Upper South Island and the West Coast Sights

Oparara cave system

  • Cave

Published 10/27/2015

Fodor's Review

Magical rain forests and sculpted landforms here are encompassed in the Honeycomb Hill Caves Specially Protected Area, within Kahurangi National Park. Spectacular features at Oparara include a series of huge limestone arches (including the largest in the Southern Hemisphere at 143 meters [470 feet]), passages, and caverns. Several short walks explore the caves, which are located about 45 minutes' drive northeast of Karamea. The Oparara Valley Project Trust, a community project, has enhanced visitor facilities, and offers guided tours that can include both walks and kayaking explorations. Also in this cave system is Honeycomb Hill, featuring underground passages of more than 13 km (8 miles) that contain the largest collection of subfossil bird bones found in New Zealand, many of them extinct including nine moa species and the giant NZ eagle. These caves are protected, and access is by guided tour only. Check with the Karamea Information Centre for details.

Sight Information


Karamea, West Coast, New Zealand



Published 10/27/2015


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