The track starts with a gentle 10 minute climb, through a number of rocky outcrops and over-hangs. It then follows an undulating ridge, branching off at different points, to allow exploration of the various caves in the area. There is a lookout point along the ridge that has a clear view of the stratified layers of rock comprising the "intact block" of rock that slid down from the Ngamoko Range.
At one point the track takes two different routes (marked "track" and "bypass"). The track takes you down through a rock tunnel several metres long and the bypass takes you around a large, jutting rock over-hang. The track then descends into a small valley that contains the largest number of caves on the walk. It is worth spending a little time exploring them with a torch, although care must be taken. Cave weta are found in the Onepoto Caves. These harmless insects gather in the caves during the day and venture out at night to feed on plants.
From the valley, the track climbs back up to a narrow ridge. Part-way along the ridge there is a second lookout point that gives good views of the lake and Panekire Bluff to the west. From this point you can see back over the valley to the ridge you originally climbed, and to the first lookout opposite.
From this lookout the track continues (very close to SH 38), eventually emerging near a small car park and lookout of the edge of the lake. You can either return back along the caves track, or walk back along the road.
The Onepoto Caves Track is situated close to State Highway 38, approximately 10 km south of the Aniwaniwa Visitor Centre. The track is a 2 km long return trip and is signposted at the road side, at the site of the original lake outlet. The end point or turning point of the track is a lookout and parking place above the edge of the lake, right next to State Highway 38.
Time: 2 hrs.
Distance: 2 kms.