Cave Stream

Broken River Cave

Useful Information

Location: State Highway 73, between the Broken River road bridge and Craigieburn Forest Park entrance. Between Arthurs Pass and Christchurch.
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: none.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave Speleologyriver cave.
Light: none, bring electric torch
Dimension: L=594m
Guided tours: self guided. L=362 m, D=60 min.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Department of Conservation, Box 8, 106 Main Westcoast Road, Arthur's Pass, Tel: +64-3-318-9211, Fax: +64-3-318-9210. E-mail:
Rangiora Office, Rangiora, Tel: +64-3-313-0820. 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.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.



Cave Stream Scenic Reserve, New Zealand. Public Domain.

Cave Stream is a river cave, at the road to Arthurs Pass between 640 and 650 m asl. The 362 m long cave is a through cave, and open for self guided tours. But it is also a river cave, and a visit is rather dangerous in spring and during heavy rains. Visitors should be very careful and have an eye on the weather. At least two visitors drowned in this cave due to rising water.

The cave is actually named Broken River Cave and the cave river is called Broken River. But Cave Stream is more popular and commonly used, even the preserve is named Cave Stream Scenic Reserve.

The reserve is located at the pass road, is well signposted and there is a car park. Two trails lead to the upper and lower end of the cave. Several interpretation signs explain the most important facts about the cave. It is recommended to turn right to the lower, the outflow end of the cave and walk against the flow of the stream through the cave. A rather steep spot at the other end is developed with a ladder, so it not very problematic.

Like always a few words of advise on equipment. Bring warm clothes, functional underwear, good walking shoes, rubber boots are recommended, helmet and a headlamp, at least one reserve lamp. Also bring dry clothes for afterward, a plastic bag for the wet clothes, and a towel. Optional are gloves and knee pads. Before you go have a look at the weather, never go if its raining or rain in the weather forecast. Do not attempt to enter if the stream is high, the water discoloured or foaming.