In spectacular limestone country in Waikaretu Valley, southwest of Tuakau, Philip and Anne Woodward and Nikau Brothers Limited have protected four lowland podocarp forest remnants and an exceptional limestone cave with QEII open space covenants.
Philip and Anne have been on their sheep and beef farm for 30 years.
‘We wanted to protect the cave in its natural state and QEII was the best avenue,’ says Philip.
Their first covenant was registered in 1986 and the latest in February 2008.
Nikau Cave has been open to visitors for 14 years, with a one kilometre tour following a stream, passing unspoiled stalactites and stalagmites including giant pillars, fine straws and flowing shawls. Glow worms and their dewy threads abound.
The cave is an easy adventure, with a ten metre crawl partway through, stream walking, and a bit of boulder hopping. Good average fitness is required.
‘Our tours are small and personal and limited to ten per guide,’ says Philip.
'People enjoy the challenge of exploring this special place.'
Above: Visitors appreciate the natural state of Nikau Cave, remarking that it’s an awesome experience.
Right: After their Nikau Cave adventure, visitors can relax in the café with stunning views of limestone outcrops. B&B and backpackers accommodation is also available.
Above: Visitors to Nikau Cave, named after nikau forest protected by QEII covenants, are welcome to walk the bush tracks on the farm.
Open SpaceTM Magazine No. 73 July 2008 © QEII National Trust