Oparara Experience

Book Call Directions

About

Join us on one of our guided eco tours amongst the pristine rainforest and limestone caves of the unique Oparara Basin. Several tour options available.

Price

$95 - $150

More information

Join us on one of our guided eco tours amongst the pristine rainforest and limestone caves of the unique Oparara Basin. Several tour options available.

Tour types

1. Oparara Basin Eco Tour

  • Departure: 9am.
  • Duration: Approximately 5 hours.
  • Rate: $150 per person (min 2, max 4) All features in the Oparara Basin except Honeycomb Hill Cave.
  • Warm clothing and sturdy footwear essential.
  • Pick up from door with cut lunch and afternoon tea provided.

2. Honeycomb Hill Cave/Arch Guided Tour

  • Departure: 9am.
  • Duration: Approx 5 hours.
  • Rate: $150pp (min 2 max 4, or by arrangement) Honeycomb Hill Cave plus one Arch.
  • Warm clothing and sturdy footwear essential.
  • Pick up from door with a cut lunch and afternoon tea provided.

3. Guided Cave Tour

  • Departure: 10am and 1.30pm.
  • Duration: Approximately 2.5 hrs.
  • Rate: $95 adult, $45 under 12. (min 2 max 8) Honeycomb Hill Cave only.
  • Meeting at the top carpark in the Oparara Basin.
  • Warm clothing and sturdy footwear essential.
  • Followed by a hot drink and home baking.

4. Guided Arches Eco Tour

  • Departure 9am.
  • Duration. Approximately 2.5 hours.
  • Rate $95 per person (min 2, max 8).
  • Meeting at Oparara Basin Carpark at 10am, visiting both Oparara and Moria Gate Arches.
  • Warm clothing and sturdy footwear essential.
  • Followed by a hot drink and home baking.

Moa bones in the Honeycomb Hill Caves

The caves are also home to the largest and most varied collection of subfossil bird bones ever found in New Zealand. More than 50 bird species, many of them extinct, have been recorded.

These include nine different moa species, the giant flightless goose, Finsch’s duck, the giant NZ eagle (Hokioi), the giant flightless rail, the flightless coot, the NZ owlet-nightjar and Stephen’s Island wren, as well as other rare NZ birds such as the kakapo, kokako, takahe, and yellowhead.

Petrel and shearwater remains show that these seabirds also once nested in the valley.

Many of the bones were washed into the caves as carcasses by rivers and streams, while others such as moas fell through holes in the cave roofs.

As limestone and bones are very similar in their chemistry, and the temperature inside the caves steady, many of the bones are perfectly preserved, adding to the significance of their discovery, since many date back some 20,000 years.

There are also the bones of native frogs and lizards, and the remains of 40 different land snail species, finds of immense scientific value in the study of the evolution of more advanced species.

Directions

12-106 Bridge St, Karamea 7891, West Coast, New Zealand
Get directions

Related Listings

Westport and Karamea
See & Do
coal town museum Coaltown Museum

Coaltown is a fantastic all-weather attraction that appeals to all ages and tells the coal mining history of Westport.

Learn more
Westport and Karamea
Accommodation
Buller Court Motel Buller Court on Palmerston

Ray and Diana offer you a very special stay at Buller Court Motel, our Host Accommodation motel in Westport, on the West Coast of the Southern Alps.

$150 - $200
Learn more
Westport and Karamea
Accommodation
Karamea Holiday Park Karamea Holiday Park

Leave the rest of the world behind and come to this out of the world way place where the locals still wave to motorists and have time for a friendly chat.

$15 - $95
Learn more
Westport and Karamea
Accommodation
Carters Campervan Site Carters Beach Top 10 Holiday Park

Welcome to the, beautiful Northern West Coast of New Zealand's South Island and our beachside park.

$40 - $213
Learn more
Westport and Karamea
Accommodation
Karamea Village Hotel Karamea Village Hotel

Situated in the heart of Karamea, we are the first service off the Heaphy Track. Surrounded by the Kahurangi National Park, we offer a world of natural wonderland experiences, or just a holiday "away from it all".

$125 - $165
Learn more
Westport and Karamea
See & Do
Oparara-Arches-1863.JPG Oparara Arches

Tucked away in a corner of Kahurangi National Park, The Oparara has a magic all of its own, born of a million years of undisturbed isolation.

Free
Learn more