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“Tricky hike, but well worth it”

Ranked #1 of 3 things to do in Atiu
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Attraction details
Owner description: The most well known of Atiu's limestone caves, it is named for the Kopeka birds that build nests in between the stalactites of the cavern. These birds navigate through the dark caves, guided by the echoes of their clicking sounds.
University Place, Washington
Level Contributor
19 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Tricky hike, but well worth it”
Reviewed 3 October 2013

I absolutely recommend visiting this cave--friends and I went with the informative and entertaining Marshall Humphreys, and I would love to go again. Marshall clearly loves what he does, and his fascination with the tiny birds that nest in the cave is catching. The cave itself is an amazing formation, and not dark and dank--there are a number of areas open to the outside. The hike in to the cave is equally fascinating, but there are tricky areas over sharp makatea. Not for flip-flops or sandals. I would wear shorts, as in the humidity and my own sweaty efforts, my pantlegs became damp and sticky. But wear bug repellent.

Visited September 2013
Thank BarbaraJS2451
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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50 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
29 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Absolute must-do activity when visiting Atiu”
Reviewed 12 September 2013

Sturdy foot-wear a must, as the trail is quite rough in places. Take the guided tour, and follow up with a visit to a traditional Tumunu (bush-beer club) for the best experience.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Zoom-Au
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Fascinating birds and a great experience”
Reviewed 1 June 2013

We were picked up from our hotel and taken out into the bush. Then we walked for about half an hour deep into the bush to the caves. We were given head torches and it was amazing to see and hear these little birds navigate in the darkness even right back in the cave.
Our guide was friendly, knowledgeable and committed to the welfare of these tiny and very rare birds. Awesome!

Visited October 2012
1 Thank SarahFM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Exploring the Caves”
Reviewed 7 January 2013

At first I was hesitant to do this because I'm a little claustrophobic and also scared of the dark. I didn't want to miss out on an opportunity though and was so glad that we went! The cave is quite large and the only part that was pitch black was when we turned off the headlamps for a few minutes.
Marshall is such an interesting guy and is passionate about the cave and the birds. Take the chance to go with him if you can!

Visited November 2012
1 Thank MrsKChambers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
120 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Good hike with a really good tour guide”
Reviewed 4 December 2012

The tour was excellent, the tour guide very knowledgeable and we had lots of fun.

The birds are really great, being in the dark cave and hearing them clicking was an unusual experience. So make sure you are not afraid of the dark.

We even swam in the cave (not the one with the birds). It was lighted by candles and the water was clear and cool, but a bit difficult to get there, through a narrow entrance.

We ended up going to a local beer bar - the real thing and drank Polynesian "beer" with the friendly natives. We survived allright with no hangover or such, but one of our group of 5 people got sick - however I am not sure it was the beer.

Visited November 2012
1 Thank Fernweh3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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