Cave Stream Scenic Reserve, Canterbury Region

Cave Stream Scenic Reserve is located in Canterbury Region. Before you head to Castle Hill, plan trip itinerary details with our user-friendly Castle Hill journey planner, to make sure you see all that Castle Hill has to offer, including Cave Stream Scenic Reserve.
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Cave Stream Scenic Reserve Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5.0
35 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • It is really a must, if you're around. Everybody told me, it would be very cold and I should have a wet suit, so I was afraid, if my beach short will be enough. :) But it was ok with some warm shirts ...  more »
  • You sure know you are alive when you go on this walk. A good friend took me to Christchurch and we had the best time. She had done the walk before so knew we needed warm clothes (that could get wet) a...  more »
  • This trip is great fun invoving a short walk to a large entrance where the water leaves the cave. The trip involves waist deep water near the entrance but generally it is less than knee deep. The goin...  more »
Google
  • Really nice cave, just need to be prepared, have a torch with you and proper footwear, you won't be able to do it in flip flops or sandals. Only thing is that there are no signs from the car park as which direction is what end of a cave, so if you go left path you will end up at the end of the cave and you can do it back to front but for security reasons they tell you to do it other way around and go against the stream, other two footpaths will take you to the bottom start of the cave where you also encounter the deepest water which is waist or breast deep and the rest of the cave is shallower, have fun!
  • Epic! Do not miss if you are in this area. If I had to choose 1 thing to do again on the South island it would be this. We just thought it would be a cave to take a picture of from the outside. Little did we know it was a fantastic 45 minute adventure. Go to the right from the parking lot as you want to go upstream through the cave. We wore shorts and t-shirts and running shoes. Don't wear cotton as it will keep you cold. I was glad for the shoes vs sandals as you end up putting your feet in between rocks that could leave a mark. Flip flops will be gone in no time. It starts off in chest deep water that freaks you out a bit. That is the deepest section with the rest being mostly calf deep. It is best to have both hands free to navigate and prevent your head from hitting a wall. Only 1 section is a bit tricky. At about half way there's a small falls that doesn't have good foot holds so you may need some teamwork to get up and over. The end bit has you climb up out of the waterfall hole via some metal rungs and a chain. Fantastic stuff!
  • If you ask me what is the most unforgettable experience in NZ, I would said the experience we had in this walk through total darkness, cold running water and bare footed. Yes, bare footed as we are not prepared. Well at least we had touch which is water resistance. In fact it's an unplanned itinerary and turn out to be the most adventure trip we had. I would highly recommend this 👍
  • We fitted this into a 3 hour deviation during out drive from mt cook back to Christchurch and it's a must do. We think it's underrated as an adventure. It was an amazing experience to hike through the pitch dark cave with water under your feet. It could be waist deep at a few places for really short stretches but just knee and ankle deep water mostly. Even thought it was cold outside, inside of the cave was warm and you'll get used to the water temperature. We went in swim wear and a wind cheater. Wind cheater helped during the hike down to the cave entrance and back up because it was cold windy. Make sure you take the right path down from the parking to the spot where the river comes out of the cave and walk against the flow. Check on weather conditions and don't go in if it's raining (slight drizzle is OK) or the water is murky. There is a bit of a tricky ladder at the very end where extra care is required. Some spots where the water flows rapidly, you may need to help each other in the group. Please carry one torch per head and that needs to last an hour. Extra batteries if you want to be safe. Camera may get wet. We didn't take any pictures and only have the experience to leave a lasting impression!!
  • This can be a fantastic or a DEADLY experience! BE FOREWARNED: if the WATER IS DEEP or if you don't have BACKUP FLASHLIGHTS - or worse, both, hiking this cave can be very dangerous. My girlfriend and I started in late one afternoon (first key factor) when the water was high (second VERY key factor) - a little over 4.5 feet deep in the entry pool. We were foolishly unprepared, expecting sort of a wet walk in the park once we got past the first pool, with water around our ankles. On this particular day, that was way wrong! Our lone, handheld flashlight (third and most important factor) went into the drink as I tried to pull her up a ledge that becomes a significant waterfall when the stream has substantial flow (when it's been raining upstream there can be much more than the little trickle you see in most photos). Once we were plunged into total darkness, it was only by taking photos with a flash camera that we were able to identify and climb over a rockfall that blocks the cave about midway through. We advanced only about 10 feet in 45 minutes. It is virtually impossible to find your way in this cave when there is significant water flow and you don't have any light. Although we finally got over the rockfall, we would almost certainly not have been able to navigate the remainder of the cave with just the camera. Had it not been for Johan and Maleen from Sweden, who thankfully came through with multiple headlamps about an hour later (the last hikers that day), we would likely have died from hypothermia before someone found us the next morning. And no, we would not have been the first (you can look it up). So heed the warnings and BE PREPARED!
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