Waitomo Caves Travel Guide

  • Training.
    Training.
    by John195123
  • Into The Abyss
    Into The Abyss
    by John195123
  • Initial Abseil.
    Initial Abseil.
    by John195123

Waitomo Caves Highlights

  • Pro
    olust profile photo

    olust says…

     Interesting experience 

  • Con
    Lozza_9 profile photo

    Lozza_9 says…

     Got very wet 

  • In a nutshell
    HarShe profile photo

    HarShe says…

     Truely spectacular 

Waitomo Caves Things to Do

  • Black Water Rafting Co. Waitomo

    There are a few caves in the area, some offering calm boat rides down glow-worm-lit caves. There are dry caving trips that test your mettle. Then there's Black Water Rafting's trips, that combine abseiling through a small hole in the ground, a pitch-black zip line, and a 15-foot jump into shockingly cold water. While you get a chance to tube under...

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  • Glowworms - what a sigh!

    There are many cave formation in Waitomo area. The world famous boat ride under thousands of magical glowworms and become a part of over 120 years of cultural and natural history.

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  • Spectacular visitor centre

    This breathtaking construction has really taken me in. It was built after a massive fire that destroyed the visitor centre in 2005.The new building is spectacular, using native materials and blending into the lush native forest surroundings, creating an enclosed and open space at the same time.The rounded transparent roof which is attached to...

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  • The other caves that can be visited

    The other two caves that can be visited are Ruakuri and Aranui Caves. On photos they surely look more impressive than the main cave – and photography is allowed.I have not been in either of these two caves as I thought I had spent too much money on the Glow Worm Cave already. So the following information is from write-ups on the official website...

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  • The boat ride

    This is the highlight of the tour – when you slide through the dark, the ceiling of the cave lit up like a night sky lit up by millions of stars. The stretch of river/cave visited is not very long, so the guide pulls the boat along the metal ropes attached to the walls of the cave several times.A guy on my tour asked why he travelled along the same...

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  • The Cathedral and other underground...

    The Cathedral is the highlight of the walking tour. It is on the lower level of the Waitomo Cave. The acoustics in this 18 metre high enclosed cavern is impressive. You will hear that New Zealand’s mega-famous opera diva Dame Kiri Te Kanawa has sung in this part of the cave and was more than delighted with the purity of the sound.The tour starts at...

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  • Guided tour of the Glowworm Caves

    You cannot access the caves on your own but on guided tours only.These guided tours of the Main Cave include a 250 metre walk through the cave and a boat ride through the glow worm grotto.Tours depart every half hour from 9am to 5pm. Additional tours at 5.30pm between 31 October and Easter Monday, as well as at 8am between 26 December and 28...

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  • Ruakuri Cave

    My friend and I had planned to do the Black Labyrinth tour. Unfortunately it had rained several inches the previous night, and the cave was flooded. They were able to schedule us on a walking tour of the Ruakuri Cave instead. It certainly was not the trip we had planned, but it was very interesting (and dry). Be sure and check the web site for all...

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  • You have to see Waitomo Caves

    There are a bunch of ways to see the caves and glow worms, but the best way is to use Black Water rafting company. They take you out to the middle of nowhere and you abseil down a canyon-like cave until you reach the underground river. There you pick up your inner tube and ride it down the rapids in the caves. Awesome, awesome adventure. It can be...

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  • Black Water Rafting

    This is a excellent activity to do - There are different rafting activities also available. Sometimes I was scared but I am really glad i did it. My boots where full of water and I was tired at the end. They supplied bagels and soup after to warm you up.

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  • Waitomo Cave

    Waitomo glow worm caves ý Besides the usual limestone cave formation, the cave contains the New Zealand glow worm which emits a light to attract flying insects as good. A guided tour boat ride through the darkness reveal the thousands of glow worm lights hanging from the cave ceiling is truly spectacular.

