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Waitomo Caves

Spirit Cave, Waitomo Caves. Photo:

Be spellbound by millions of glowworms that transform cave ceilings into a mesmerizing, star-filled, underground night-sky.

Discover new limestone formations whilst creeping through dry cave systems, wandering over suspended walkways and past hidden waterfalls. These all add to the magic of a trip through a cave system 30 million years in the making.

Just an hour’s drive south from Hamilton, the many cave guides and operators deliver informative commentary and keep you safe. You’ll be provided with helmets and wetsuits when required, and you simply need to bring yourself, your towel, your walking shoes and your sense of adventure!

Raft down a cave stream, narrowly escaping stalactites -  on an inner tube! There’s no excuse for anyone to miss out on the Kiwi sport of black water wafting, invented here in Waitomo.

Attracting hundreds of thousands of international visitors, Waitomo is a must do for holidaymakers. Experience the true meaning of the word adventure as you journey into the unknown on a caving expedition. If you’re up for the challenge, you can abseil massive tomos and scale cliff faces up to 100m tall, rock-climb, crawl and squeeze your way through this hidden world kilometres beneath the surface.

Where to stay

Waitomo District

What to do

  • Do the Ruakuri Bushwalk at night to see glow worms
  • Go black water rafting
  • Marvel at the Mangapohue Natural Bridge, a 17-metre high limestone arch over the Mangapohue Stream
  • Study the life cycle of the glow worm at the Waitomo Museum of Caves
  • Count the waterfalls at the Marakopa Falls

More info


Getting there

  • From Rotorua by road: 166km
  • From New Plymouth by road: 173km
  • From Hamilton by road: 74km
  • From Auckland by road: 200km
Piwa perched