Forrest Caves Phillip Island: Best things to do in Phillip Island

forrest caves phillip island

If you didn’t know that there are Phillip Island caves, you wouldn’t be the only one. In fact, the Forrest Caves Phillip Island, are often driven past without people even knowing that they are there!

These little known caves are a wonderful natural Phillip Island attraction and very easy to get to. Just cross the dunes and then it is an easy beach walk to reach them.


Forrest Caves are sea caves that have been formed by the erosion of the cliffs over millions of years. The beautiful red caves are volcanic rock (just like those at Hanging Rock) and are spectacular shades of rust. Their easy access from the beach makes them an easy way to see caves in Australia.

forrest caves walk phillip island

How to get to Forrest Caves Phillip Island

Phillip Island is located 2 hours southeast of Melbourne. The Melbourne to Phillip drive is an easy one, with most of the drive on freeways. Phillip Island is a popular destination with tourists and is well known for its colony of Little Penguins.

Forrest Caves can be a little tricky to locate. To access the cliffs you’ll need to turn off the main Phillip Island Road between Woolamai and the township of Surf Beach. Keep your eye out as the signage is easy to miss. Look out for the large sand dunes and car park. Once you’re there incredible coastal parklands await.

phillip island caves

Forrest Caves walk Phillip Island

How to reach Forrest Caves

You’ll see a paved boardwalk adjacent to the car park. Take the boardwalk and stairs up the sand dunes. Take your time at the top. It’s a great vantage point to see the spectacular curving coastline.

When it comes to beaches Phillip Island is known for its incredible surf beaches. This stretch of beach is frequented by surfers. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch sight of a few in the surf.

Descend the stairs and head down to the beach. The caves are an easy 500 metre walk east.

When to visit Forrest Caves (Phillip Island low tide)

Due to the location of the caves, Forrest Caves must be accessed at low tide. During high tide, the beach is underwater and it isn’t safe. If you time your visit to the lowest tide, you’ll be able to walk along the shore and enter the caves.

The long expanses of hard sand make this one of the best beaches Phillip Island has for walking. Be wary of the water in this area though as the surf is rough, the waves are powerful and the beach is not manned by lifeguards.

How far is the walk to Forrest Caves?

It is around 900 metres from the car park to Forrest Caves. It will take you around 15 minutes to reach – but who’s in a rush?! Forrest Caves are a bit of a local secret so even in the peak summertime months, you won’t find a crowd here.

phillip island caves

Explore Forrest Caves Phillip Island

What to see at Forrest Caves Phillip Island

The best thing about Forrest Caves is that they are really easy to explore! Stand on the beach and marvel at their size, climb them and enjoy the view from the top or enter the caves and enjoy them from the shore.

The volcanic rock is rough and offers good grip, however, the potholed nature of the rock means that water pools and in places, it can be slippery. There is also a large opening (which is spectacular from below) so make sure to keep children nearby as it’s quite a drop to the shore below.

When entering from the beach take the time to look up and marvel at the concave ceiling, etched out over time by the powerful waves washing at the rock.

Being safe whilst exploring the Phillip Island caves

Keep safety in the front of your mind when exploring this part of the Phillip Island coastline. This area is not patrolled and you can quite easily spend 30 mins at the caves without seeing a passerby.

It is essential to time your visit around the tides, as visiting at mid or high tide could mean you become stranded (and no one wants that!). It is exciting to watch the strong waves crash over the rock pools, however, keep your distance as the current is strong here and can easily knock you off your feet.

You can explore the Phillip Island caves all year round (in fact the waves and coast are incredible in the winter months). Wear warm clothes and a well-fitting hat as the winds are strong along this section of the coast.

Forrest Caves Phillip Island

Planning your trip to the Phillip Island caves

Is there parking at Forrest Caves?

Yes, there is free parking at Forrest Caves. You’ll find a gravel car park at the base of the dunes.

Are there toilets at Forrest Caves?

Yes, there is a toilet block with flushing toilets and running water. It is located in the Forrest Caves car park.

Can I bring my dog to Forrest Caves?

Forrest Caves is part of the Phillip Island Nature Park, so you cannot bring dogs to Forrest Caves.

Is Forrest Caves one of the family friendly activities Phillip Island has to offer?

Yes, Forrest Caves is one of the family-friendly activities Phillip Island has to offer. Due to conservation efforts, it is asked that people don’t climb on the sand dunes, so make sure children stay on the paths.

Is it free to visit Forrest Caves?

Forrest Caves is one of the best free things to do on Phillip Island!

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Forrest Cave Phillip Island