Box Canyon and Crazy Paving Caves

Kahurangi National Park

  • 30 min return by the same track
  • Easy

Very short walk to two interesting easy-access caves

Key information
Walking time
30 min
Distance
0.2km
Type
Return by the same track
Return by the same track
Grade
Easy
Bookings
No bookings — open access
No — open access
Find it
Starts
Ōpārara Basin Upper car park, McCallums Mill Road, Ōpārara
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Maps
NZTopo50-BP22
Altitude
215m – 224m
Altitude change 9m

The Box Canyon and Crazy Paving Caves are close to the road and fun to explore. Bring torches. 

Drive north out of Karamea toward Kōhaihai and turn onto McCallums Mill Road. This long and winding shingle road climbs through forest before dropping into the Ōpārara Basin with its amenity area. Continue on down the road to the locked gate and controlled access to Honeycomb Hill Caves. The track is marked here.

A short walk through forest leads to a limestone bluff housing the two caves. Crazy Paving Cave is lower down and low to enter. Parts of the floor are covered in mud that has dried out into irregular polygonal patterns.

Box Canyon Cave is up a few steps to the mouth, followed by a staircase down into the cave. It is very spacious, and much like a roofed in box canyon. You can walk a long way back into the hillside. Occasional intriguing winding passages lead off into the sides of the cave. 

Aside from cave wētā and maybe the odd glowworm, these caves are home to the Nelson cave spider (Spelungula cavernicola), New Zealand's largest spider! Be gentle with it, as it is protected, and known only from a few locations.

Map
This track needs a photograph.
ID 16854

About this track

Added 21 February 2019 by MatthewMatthew. 1 revision 21 February 2019 by MatthewMatthew.
6 views in the past year (3 per month).