Mira Cave

 

The Mira Lava Cave stands out as a remarkable feature within the Auckland Volcanic Field, celebrated for its exceptional size, length, and unique geological formations. It was discovered by ourselves in 2023. Named after the star Mira, with its distinctive long, tail-like appearance, the name also derives from the Latin word for “wonderful” or “astonishing,” aptly capturing the cave’s remarkable nature. The cave is divided into three distinct sections: Mira Alpha, Mira Beta, and Mira Gamma.

Cave Type: Lava Cave
Location: Auckland Volcanic Field
Surveyed: Yes

Mira Alpha, the westernmost section, showcases a classic triangular profile characterised by a soaring ceiling and ample space. Its walls and ceiling are adorned with a striking white biofilm of bacterial origin, interspersed with delicate stalactites and lava straws. Iron-coloured water droplets trickle from the stalactites. The floor exhibits a mosaic of red, orange, and yellow lava flows, a testament to the varying degrees of iron oxidation present.

 

 

Mira Beta, the central section of the cave, is distinguished by a six-meter-high skylight that illuminates the chamber with natural light. Smooth, jersey barrier-like wall linings grace the interior, alongside remarkable encrustations & speleothems. This remarkable diversity of geological features is truly awe-inspiring. Near the skylight, a high side passage branches off with a striking lava fall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mira Gamma, the eastern section, has a fractured ceiling and most of the floor is covered in lava blocks. Additionally, a smaller, lower-level cave extends beneath the main tube. This sub-level cave, though short in length, showcases remarkably smooth walls adorned with delicate formations that are potentially gypsum encrustations.