Nikau Cave

Useful Information

Location: Near Waikaretu, on Waikaretu Road, between Waikaretu and Port Waikato.
From Auckland Southern Motorway to Mercer, through Pukekawa and Glen Murray. 5 km past Glen Murray Motors at Telecom tower turn right into Waikaretu Valley Rd. 3 km after Waikaretu.
Open: Mon-Sat 9-18:30, Sun 9-20:30.
Fee: Adults NZD 30, Children NZD 15.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: torches provided.
Guided tours: V=1700/a[2007]
Address: Nikau Cave, Waikaretu RD 5, Tuakau, Tel: 09-233-3199, Fax: 03-233-3131. 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.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.



Nikau Cave is a glowworm cave, which means its main feature is the existence of glowworms, the larvae of flies which live in the cave on spider-web like filaments which are sticky from a secretion produced by the larvae. They lure other insects into the filaments with their light and feed of them. Actually they often trap their own species. The glowing spots can be found in various caves in New Zealand.

Nikau Cave is a one kilometre long passage which is only partly developed. There are paths and steps, but no electric light, as this would disturb the glowworms. There is one short sections of about 10 m which is very low and requires crawling, at the entrance is a short part which requires walking through the water of the cave river. So this is definitely not a wild cave, but its no average show cave either. It is a show cave on the rough side, requires some physical fitness and of course appropriate clothes. We recommend a cave suit or at least clothes to change, sturdy boots or rubber boots. Helmets and lamps are provided.

The almost horizontal passage leads uphill. At first there is the cave river, later the passage is dry. There are numerous fine speleothems including stalactites, stalagmites, rimstone pools, and calcite crystals.

Nearby is the location where Weathertop Hollow was filmed for the movie The Lord of the Rings.