Rikoriko Cave

Riko Riko Cave

Useful Information

Location: Poor Knights Islands, 12 nautical miles (23 km) from the North East coast at Tutukaka.
(-35.481889, 174.734298)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: Speleologysea cave Speleologyblister cave
Light: bring torch
Dimension: V=221,494m³. L=130 m, W=80 m, VR=61 m, 26 m below, 35 m above sea.
Guided tours:  
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: yes
Bibliography: Dave Bunnell (2004): Riko Riko Cave, New Zealand—World’s Largest Sea Cave?, NSS News, May 2004, pp 145-147. pdf
Address: Dive Tutukaka, Kate Malcolm, Tel: +64-9-434-3867. E-mail: contact
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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Located on the west coast of Aorangi Island, one of the Poor Knights Islands, lies a huge sea cave. It is listed at the moment as the largest sea cave by volume. On the other hand it is not the longest sea cave.

Rikoriko Cave is originally a blister cave, formed during an eruption 10,000 years ago, when the volcanic island was formed. The blister, deep inside the magmatic rock, was finally reached by erosion and thus became accessible. The sea started to work on the cave and is continually enlarging it now.

The huge dome of Rikoriko is entered by boats, swimming inside a huge cathedral, 139 m long, 80 m wide and 35 m high. It is famous for its acoustics and regularly used by musicians for a capella concerts.

The cave is toured daily by boat from Tutukaka by boat. There are various different tours, with diving, snorkeling or just sightseeing. Some of the other 25 caves around the island are visited too. Other important caves are Northern Arch, Middle Arch, Bernies Cave, El Torito Cave, The Tunnel, Shaft Cave, and Airbubble Cave. Main topic of all visits is the unique life inside the caves. The dark environment resulted in an extraordinary and unique ecosystem. For example there are corals in a depth of 15 m which normally live 200 m below the surface.