La'auolola Caves

Aopo Lava Tubes - Laauoleola Cave - A'opo Forest Reserve and Cave


Useful Information

Location: A'opo Conservation Area, Savai'i Island. 2km west of A'opo, signposted.
(-13.538862, -172.529741)
Open: All year daily 6-17:30.
[2020]
Fee: Adults WST 10.
[2020]
Classification: Speleologylava tube
Light: bring torch
Dimension: L=5,047m, VR=170m.
Guided tours:
Photography: allowed
Accessibility:
Bibliography:
Address: La'auolola Cave, A'opo, Tel: +685-76-25689.
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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History


Description

La’auoleola Cave is one of numerous lava tubes in the A'opo Conservation Area. Its a 15 minutes hike through mahogany forest and fruit and vegetable plantations to the cave. The cave is famous for white rumped swiftlets and bats living inside. The cave is on private land and the owners organize the visits with a guide. Typically the first 50m of the cave are visited, but the cave is more than 5km long. This makes it the longest cave on Samoa and the 25th longest lava tube in the World [2020].

The cave is collapsed at its upper end and there is a staircase of stone step down to the cave entrance. From here the cave goes continually downhill towards the sea. According to the guides there is a lake at the far end of the cave, supposedly sea water entering from the lower end. However, the guides are no cavers and most likely they have never seen the far end themselves. If they are asked how long the cave is, the typical answer will be the Samoan five hours.

If visitors are interested and able to do more, the first 500m can be visited, probably after some convincing the guide. At 500m there is a drop which requires climbing and from here on only cavers are allowed. But even for the first 500m surefootedness, good walking shoes, and good light are essential. We suggest to bring a helmet with a headlamp.

The trail to the cave has recently been upgraded by Chris Barnes from New Zealand. He constructed a trail according to New Zealand National Park standard, with railings and benches. The trip to the cave is now possible for anyone, nevertheless we recommend walking shoes. Fortunately the idea of building a road for cars was stopped by the Samoa Tourism Authority (S.T.A.).