Read what people say in their reviews, this little walk is winner. The reserve is on State Highway 73 between the Broken River road bridge and Craigieburn Forest Park entrance, approximately 90 km northwest of Christchurch.
A great adventure, scouring holes, terraces and small waterfalls while inside the cave. Word of warning though be prepared, lives have been lost here, caving parties should have at least two reliable lights per person plus spare batteries, warm polypropylene or wool clothing, and sturdy footwear.
Watch the water level in the cave. Normally the deepest section (at the first corner from the cave outlet end) is just above waist level on an adult, If there is snow on the hills the water is going to be very chilly on your ..... the water will be near freezing hypothermia is a possibility. If the stream is abnormally high, with the water dis-coloured or foaming, do not attempt to enter. Read the warning signs about entering the cave - remember this is a serious adventure, the cave has claimed lives.
Cave entrance tracks: 30 min return for each track
Two short tracks lead from the reserve carpark to the cave entrances. The track to the upstream entrance goes north, through a diverse karst (limestone) landscape of solution holes, rillenkarren (water-grooved rocks) and sculptured rock formations.
The other track leads to the edge of a terrace overlooking the outflow entrance of the cave. It drops down the face of the terrace to the junction of Cave Stream and Broken River.
When going through the cave, the cave passage meanders and twists in pitch darkness for 594 metres between the two entrances. It takes approximately one hour to go through. There is a three metre waterfall at the inlet end. If care is taken, fit, inexperienced cavers can go through.
Cavers are recommended to enter the cave at the outflow end and walk against the flow of the stream. There are several small waterfalls to climb. To assist climbing out the inlet end of the cave, a rung ladder ascends beside the waterfall. A chain and steps help to get along the overhang ledge to the exit.
This cave walk is not suitable for small children.
39 reviews with the most recent first, showing page 1 of 3.
Well organised paths to all features. Not geared up to walk through the cave stream but looks very demanding and not for the faint hearted - would give it a go, if I had the gear!
Just one word: AMAZING. Completely in the dark, in cold water, a good experience and free.
It is really amazing and it is free! 40 minute walk in the dark and beautiful rocks inside with the stream!
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So exciting experience. A bit scary but keep going! Worth it! Do not forget a torch and check the water level before going in.
Really nice cave walk and nice views.
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It is funny!
We wish we knew earlier about the Caves because we missed on near Invercargill. But it is perfect that they are open for the public - especially this one!
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600m of course in the cave with running water in it. Intriguing track and fun with the water.
This was definitely one of the most amazing natural places I visited on my holiday. As it was winter we didn't go caving but thought it might be worthwhile to at least walk up to the entrance. IT SO WAS! The photos do not do the enormity of this place justice, it was absolutely incredible!!
A tip: be sure to do both Walk 3 (to the entrance) and the far left side of Walk 2 to the cave exit.
VERY IMPORTANT TIP: It is important to remember at all times that people have died going into this cave. The gravity of this did not hit us until we reached the exit of the cave, where an extremely powerful water source plunges into a 3m deep pool. I was scared to go too far in on the left side, it was that powerful.
But it's definitely worth seeing and doing in warmer weather, just be aware of the water levels, power and whether it's been raining or not. I firmly believe the caving part of the walk should not be done in winter as hypothermia is a huge risk.
Really cool experience and kind of creepy. On hot days the water is not too cold and you do not need special clothes. Round about 500m through a stream in a cave.
Good to have information about the caves formation. Good short track to enter the caves.
Very nice little adventure in a dark cave.
1 hour prepared DOC walk in a complete dark cave with walking in the river that flows through the cave, torch required - will get wet - even climbing up little waterfalls - BEST thing ever.