Oparara Experience

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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
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