Caves: Exploring New Zealand's Subterranean Wilderness

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About the Book

During a walk down the Pearse River in 2013, Marcus Thomas and Neil Silverwood realised they shared a dream to produce a book showcasing ten of New Zealand’s most amazing cave systems.  Caves: Exploring New Zealand's Subterranean Wilderness brings to light the exploration of the country’s longest, deepest, and most important systems over the last 67 years.  Produced as a case-bound, large format publication, the book features over 300 pages of photographs, text, maps and diagrams. After a long wait, we are excited to announce the books have arrived! 


Caves are time capsules...

Our understanding of New Zealand has been greatly enhanced by studying caves and the knowledge has given us a deeper appreciation and connection with the planet's geologic and life history. A record of climate change can be found in stalactites, fossils of creatures long extinct are cemented in limestone, and strange life forms flourish in the extreme and dark environment.

...And places to explore...

Beginning with a chapter on cave geology, Caves: Exploring New Zealand's Subterranean Wilderness takes readers on a roller-coaster ride through the history of cave exploration in New Zealand – from the harrowing winch-lower into Harwood's Hole to recent technological advances that allow cavers to explore even further into the unknown. This book will make you see caves and cave explorers in a new light.

...For Many generations.

We hope that by exposing the true beauty, scientific importance, and daring exploration of New Zealand's caves we will open minds and hearts to the sport of caving and inspire good stewardship of all our caves and the land they pass beneath.

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
— T.S. Eliot

CAVES: Exploring New Zealand's Subterranean Wilderness NOW AVAILABLE!


If you would like to purchase a book, please contact us with your name, phone number, email address and shipping address. The cost is $79.99 NZD including standard shipping within New Zealand - we'll send you direct debit details after an order is placed.


Whio Publishing

Marcus and Neil started Whio Publishing in 2016 to self-publish a book on New Zealand's caves. It is finally near completion and they are excited about the potential for future projects together as the Whio Publishing team.


Marcus Thomas is a graphic designer and writer/photographer based in Wellington. He has spent a lifetime exploring New Zealand’s underground wilderness and is at the forefront of exploration in New Zealand’s longest cave system, Bulmer Cavern. Among his many adventures, Marcus and his partner Linda are raising a family and encouraging them to venture into the outdoors.


Neil Silverwood is a professional photographer from the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. He specialises in photographing places many would consider too difficult or dangerous. Assignments have been as varied as exploring New Zealand’s wildest canyons to capturing skiing in war-torn Afghanistan. Neil regularly shoots for a range of magazines both within New Zealand and around the World but this project to photograph the diversity of New Zealand’s caves has been his most difficult to date.

For more examples of Neil's work check out

Caving is a dark and dirty sport where there are no heroes and no welcoming committees.
— Mick Hopkinson