Paper's report angers cave dwellers

By Christine McKay

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Volunteers at Dannevirke's thriving Fantasy Cave are "as mad as hell" our town's top tourist attraction has been written off in a major newspaper.

"We're upset and gutted the Dominion Post has told its readers we're defunct," Liz Edwards said.

"We've just had our best school holidays attendance in three years - almost 900 visitors in two weeks - and to read the cave is defunct with cardboard Vikings with sheep's wool beards is just unbelievable."

Mrs Edwards, wife of Ces Edwards, Fantasy Cave's chairman, said the volunteers are upset that all their hard work could have gone down the drain because of the inaccurate information.

"It's nothing short of a blessed nuisance," she said.

"A lot of our visitors come from the region that newspaper covers and to think no one bothered to enquire about us has left us reeling."

Mrs Edwards said the new teddy-bears' picnic attraction at the Fantasy Cave during the school holidays "went down a treat".

The fairytale attraction began in 1989 as Santa's Cave and has gone on to become Dannevirke's No.1 tourist attraction.

It is credited with injecting more than $1 million into our town's economy.

Built, maintained and run by enthusiastic volunteers - the Cave Dwellers - the cave has been touted as "better than Disneyland" by an American visitor.

"Most people are often blown away," treasurer Malcolm Peffers said.

"We're the only attraction like this in New Zealand."

The Dannevirke Fantasy Cave is open Saturdays 10am to 2.30pm, and in the school holidays, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, 10am to 2pm.

Hours are extended during the Christmas holiday period, with the cave open Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am to 2pm.

 

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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