Virtual Mystery Tour West Coast – Oparara Basin, Karamea

I know I haven’t been around much in the blogging world of late – for some time actually.  Thought given the turmoils of the world lately it was a good time to pop back in and say hi.  Going to share our love of the West Coast of New Zealand and take you all on a virtual tour from the top to the bottom – West Coast, Best Coast of New Zealand.  Hope you enjoy the ride.

Oparara Basin is at the top end of the West Coast – end of the road so to speak or better said the beginning……  It is full of natural wonderment and great world class caving systems including Honeycomb Caves – only accessible to the general public with a registered guide.

walk through the forest to the honeycomb caving system oparara basin Karamea west coast

Access to the Honeycomb Caves starts with a walk through regenerating native forest before entering virgin native forest.  I have to admit when making the transition through the different forests I was overwhelmed with emotion – it felt a privilege to be in walking with these majestic giants.

mirror reflections in the tanin filled waters heading to honeycomb caves oparara basin karamea west coast

swingbridge across the river heading to the honeycomb caving system oparara basin karamea west coast

The rivers and creeks through the forest are a constant babble along with the bird song.  The colour of the water a deep brown from the tanins leeching into the ground due to all the decaying vegetation from the trees and leaves.  When the waters are still the reflections are breath taking.

learning about the moa bones in honeycomb caves oparara basin karamea west coastwonderment of the honeycomb caves oparara basin karamea west coast

Once you enter the caves you enter a world of wonderment. Stalagmites and stalactites coming at you in all directions, glow worms and to top it all off moa bones – if you ever wanted to visit Jurassic Park then the Honeycomb Caves is the place to visit.

lush native forest and moss oparara arches walk oparara basin karamea west coast

Back at the hub of the Basin is access to numerous short walks and easy to access caving systems. A popular walk and favourite for photographers is the Oparara Arches.  Again the walk alone is worth it, with the trail meandering through beautiful native bush and babbling brooks.  At the end you are rewarded with the aptly named Oparara Arches with the river running through.

river running through oparara arches to opening oparara basin, karamea west coast

oparara arches opening oparara basin karamea west coast

That was just a brief overview of the Oparara Basin and a visit from a few years back now.  Click here and you’ll find the original blog postings for more information and photos to showcase the beauty of the region.

Pack your hiking and biking gear for our next road trip…….

Jan and Stephen run Breakers Boutique Accommodation on the West Coast of New Zealand.  They love to get out exploring the region they are lucky enough to call home.

About coastingnz

Jan and Stephen live on the Punakaiki coastline, north of Greymouth on the West Coast, NZ and run Breakers Boutique Accommodation. They both enjoy the outdoors and are passionate about things to see and do on the West Coast and would like to share their experiences with you.
This entry was posted in Nature, NZ flora and fauna, NZ history, outdoors, photography, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Virtual Mystery Tour West Coast – Oparara Basin, Karamea

  1. guestnz says:

    Great blog Jan! Plus, the stunning pictures by Stephen. The Karamea / Oparara area is a beautiful part of the West Coast. Let’s hope that more New Zealanders will now travel there and support the local businesses!


  2. Glad to see you, Stephen and your beautiful country back, Jan! –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

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