NELSON TRAILS

Rawhiti Cave

Rawhiti Cave in Golden Bay has the largest entrance of any cave in New Zealand. The track to the cave is rough and steep.

Details
Length3.2 km return
Time Required1 hr – 1 hr 30 min return
Trail TypeTramping track
Physical DifficultyModerate   
UsesWalking
DirectionReturn (out and back)
Start Elevation75 m
Max Elevation280 m

Connections

Rawhiti Cave Track does not connect to any other tracks.

Access

  1 hr 30 min from Nelson | 10 min from Takaka

 

From Takaka, head northwest along Abel Tasman Drive. At the ‘t’ junction at Motupipi, turn right onto Glenview Rd, then left onto Packard Rd. Follow Packard Rd for 2.6 km until you see a DOC arrow on the left side of the road indicating the turnoff to the track. Follow the farm road, and open and close the farm gate behind you. The car park is small grassed area.

Description

The track runs alongside the bed of the aptly-named Dry River, at the bottom of a steep-sided valley, with lush ferns and nikau growing on either side. After 1 km you’ll reach the bottom of the climb; beyond here the track is steep and rugged as it zig-zags up the steep hillside.

 

After 25 min of climbing the cave entrance suddenly comes into view. The entrance is an upside-down wedge shape, with impressive stalactites hanging like teeth. A wooden platform extends out into the cave and panels provide information of the cave’s history and ecology. Prior to this platform being built you could descend right to the bottom of the cave, which drops away diagonally downward into the hillside.

 

Do not venture off the wooden platform; the fragile cave formations and flora are easily damaged.

 

Return the way you came. You will likely find the descent more challenging than the climb.

Rawhiti Cave

Rawhiti Cave in Golden Bay has the largest entrance of any cave in New Zealand. The track to the cave is rough and steep.

Details
Length3.2 km return
Time Required1 hr – 1 hr 30 min return
Trail TypeTramping track
Physical DifficultyModerate   
UsesWalking
DirectionReturn (out and back)
Start Elevation75 m
Max Elevation280 m
Access

  1 hr 30 min from Nelson | 10 min from Takaka

 

From Takaka, head northwest along Abel Tasman Drive. At the ‘t’ junction at Motupipi, turn right onto Glenview Rd, then left onto Packard Rd. Follow Packard Rd for 2.6 km until you see a DOC arrow on the left side of the road indicating the turnoff to the track. Follow the farm road, and open and close the farm gate behind you. The car park is small grassed area.

Description

The track runs alongside the bed of the aptly-named Dry River, at the bottom of a steep-sided valley, with lush ferns and nikau growing on either side. After 1 km you’ll reach the bottom of the climb; beyond here the track is steep and rugged as it zig-zags up the steep hillside.

 

After 25 min of climbing the cave entrance suddenly comes into view. The entrance is an upside-down wedge shape, with impressive stalactites hanging like teeth. A wooden platform extends out into the cave and panels provide information of the cave’s history and ecology. Prior to this platform being built you could descend right to the bottom of the cave, which drops away diagonally downward into the hillside.

 

Do not venture off the wooden platform; the fragile cave formations and flora are easily damaged.

 

Return the way you came. You will likely find the descent more challenging than the climb.

Connections

Rawhiti Cave Track does not connect to any other tracks.

Updated 29 January 2019