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Wellington Caving Group


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Every year, since 1990, NSG has organised a caving trip to Paturau at the northwest tip of the South Island to which all cavers are invited and to which WCG generally sends a contingent.

This is an ideal beginners, intermediate, and family trip on which a wide range of people congregate and relax.

From Picton it is some 320 km and 7 hours drive, via Nelson, to the camp at Sandhills Creek (Kowhai Creek). From Pakawau, 10km north of Collingwood in Golden Bay, it is a good one hours drive to the campsite.

As it is a long way from anywhere you have to be completely self sufficient. Camping is on a sheltered paddock with a stream and lagoon on one side (good for kayaking), beach nearby, long drop, or portaloo toilets. Bring a large water container (eg 20 litres) as water is from a nearby woolshed rainwater tank, or from some distance up the road. (Fill the container at Collingwood.)

There is a great range of caves down there, and SRT is not required although a handline is useful, so it is an excellent trip for beginner and intermediate cavers, while at the same time providing challenges for experienced cavers.

From Wellington it is recommended that travel there is commenced on the Thursday prior to Easter, and the return trip is made on the Tuesday after Easter.

There is a small camping charge to contribute to the portaloos.

In addition to the caving there are a number of other activities that can be done

The last shops and fuel are at Collingwood. South Fuels Collingwood Petrol Station in Haven Road has a 24 hour card pay pump.

The Nugget Cafe at Mangarakau is definitely worth a stop when open.

Useful links

Department of Conservation


Local accommodation

See also

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