Rawhiti Cave viewing platform

Image: Neil Murray | DOC


Walk to a viewing structure at possibly the most diverse and extensive entrance and twilight-zone flora of any cave in New Zealand.

Track overview

Walking and tramping

1 hr Expert: Route

Dog access

No dogs

About this track


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.

Getting there

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.

Nature and conservation

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.

Know before you go

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.


Whakatū / Nelson Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 546 9339
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   nelsonvc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   Millers Acre/Taha o te Awa
79 Trafalgar Street
Nelson 7010
Postal Address:   Private Bag 5
Nelson 7042
Back to top