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  • Black Water Rafting

    When my friend Jay came to New Zealand in August 2002 we decided that we wanted to do something adventurous. We picked Black Water Rafting as we thought it would be a good way to see the Waitomo Caves and do something a little different. I had never been blackwater rafting before but always wanted to try it out! We went with a group with guides...

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  • Caving Adrenalin

    It was amazing. I took the 5 hour trip Black Abyss with the Legendary Black Water Rafting Co. in Waitomo Caves. It was just brill. The guides explained everything clearly and were a great laugh! We were only three clients so had a "personalised" tour. Due to the high rain fall in the recent days the water was high but still safe, we did have to...

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  • Caving Adrenalin

    It was amazing. I took the 5 hour trip Black Abyss with the Legendary Black Water Rafting Co. in Waitomo Caves. It was just brill. The guides explained everything clearly and were a great laugh! We were only three clients so had a "personalised" tour. Due to the high rain fall in the recent days the water was high but still safe, we did have to...

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  • Caving Tour with Green Glow...

    My B&B recommended this tour from a "new" tour operator. I tried it because of the great price, but got even more than I expected. Paul runs a FULL-DAY private caving tour, customized as you like: abseiling (rappelling), rock climbing, caving, and photography. Bring a D-SLR and he'll help you get fantastic pictures in the cave. He even provided dry...

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  • Los gusanos de luz / Glowworm

    La parte de la cueva donde se ven las luciérnagas con más detalle tiene un lago y te mueves poer él en un barco. La luz de las líneas de las luciérnagas en el techo en contraste con la oscuridad de la cueva, el silencio y el moverte muy suavemente en el lago es una experiencia inolvidableLa luciérnaga de Nueva Zelanda es una mosca que en la fase de...

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  • El primer nivel / First level

    Después de descender por una escalera circular se llega al primer nivel , que está seco e incluye la entrada a la cueva y formaciones rocosas, conocidas como las Catacumbas, el órgano de tubos y la Sala de banquetesAquí hay estalactitas que crecen hacia abajo desde el techo y estalagmitas que crecen desde el suelo de la cueva. Cuando se unen se...

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  • Waitomo glowworm-caves

    The cave-system and village of Waitomo forms a major tourist attraction in the southern Waikato region of the North Island of New Zealand, 12 kilometres northwest of Te Kuiti. The village of Waitomo Caves itself is very small, though the village has many temporary service workers living there as well. The word Waitomo comes from the Māori...

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  • Visit the caves

    If you are in the Waitomo area, you really should visit the glow worm caves.You take a conducted boat trip through the cavesThey really are spectacular and worth the visitYou can arrange Waitomo cave day trips from Hamilton, Taupo, Auckland and Rotorua

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  • Shimmering Glow Worms...

    Join a guided tour, take a boat ride, marvel at Mother Nature's light display as you glide silently through the starry wonderland of the Glowworm Grotto. Meander underground along the Waitomo River and gaze in silence at the myriad of glowworm lights that make up the Glowworm Grotto. As you enter this galaxy of tiny living lights, you'll...

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  • Marakopa Falls

    When you leave Waitomo Cave, there is a road that leads through forest to Marakopa Falls and a natural bridge. It takes quite a while to reach these two attractions, but it is worth the drive. If you continue on this road, it will soon turn to gravel. You may think you are lost, but keep following this road and it leads to the main highway on the...

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  • Shearing an Angora Rabbit

    Maybe 1 km away from the entrance of the famous Waitomo Caves there is a farm/shop selling garments made of angora wool taken from their angora rabbits.The staff give free 20/30 mins shearing demonstrations with informative "lecture".You can also pet the rabbits and buy the garments if you want.

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  • Waitomo caves

    It's good fun (but a bit pricy) to go and see the caves and the glowworms. The boat trip within the caves itself is probably the best part, but it's good alround, particularly if you are interested in stalagtites!

