Our family thoroughly enjoyed exploring these caves. We loved the feeling of stepping back in time and wondering at the limestones features of stalactities and stalagmites. Our tour guide was great and really captivated the childrens interest.
Ngarua Cave was discovered by bushmen clearing the hillside of scrub, after a bushfire had destroyed the surrounding bush. The early settlers visited the cave by horse coach. As visitors destroyed and removed stalactites and wrote their names on the formations, the cave was locked up for several years. The latest development of the cave is a second entrance, allowing one way tours through the cave.
In the cave several remains of the famous birds of New Zealand were found. A complete skeleton of a Moa is on display.
But the limestone recrystallised which changed its grain and colour. The rock is about 450 Million years old. The
marble is quarried near Ngarua Cave and was used to build several buildings in New Zealand: Parliament Buldings, the Beehive in Wellington and the Nelson Cathedral.