Dwarf’s Cave


This intriguing subterranean lava tube leads downwards as if to the centre of the earth. The cave is named after a legendary group of dwarves, who apparently still live in its depths, and leave the occasional footprint. It’s said that no one – except maybe the dwarves – has reached the end of it, and your guides (the village matai or local boys) will keep leading you through its prodigious depths, crossed by underground rivers, until you tell them to turn around.

Bring your own torch and reliable footwear, and be prepared to swim and get seriously muddy.

The cave is signposted off the Main North Coast Rd, just west of the Mt Matavanu turn-off. In Paia, look for the faded signpost on the right and wait outside the blue fale at this intersection; someone should appear to guide you to the cave.

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