Friday, 20 February 2015

Cathedral Caves at Patatowai

The local attraction in the area of Patatowai are the Cathedral Caves, sea caves on the beach.  These are only accessible at low tide, so timing was important.  We learned that we could access the caves at 9:20 in the morning so we were at the parking lot at the appointed time and were on our way to the beach.

The path to the beach was downhill and through a dense forest.  I was reminded of many of the forests depicted in Lord of The Rings!  It was very lush and filled with different plants and foliage.

When we reached the beach we made our way to the caves.  These are eroded into the living stone of the cliff solely by the action of the sea and are about 150 meters deep.  It is unusual for them to be so deep without collapsing and these are among the 30 longest in the world.  The entrance to the caves was about 50 feet high and was very impressive.

We walked through the caves and in the very back of them, in the rubble were several blue penguins taking care of their nests.  Incredible.

We left the caves through an adjoining tunnel and the tide was already coming in so we had to leave.  We made our way back to the path in the woods, and climbed the hill back to the parking lot, which was no small feet as it was about 15 minutes straight up.

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