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Harwood’s Hole

Monday, 4 June 2007 : Filed under: Marlborough E-Mail This Article

Harwood's Hole
Harwood’s Hole is New Zealand’s deepest vertical shaft – Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand


Comment by josh — June 4, 2007 @ 11:06 am

After a day of recuperating from our hike, we headed north to Golden Bay. On the way we took a very long, windy gravel road to see Harwood’s Hole, New Zealand’s deepest vertical shaft.

The hole is 176m deep, descending into Starlight Cave below. You can see the top of the hole, but it goes much deeper than you can see in the photo. Beth is the red dot at the bottom of the photo.

People climb down the hole, and out the other side of the cave. We just climbed around on the rocks careful not to fall in, and then hiked back to the car.

Comment by dad — June 5, 2007 @ 5:15 am

So it’s not like just a cliff, but an enclosed hole, right? Looks wet and interesting. I read something about Karst topography somewhere in NZ, but I can’t remember where it was in NZ. That’s where they have a lot of caves – like around Mammoth Cave in KY. Are there other caves around there, or just this one? And is it a big cave where people go spelunking and stuff?

Comment by Ashley — June 5, 2007 @ 9:43 am

Starlight Cave…Adam and I just watched something on tv about cave-dwelling glow worms in NZ that cling to the ceiling and produce a bluish light to attract prey. Hundreds of them in a pitch black cave look like a starlit sky. Are they found here or is it just a coincidental name?

Comment by josh — June 5, 2007 @ 12:12 pm

You are correct. I am not sure exactly if the 176m starts from the thing in the photo that looks like a cliff, or if it starts below when the cave starts? I’m not exactly sure. You can’t see the cave in the photo and we couldn’t really see it in person. We had to walk out on the rocks and it was a bit scary. We had heard that people fall in and die sometimes.

There were lots of caves and things in this area. The rock is marble, and apparently there are cracks in between huge pieces of it and it forms caves, springs, etc.

People do “abseiling” there, which is basically like repelling down the hole. You don’t have to climb up, because at the bottom you can go out the cave I guess to the other side. The walk to the hole is where we found the purple mushroom btw.

Comment by josh — June 5, 2007 @ 12:20 pm

Sorry Ashley, your comment got flagged as spam.

I am not sure if glow worms are in this perticular cave or not. It’s possible. We saw glow worms in Rotorua. They are pretty cool I guess. It is actually fly larvae that glows I think (to lure in food like you said).

There are all kinds of tours you can go on to see glow worms… but after seeing them once it doesn’t seem that exciting to see again I guess.

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