On the south side of Shelley Headland, where the next stretch of beach begins is a special little zone called Shelley Caves or more simply, “Caves”.
This backbeach is where campers at Shelley Head might come to get a break from an oppressive northerly wind in springtime.
As the name suggests, there is a series of sea caves that are fun to poke around in at low tide, but a bit dodgy at high tide. The caves have been created by waves eating into the ‘soft’ 180 million year old shale rock.
The beach is swimmable, but with a fair gradient and swirl off the rock ledge, not to mention some semi-permanent rips, it’s generally a safer bet back north at Shelley Beach proper.
A note of caution. It is possible to scramble around the exposed rock shelf from Caves to Little Shelley, but Only on a low tide with minimal swell action, and even then it is treacherously slippery, and exposed to rogue waves potentially washing the unwary off. Exercise extreme caution.
By far the safest bet around these headlands is to find your way up to the walking track.