Harwood Hole

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Harwoods Hole
Harwood hole pit.jpg
Harwoods Hole, New Zealand
LocationSouth Island, New Zealand
LengthHeight: 357 metres (1,171 ft)
Opening: 50 metres (160 ft)
HazardsFree fall

Harwoods Hole is a cave system located in the northwest of the South Island of New Zealand. It is one of several important cave systems in Takaka Hill, between Golden Bay and Tasman Bay. Starting at the surface as a 50-metre round entrance and descending 183 metres,[1] Harwood Hole is New Zealand's deepest vertical shaft. Further in it connects with Starlight Cave. The long rope descent is considered one of the most spectacular parts of the caving experience at Harwood's. Harwood's Hole has an overall depth of 357 m.[1]

Henry Harwood (1844–1927), with John Horton and Thomas Manson, opened up the Canaan Downs area and discovered Harwoods Hole, though it was not immediately entered. It remained untouched until cavers winched down in 1958.[1] Upon completion of exploration in 1959, Harwoods Hole became the deepest explored cave in New Zealand, a record that stood for many years.


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Coordinates: 40°57′00″S 172°52′10″E / 40.9501°S 172.8694°E / -40.9501; 172.8694