Wairoa - Whakapunake
Over weekend Arthur Norgrove lead a trip to the Wairoa and Whakapunake area. This was a rare opportunity to visit an area very infrequently visited by the caving community and yet containing some interesting caving opportunities. And, Arthur's family farmed in this area for many years so he knows it very well.
We stayed at the shearers quarters on Whakapunake Station which, when we visited last year, was a clean and comfortable place to stay. Te Reinga Falls and scenic reserve are just 5 mins up the road and are really quite impressive.
Local caves include Marumaru Glow Worm cave, once operated as a semi tourist cave but now forgotten, Springfield Crystal cave, Springfield Waterfall cave, Possum Cave plus if time permits Day Late and maybe Te Reinga, the largest in the area. An hour north is the large Clonkeen (Mangagaone) cave, as well as hot pools.
Depending on time and energy levels we could also do the Deep Creek Gorge trip for something a bit different. SRT gear required for two small pitches. You will most likely need to swim a pool or two. Look on it as exciting.
It would be great if we could get people along who have never been to the area before. None of the trips are particularly demanding so it is also suitable as a beginners trip.
Please give it some thought and if you are keen ring Sue or Arthur.
Come on, its time some of you lot got down and got dirty again.
- Te Reinga main route
- Intermediate - all day cave some grovelling to begin with then downstream fun active stream way where some low level bridging is required if you don't want to get wet ends in very dry passage. Upstream one prerigged handline and one prerigged small pitch so SRT required for this. It would be possible to swap kit if not enough to go around. Upstream has very nice pretty area that makes the extra effort worth while.
- Te Reinga is #23 on the list of longest caves
- Springfield Crystal cave
- Easy - Former virtual tourist cave all dry and contains some pre 1900 graffiti. Interesting to visit easy cave with some side passage with nice flowstone. Bit of a walk (40 mins) across farm land to get there.
- Springfield Waterfall cave
- Easy/Intermediate - upstream is for the little persons only. Down stream sumps so it's an out and back trip. Not a huge cave 2 hours return. Generally easy stream way with one waterfall that required a handline. Cave is only 100 meters away from above (Springfield) cave, so same walk across farm required.
- Deep Creek Gorge trip
- Intermediate/Advanced - own SRT required, two pitches and some over your head swimming required. Also some challenging navigating through huge boulders. Round trip probably about 4 hours. Only 200 meters up the road from planned accommodation. This is a collapsed cave system so has very steep sides. Once you start down you are committed. Dead and rotting animals have presented an additional challenge on past trips. None the less bloody good fun.(the trip not the dead and rotting animals)
- Easy - from stream entry to Tomo. Slightly more challenging rift from tomo to Turbine room. Advanced, from Turbine room to end but I have never been there because you get very wet and there follows squeezes and nothing special to see; apparently. Is located just over the hill from planned accommodation.
- Easy - downstream from Daylate stream way that runs through the hill.
- Possum Cave
- Arthur is taking us
- Marumaru Glow Worm
- once described as Wairoa's answer to Waitomo this was, as with Crystal, a virtual tourist cave.