Place Category: Point of Interest
The Abbey Caves are caves about four kilometers northeast of Whangarei on the North Island of New Zealand. In total, 3 caves are placed under the protection of the 18.7 acre Abbey Caves Reserve. In addition, other karst-type limestone formations and sinkholes. The largest of the caves is the organ cave with only one access and a ca 15 meters high cavern. The two smaller caves, Middle Cave and Ivy Cave each have two entrances. The Ivy Cave has about 60 m from the entrance a section with low ceilings where Graffiti was installed in the 1800s. The caves are not developed, but can be entered. After a descent from the cave entrance, the path through the cave is flat and runs up to the bottomless water. The area was settled around 1860 by Nathaniel and Amelia Clotworthy, the 165 hectare (409 acre) land, including the caves, possessed. The house, built in the sandstone formations, gave the name to the caves, as it resembled an Irish abbey. The location of the 1920 burned house is today recognizable by chimney remnants and some holly trees. Also, a grave for one of the children of the family of 1884 is preserved.