Just after you leave the carpark you cross Dry River. From here, the marked route continues up the valley for 30 minutes and turns sharply right. It then climbs steeply for a further 30 minutes. The last section of the track is steep and narrow – reasonable fitness and tramping experience are required for this section. The cave entrance and viewing platform are after this section.
From Takaka, drive east towards Pohara Beach. At Motupipi turn right into Glenview Road and then left into Packard Road.
Rawhiti Cave is signposted from near the end of Packard Road through private property to an informal carpark. Leave the gates as you find them.
It takes approximately 15 minutes to drive from Takaka to the carpark.
After heavy rain, Dry River is prone to flooding – do not attempt to cross in these conditions.
At the cave entrance, stay on the formed track and viewing structure to protect the cave's significant kiokarst features. Be aware of falling rocks and slippery surfaces.
Rawhiti Cave has possibly the most diverse and extensive entrance and twilight‑zone flora of any cave in New Zealand. This flora influences the growth of calcium-based features in the cave; hence the stalactites on the cave ceiling grow outwards towards the sunlight. Some of the most significant features produced this way occur on the entrance slopes and cave floor, where they are usually overlooked and trampled by visitors.
Auckland and parts of the Waikato are at Level 3. DOC huts and campsites are closed in these regions. The rest of New Zealand is at Level 2.