Box Canyon Cave

Crazing Paving Cave

Useful Information

Location: Kahurangi National Park.
From Karamea 10 km north, turn right on McCallums Mill Road, 15 km. Parking lot at the end of McCallums Mill Road. 200 m trail to the cave.
(-41.136052, 172.191184)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: bring torch
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Paparoa National Park Visitor Centre, 4294 Coast Road, Punakaiki, RD 1, Runanga 7873, Tel: +64-3-731-1895. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Actually these are two nearby caves, Box Canyon Cave and Crazy Paving Cave. From the upper Ōpārara car park at the end of McCallums Mill Road it's a five minutes walk on a paved trail to the caves. A staircase leads down into the large open chamber of Box Canyon Cave. Crazy Paving Cave was named after the strange pattern of the floor. Drying mud shrinks and creates characteristic, mostly five sided cracks which are then filled by the next layer of clay deposited on top Sometimes the cracks are filled by calcite crystals, flowstone growing on top of them. The effect is quite common, but the results in this cave are unique and quite exceptional. Large areas of the floor form a pattern of pentagonal patches curling up at the corners, which are covered by a glittering dust of calcite crystals.

The caves are accessible without restrictions, there are good trails but no light. Please do not leave the trails or touch any speleothems or the cave walls. We recommend a good headlamp and walking shoes.