Maitai Caves, Nelson

I’ve got to be honest, this ‘weekend’ I have mostly been in the van, wrapped up in a duvet, watching series 1-3 of Game of Thrones… I am now hooked! (no spoilers about series 4 & 5 please!) So the blog would have been pretty boring.. However, we were given an extra day off today, with the summer season ending and the weather turning, the holiday park has turned into a bit of a ghost town. So with the sun out today we went exploring quite close to home, in the Maitai Caves. Literally a 10 minute drive out of Nelson and you are in the wilderness, surrounded by lovely forest and rivers and plenty of birdlife!

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The caves are in a water reserve, and about a hour and half walk from the carpark. The walk is lovely enough in itself though and you could really tell autumn is here with plenty of fabulous fungi about!

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When we got up to the caves (after a bit of uphill that nearly killed me…) we stopped for a quick snack and were greeted by a cheeky little Weka bird. I really love these guys, so brazen and bold that you get a really good look at them, with their big feet and beady eyes, they do have a hint of dinosaur about them 🙂

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Then, wearing my new head torch ( 😀 ) we climbed down into the caves and were greeted by a very muddy and questionably safe piece of rope to get onto the floor of the first chamber. Ben virtually flew down it, I was a bit more cautious and basically slid down the wall, getting covered in mud in the process, but at least we were in!

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The caves were very beautiful and you could see the minerals sparkling all across the ceiling. It is a limestone cave system, so plenty of stalactites and stalagmites, with a few fully formed columns, which was cool (I did feel a bit like an explorer).

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We then made our way down (well, kinda abseiled down) into the second chamber which had a pool in it, the water was so clear I wouldn’t be surprised if people walked in without realising it was there!

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A great walk and worth the climb down into the cave, a head torch is a must, in the second chamber we turned ours off and it was pitch black! Good shoes also recommended and don’t wear anything you don’t mind getting dirty!

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http://nelson.govt.nz/recreation/recreation/walks-and-walkways/walk-nelson/maitai-and-brook-valley-walks/26-maitai-caves/

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