Oparara Basin

Base yourself at our park, and take a day trip to the Oparara Basin.

About 26km northeast of Karamea is the stunning Oparara Basin, featuring breathtaking limestone formations including arches and land bridges along with a 15km system of caves enveloped by dense rainforest. Much of the gravel road into the basin which is part of Kahurangi National Park is narrow and winding but can easily be undertaken by 2WD vehicles. Most spectacular is the Oparara Arch, 43m high and spanning 219m across the river, which is reached after a 25 minute walk on a good track through the moss-covered rainforest. A relatively newer track gets you to Moria Gate Arch, smaller in size but arguably even more picturesque. The highly fragile Honeycomb cave system, first explored in 1980, is accessible only with a Oparara Valley Trust guide, and contains the remains of some 50 species, including the extinct moa and New Zealand eagle. Areas that can be explored without a guide are the Box Canyon and Crazy Paving Caves. A good torch is essential.     

You can walk it, bike parts of it, explore the small public access caves; or through the Oparara Valley Trust you can do guided tours through the World Heritage Honeycomb Cave Systems (see their listing on this website) or inquire at the Karamea Information Centre www.karameainfo.co.nz.

Talk with our staff, and find Information of this area at our parks reception.