Day 336 on the Road
Exploring Free Caves in Whangarei
Today we are checking out the Abbey Caves in Whangarei! If you like this video and want to see more 365 Days: 365 Activities in New Zealand then jump on over to our epic YouTube Channel & Subscribe!
Today we are exploring the Abbey Caves which are an amazing cave network which is absolutely free of charge to check out and there are even some glow worms.
So we’ve just arrived at Abbey Caves and we’re gonna have some lunch first before exploring the caves.
What are we having for lunch?
Er well what have you made for us, Robin?
Sandwiches with cheese, capsicum, eggs.
After grabbing a quick lunch we are now making our way toward the Abbey Caves. Despite the fact that these caves are only about 10 minutes drive away from Whangarei city centre, it really we are stepping far far off mainland civilisation with some animals everywhere and the birds singing us all the way as we are making our way down the hill.
Near the beginning of the Abbey Caves track is a little signpost telling you the loop walk that you need to take to see all the caves and there’s actually three caves in total. One called the Organ Cave, another one called the Middle Cave and the Ivy Cave.
And there’s not really a set amount of time that it takes to do this loop walk cos it really depends on how long you want to spend exploring the caves but usually it’s a good idea allow two hours.
We’re making our way through beautiful outcrops of limestone along the way. In middle of stunning farmland. It’s an absolutely amazing and super gentle walk so even if you are absolutely not fit at all you will still enjoy this hike it’s seriously a must-do if you are visiting Whangarei.
And because New Zealand pasture wouldn’t be complete without it’s fair share of sheep, we are now making our way through a sheep paddock.
Yes, this walk literally takes us through the iconic picture of New Zealand which is a bunch of sheep grazing in the sun.
The Whangarei area is well-known for its gecko and all its wildlife. If you guys remember we went to Kiwi North and checked out a tonne of gecko so you guys might want to check out this video too which is up in the cards above.
After about 10 to 15 minutes walking on the track we finally reach the first cave which is the Organ Cave and this is a really cool little cave with a shallow stream right at the bottom. You do have to take your shoes off if you want to explore a little bit deeper into the cave otherwise there’s a few stepping stones which you can make your way across.
Up in the ceiling there’s very very small stalactites which are little limestone formations as well as a few glimmering blue lights which are glow worms cos yes, this is a free place in New Zealand that you can come and check out the glow worms. However the second cave is gonna be better for seeing more glow worms however this one is good for us to scramble around and have a real feel like we’re on a proper adventure.
To be quite honest, we didn’t come well prepared enough to those caves we only have one headlight and our phones to go by and I would definitely recommend packing a few more lights if you want to trek all around the cave.
This cave is really cool you can see some stalactites created just right here. There is a tonne of small features which is absolutely amazing.
Look at this one right here. It’s a small stalactite.
Although the features around the caves are rather small they are absolutely stunning I really loves the amount of features in these caves and we see more and more as we explore the caves but we heard there is more than just one cave.
Alright onto the next cave, if we figure out where the path is.
The next cave is aptly named Middle Cave and it’s only about 5 minute walk away from the first cave that we just visited.
It’s a very easy walk as well where we pass through beautiful farmland and under amazing forest with heaps of New Zealand birds.
As we arrive at the cave the entrance looks a bit more rocky than the first one but it’s definitely worth it cos there’s some more rock formations to check out.
The Middle Cave is definitely our favourite cave because the rock formations are a lot more dramatic in here, there’s bigger stalactites, but there is also a lot more glow worms to see there’s actual clusters of blue shining lights decorating the ceiling as if they’re fairy lights at Christmas. They are super amazing to see and unfortunately we’re not amazing at taking videos of them but we’ll show you some picture more toward the end of those awesome glow worms.
Back on the walking track, we are heading to final cave of the day which is the Ivy cave and this one has the best entrance of them all. It has a really rocky riverbed to follow underneath all this forest and it really feels like a proper scrambling adventure, it’s super fun.
I just asked Laura if she wants me to go first, she said yes, and she decided to go on her own.
But after a few seconds Laura is pushing me to go forward and be first going down.
I just dropped my phone and I thought it had gone into the abyss. Thankfully it was in arm’s reach. I am going to put it in my…
Zip pocket right?
The last cave that we’re gonna be checking out today is Ivy Cave it has a massive stream going through it giving it a really echoey sound it’s a really eerie place it’s called the Ivy Cave because there are Ivy plants all around it making it really look like a fairy tale.
All the caves around here are limestone caves because limestone is kind of a soft rock and it’s very easily carved through by water making those amazing caves but we are now making our way back outside of the Abbey Caves and making our way back toward the trail. However, this is not the easiest track. i have to be honest we decide to take the adventure path which is a little bit on the side from the main path and it is quite well, adventurous, it’s really fun though and really feels like we are living the dream in the Lord of the Rings land. It feels like we have orcs chasing us as we pass mossy rocks, I genuinely love it.
Once we make our way back onto the main trail we are making our way back, well, toward the car. These caves are an awesome day excursion if you are spending a few days in Whangarei, it’s definitely worth checking out and it’s super easy for any level of fitness.
And yeah just another relaxing night on the decking area like I’m on right now with fun swings to be had. Weee!