Tours of Aranui are led by experienced guides who provide interesting information on the geology of the formations and the cave history. Tour groups are small to provide visitors with an up-close and personal encounter with nature not to mention some magical memories to take away.
Delicate straw formations,
The massed delicacy of the millions of stalactites in Aranui Cave is probably without equal in the world. The cave was formed on an earthquake fault, which means the rain water that creates the limestone crystals enters more readily. As a result, almost every corner of the roof and walls is adorned with fragile, sparkling forms in pale brown, pink and white. There is very little of the ceiling that has not been decorated by the dripping water.
Over the years the guides have given many of the limestone clusters affectionate nicknames, which help to bring the cave to life. The entrance to the cave, for example, is known as the butchers shop, because the formations (with a little imagination look like sides of beef and a sheep hanging from the ceiling). Further in, narrow chambers reveal carrots, cauliflower, cheese and a parsnip, as well as Snow White who is accompanied by a few more than her original seven dwarves!
GUIDELINES FOR YOUR VISIT
It is the aim of the Aranui Cave staff to ensure the best service possible to all cave visitors. We seek your co-operation fulfilling these aims and ask that you follow the guidelines listed below.
- Please do not touch formations. Stalactites and stalagmites take a long time to form. They are easily discoloured by people touching them and the more fragile formations can break. Please help us protect the beauty of the cave.
- No smoking in the cave.
- All photography is strictly forbidden. This includes non-flash photography and video.