersection of Southern Headland Trail & Shark Hole Trail) continue straight, to head along Southern Headland Trail.
After another 120 m continue straight, to head along Southern Headland Trail.
After another 245 m turn left.
After another 35 m come to "Pinney's Headland Lookout".
Pinney's Headland Lookout
Pinney's Headland Lookout

There are magnificent vistas from Pinney's Headland Lookout, particularly to the north. The headland is accessed on foot via the Wallarah Peninsula coastal walk, and the headland itself has a loop walking trail on it. At the southernmost point of this walking loop, there are unfenced rock platforms forming the ocean shoreline - take care.
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There are magnificent vistas from Pinney's Headland Lookout, particularly to the north. The headland is accessed on foot via the Wallarah Peninsula coastal walk, and the headland itself has a loop walking trail on it. At the southernmost point of this walking loop, there are unfenced rock platforms forming the ocean shoreline - take care.

About 35 m past the end is "Nudie Cave".
About 55 m past the end is "Pinny Cave".
Turn around here and retrace the main route for 4.2 km to get back to the start.

An optional side trip to End of Spoon Rocks Spit.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After another 460 m come to "Spoon Rocks Spit".
Spoon Rocks Spit
Spoon Rocks Spit

Spoon Rocks Spit is a wide breakwater extending 500m out into the ocean. This breakwater was originally designed as a coal loading facility to offload coal mined from the nearby Wallarah seam. The rocks were cut from the cliff face below the spit. Over time, the force of the ocean waves have breached the breakwater. Sedimentation from these ocean forces has established a safe and protected swimming and beach area to the north of the spit.
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Spoon Rocks Spit is a wide breakwater extending 500m out into the ocean. This breakwater was originally designed as a coal loading facility to offload coal mined from the nearby Wallarah seam. The rocks were cut from the cliff face below the spit. Over time, the force of the ocean waves have breached the breakwater. Sedimentation from these ocean forces has established a safe and protected swimming and beach area to the north of the spit.

The end.
Turn around and retrace your steps back the 460 m to the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

Wallarah Coastal Walk


Grading
Class 4/6
Hard track
Length 8.4 km
Time 2 h 30 min to 3 h
Quality of track Formed track, with some branches and other obstacles (3/6)
Gradient Very steep (4/6)
Signage Minimal directional signs (4/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities (such as cliffs not fenced, significant creeks not bridged) (4/6)
Experience Required Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)
Weather Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)
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