Upper South Island and the West Coast Sights

Oparara cave system

  • Cave

Published 08/30/2016

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 470 feet), passages, and caverns. Several short walks explore the caves, which are about a 45-minute 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) in length that contain the largest collection of subfossil bird bones found in New Zealand; many of them are extinct, including nine moa species and the giant NZ eagle. The caves are protected, and access is by guided tour only.

Sight Information


Karamea, West Coast, New Zealand

Sight Details:

  • Guided tours NZ$95–NZ$240

Published 08/30/2016


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