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“A worth while experience”

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.
Dunedin, New Zealand
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A worth while experience”
Reviewed 18 May 2014

My partner and I enjoyed this tour.
We felt very lucky getting to see so many of the beautiful Kopeka in the caves and Marshall was a fantastic guide who shared his knowledge comfortably with us.

The caves were quite open so neither of us felt claustrophobic at any stage.

Visited May 2014
1 Thank Jennifer S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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52 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Saskatoon, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Be realistic about the shape you're in.”
Reviewed 25 March 2014

I regret that I smoke a pack a day and haven't done any physical activity since the 1970s. I look in much better shape than is the actual reality. I don't know why, but I imagined I'd be on the groomed trails like you find in Canada's national parks. I also have no clue why I didn't take some water.

So, this experience is too much for anyone who's out of shape. Getting into the caves is a half hour (hour in my condition) that involves scrambling over about a dozen old coral beds which have some tricky foot placement. Once you get to the caves, there's lots of low ceilings and slippery rocks. Even the rainy days in the Cook Islands are hot and humid for North Americans from the northern plains.

Spending a half hour in the swimming grotto cooled my core temperature down.

Harry, our guide, and the other members of our tour did the best they could to make sure I got out safely.

I ended up having a heat rash that lasted two days and a sore body that kept me immobile for three days.

At 60 years old, I really should get in better shape. The 70 year olds on our tour were just fine.

Visited March 2014
5 Thank ronie_bernie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“A must-do on Atiu!”
Reviewed 8 December 2013

I nearly didn't go on this excursion as am not keen on caves but it was really not at all scary to go in and discover these amazing birds navigating in the pitch dark. Marshall and his family are committed to the welfare of these birds, his knowledge and guiding made it a great experience.

Visited August 2013
2 Thank Greykiwi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
“If you are in Atiu, and enjoy nature, you must go.”
Reviewed 27 November 2013

This is one of the highlight tours. If you are a birder, it's a must see. If you just enjoy wildlife, it's still a must see. Perhaps nowhere else will you ever see a tiny bird which flies in the daylight, only to enter a pitch black cave and sound sonar like a bat. Was remarkable.

Marshal Humphfries was a terrific guide, informative and interesting to talk to.

Visited November 2013
Thank James C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canberra, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“One of the most amazing things I have ever seen”
Reviewed 21 November 2013

The cave itself would have been amazing enough, but the little Kopeka birds that live in its depths and communicate by echolocation are just incredible. The tour was a great opportunity to see them up close and hear them moving around. The tour in general was very interesting, and even involved a candlelit swim in the underground pools of the cave. Afterwards Marshall dropped us off at a Tumunu (bush pub) on the way home. Unbelievable value for money. He could have charged twice as much for the tour and I still would have left happy.

Visited November 2013
Thank Rachel H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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