Websites that work for inquiry

Websites that work

Here are internet sites, videos, audio resources.

Worth looking at for learning about Caves, Limestones and Karst environments.


“Is the name for the geological structures that turn a land into a sieve. Where water rushes through thin soil and porous bedrock to seep into deep and hidden caverns and channels below.

Imagine swiss cheese or an elaborate labyrinth created by chemistry, physics and water as it restlessly seeks the path of least resistance over eons.

That water is essentially invisible to those above, bypassing the land and their needs.

Karst would have been a good name for a dragon. With its harsh and mighty sound.”

Brian Robertshaw. Circle of Blue (2010) Defined by Hidden Waters, Dragons in the Deep Video

(.49sec – 1.32


GNS describes our Karst landforms

Te Ara describes our landforms

A list of the many types of Karst environments found in the world

Landcare Research Fact sheets on cave environments


Cave entrances —-Caves and cracks in karst ——–Sinkholes



Waitomo Karst is Unique in that we have POLYGONAL Karst features. A large amount of sinkholes (dolines) are connected together to form a honeycombed or egg carton depressions on the landscape. On a world scale we have many closely spaced sinkholes within some areas of Waitomo.

Other features of highlight are the mudstone caps and ignimbrite (volcanic) caps over the limestone creating differences in karst around Waitomo.

Videos and Interactives


Limestone to Caves

Limestone is the most common material that caves are found in. (Limestone chemically dissolves and wears easily over time, creating larger channels within the rock, leading to cave passages and chambers). Waitomo Limestone is between 28- 22 mya and is very compacted and crystaline. Very “pure” meaning having a large component of Calcium Carbonate present.

New Zealand’s largest caves are Nettlebed or Bulmer, or Gardners Gut in the North Island.

On the world stage we have some impressive cave systems. (A geologically young country).

Dissolving Rock

Find out about other types of caves


NZ longest caves

Worlds longest caves

Speleothem. This is the name given to cave decorations formed mainly with the CaIcite mineral, deposited through limestone dissolution processes.

These are examples of speleothems.   Stalactites—-Columns—Stalagmites—-Flowstone—–Shawls——Rimpools——–Helictite


Videos and Interactives

Hot rocks ( 15′ 3″ )

First 12 minutes on limestone forming to caves.

Drilling a core into the geologic cycle, limestone and karst country.

From Nights on 05 Nov 2009



Speleological (Caving) Society Websites

NZSS (NZ based)         NSS (USA based)

Waitomo glowworm Cave 4 min look into the main Tourist cave

The world of extreme cavers

An article about the quest to go deeper and deeper

View some cave divers in New Zealand’s Nettlebed cave. (221m still going deeper?)

Cave Base jump Parachute entering a tomo.

The deepest cave in earth

In Deep (The dark and dangerous world of caving)

The Deepest cave in NZ

Finding a way through mostly dry passages of Mt Arthur (Near Motueka, Nelson)

Kieran McKay – New Zealand caver ( 7′ 45″ )

Kieran McKay is an outdoor pursuits instructor and one of New Zealand’s most accomplished cavers. He’s been caving for 30 years, since he was 14 and has linked up two cave systems under the Arthur Range. (Making this the deepest cave in NZ)

From Nine To Noon on 31 Jan 2014 from <>

The cave was discover by Joseph Berger et ses compagnons Louis Eymas, Géo Mathieu et Marc Jouffray the 24 of May 1953.


Floyd Collins (The first over all the USA media hyped event) -An ill fated rescue attempt over 2 weeks.

Floyd Collins Ballad     (1.32 long).

 Videos and Interactives

Historic Caving Films

Castles of the Underworld – New Zealand’s Limestone Areas. Wild South Natural History Unit. Running time 60 minutes. (Lots of footage inside the caves of Waitomo)

The Waitomo Caves. Wild South Natural History Unit



Mangapohue Giant Oyster Fossil description