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  • Waitomo Cave

    The first European to see this cave was Fres Mace and he was shown it by Maori chief Tane Tanorau. Tane Tanorau was the first guide to these caves. there are a lot of glowworms in these caves and it also has stalacmites and stalactites ofcourse. The special thing about this cave is the boattrip at the end, giving you a great view of all the...

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  • Eerie

    The whole experience is eerie, almost moving as the guide pulls the boat along the underground river using ropes. We actually come out through a different opening than the one we entered through. I can just imagine how wonderful this must have been for the first discoverers. I have never seen anything like it!

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  • Glow worms

    Glow worm threads hang from the roof of the grotto.Immediately after hacthing, the larva builds a nest and lets down sticky substances called threads and turns on a light to attract food.

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  • Boat Trip

    The underground journey by boat is excellent. We board in almost complete darkness and float quietly and effortlessly through the underworld, where the ceiling is full of blue fairy lights. Very impressive!

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Waitomo Caves Hotels

Waitomo Caves Warnings and Dangers

  • Do not touch stalactites and stalagmites

    -Never touch stalactites and stalagmites!!!Your fingers release grease that seals the limestone, so the lime cannot stick to the stone, and further growth is inhibited.Fragile young formations can break, others get discoloured.Several people not sticking to this rule, and the development of the caves is ruined forever.

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  • Shut up! LOL

    You can talk as much as you want in the limestone caves – but you have to be quiet in the glow worm grotto. The glow worms are easily disturbed by light and noise. To guarantee their survival you have to be quiet for 15 to 20 minutes while the boat glides on the silent Waitomo river.

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  • Don’t arrive last minute

    Despite the vicinity – twelve kilometres only - it takes quite a while to get from Te Kuiti to the Waitomo Caves. The last few kilometres are on a very winding road, and my speedy approach was also slowed down by roadworks and temporary road blocks. Once at the carpark, you have to walk from the car to the visitor centre – and if the ladies at the...

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Waitomo Caves Off The Beaten Path

  • short walks - #4 Marakopa Falls

    The track to Marakopa Falls starts from a roadside rest area along the Te Anga Road out of Waitomo Village - it is slightly further on from Mangapohue and Piripiri. There is a large green Dept of Conservation sign marking the rest area so it's easy to spot.A wide gravel track - not too muddy in heavy rain - takes you down a gentle incline through...

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  • short walks - #3 Mangapohue Natural...

    The walk to Mangapohue Natural Bridge starts from a roadside rest area further along the Te Anga Road from Piripiri - there is a sign at the rest area, so you won't miss it. There are also picnic tables here.The first part of the track is a boardwalk, and includes a short suspension bridge (not too wobbly - nothing scary) and sort of takes you...

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  • Short walks - #2 Piripiri Cave

    The walk to Piripiri Cave starts at a roadside rest area (clearly marked Piripiri Cave Scenic Reserve) on the Te Anga Road out of Waitomo Village (towards Marakopa).This is a short, easy walk suitable for children over 5, but if you want to see inside the cave (which is free) you will need a torch. (I recommend full supervision of children when...

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Waitomo Caves Favorites

  • How to get to the Waitomo Caves

    - The problem with the Waitomo Caves is that they do not really lie on the direct tourist routes and are a detour at most times – despite not being really far away from some of the main centres.Auckland is about 200 kilometres or a 2.5 hours drive north of Waitomo. Hamilton is the nearest centre, just a one hour drive away.To/from Rotorua, Taupo...

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  • The Waitomo District

    The Waitomo Caves are the major drive of tourism in the Waitomo District, a nice green farmland of rolling hills and native forests, but also of forestry – which is less attractive.The main town and service centre of the Waitomo District is Te Kuiti, 12 kilometres from Waitomo Caves. Other townships in the region are Waitomo, Mokau, PioPio,...

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  • Information and contact

    -The official website of the Waitomo Caves is well and truly amazing.There is so much information on it about everything that you nearly do not find it all although there are links everywhere – which might be the problem LOLWhether you want to learn about the glow worms, the geology of the caves, the tours, the prices, you find everything on the...

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