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
Old Ghost Road Pic The Old Ghost Road

The 85km-long Old Ghost Road traverses majestic native forest, open tussock tops, river flats and forgotten valleys, providing days of adventure and spectacular huts for mountain bikers and trampers.

Learn more
Westport and Karamea
Towns, Places & Info centres
Westport I Site Westport i-SITE Visitor Centre

To help you find those special places and plan your West Coast holiday.

Learn more
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
Kohaihai Campsite Kohaihai Campsite

Located on the Kohaihai River mouth near Karamea and the Oparara Basion. There are short, day or overnight walks from here.

$4 - $8
Learn more
Westport and Karamea
Accommodation
The Last Resort front The Last Resort

In the heart of the village, the Last Resort has a tropical atmosphere and a warm West Coast welcome.

$37 - $155
Learn more
Westport and Karamea
See & Do
Denniston Mine Denniston

Once a leading coal mining town, Denniston sits high on a steep incline railway once described as the eight wonder of the world.

FREE
Learn more