Its been said that New Zealand has some of the most challenging and spectacular caving systems in the world. But you don’t have to be a seasoned caver or spelunker to enjoy our underground scenery. Depending on your level of daring, a caving experience could be anything from a dreamy drift through a glow-worm grotto to a rip-roaring, rope-dangling, action-packed subterranean all day or overnight adventure.
In the North Island the world-renowned Waitomo Caves, are one of New Zealand’s most commanding wonders – a celebration of nature’s work over the last one hundred thousand years. There are hundreds of miles of labyrinthine caves, glow-worms, under ground lakes, stalactites and stalagmites, and all manner of limestone crustaceans – a lost world waiting to be discovered. There are caves that you can simply walk through; there are caves you can float through (this is called black water rafting); and there are caves that require abseiling, climbing and squeezing. Experienced operators here know how to turn you into a caver in a single day.
The South Island has several caving areas – you’ll find guided underground adventures in Nelson, Fiordland and on the West Coast. Harwood’s Hole, just off the main Motueka-Takaka road in the Nelson region, is the deepest sinkhole in the southern hemisphere -180 metres straight down!