Manawatu Speleological Group Information
We are a small but active club based in Palmerston North, with members also in the Wairarapa. We are affiliated to the New Zealand Speleological Society (NZSS). The subs we pay include MSG ($15) and NZSS membership ($35).
We meet every second Monday of each month usually around 6.30pm although this can vary according to the activity. Meetings in the past have included pot-luck teas, slide or video shows, single-rope technique practice (abseiling and rope ascending ) and social outings. Business affairs usually take a back seat at the meetings.
The club possesses some ropes, ascending and descending gear, ladders, helmets and lights. Almost all members soon obtain their own equipment so the club gear is usually borrowed by novice cavers. A small hire fee is charged.
We cave most often at Waitomo, Mahoenui and Whakapunaki (near Wairoa). Local caves at Makuri are also visited. Trips to the South Island are also organised on occasion at Christmas/New Year, Easter and May school holidays. Areas visited have included Takaka, Mt Arthur, Mt Owen and Paturau.
Why do we cave? The reasons vary according to the individual. Reasons often cited include; the attractive formations, it's different, it's fun, it's exciting, it's challenging, photography, the chance to explore new caves and the list goes on..
The equipment required for caving is easy to obtain and inexpensive. As you progress, you may gradually improve your gear but initially, you need very little eg. warm clothing, overalls, strong footwear. The club can provide helmets and lights. We can also provide a wealth of experience and advice, and organised club trips. We try to organise at least on trip per month, often more.
The trips usually leave on Friday night (5-6pm) and we stay at either caving huts or shearers quarters. We cave on both Saturday and Sunday. We generally return to Palmerston North on Sunday night 7-10pm. Passengers pay $50 petrol and running costs for trips to Waitomo, Northern Taranaki or Whakapunake. Costs of trips to other areas are priced proportionately. You provide your own food.
Recent exploration has centred around Whakapunake where new shafts are continually being bombed.
If you are keen to come on a trip, ring the trip leader or the trips coordinator and let them know. We can arrange trips for novices on demand, or alter the planned trips to cater for novices. Either way, you must make the first move. Or come along to a meeting to meet us and let us know of your interest. We welcome new faces so make the effort to meet us. You will receive 3 free newsletters to inform you of meetings and club trips.