Get Ready for Adventure in the Waitomo Caves!
Whether you’re planning a trip to New Zealand or area resident nearby, a must-see activity the Waitomo Caves. This village and solutional cave system is located in the northern King Country region of the North Island of New Zealand. It’s located just over two hours and 16 minutes from Auckland so it’s a quick trip, whether in a car or a Motorhome, at about 192 km. Feel free to stay a while and explore the many wonders of the area!
The caves have attracted visitors since 1900. At that time the trips were mostly impromptu and guided by the local Maori before large sections of the caves were taken over by the Crown. Since 1904, it has been managed as a tourism attraction. There are multiple companies today that specialise in leading visitors through the caves. The main caves are the Ruakuri Cave, Gardner’s Gut, Aranui Cave and the beautiful Waitomo Glowworm Caves.
Tours and activities available:
The Legendary Black Water Rafting Company can take you through the Waitomo Glowworm Caves on a rafting adventure! There are three caving/rafting tours to choose from including Black Odyssey, Black Labyrinth and Black Abyss. Each expedition will take six to 12 people. The Black Odyssey tour is all on dry land and features a five hour expedition that allows you to spider-walk through rift passages. The Black Abyss tour is also five hours, but features both climbing as well as cave tubing underneath the magnificent glowworms. The Black Labyrinth tour takes place, where only the Legendary Black Water Rafting Company can take you, in the Ruakuri Cave. This tour is about three hours where you’ll climb, leap and black water tube through the cave. There are cascading waterfalls to leap down and an underground river to float along while enjoying the glowworms on the vaulted limestone galleries.
To explore a completely dry cave, take a look at Aranui Cave, which is just a five minute drive from the glowworm caves. It is the smallest cave in the area and features beautiful formations and flowstones to mystify you.
Gardner’s Gut Cave is the longest cave in the North Island. Most of the cave system is composed of still active or former steam caves. These are tunnels washed out of the limestone by water. The Legendary Black Water Rafting Company will provide a guide, lights and helmets for you to explore Gardner’s Gut.
Enjoy this short clip where Tim shows you a bit of what this amazing place has to offer, follow this link:
We’ve put an itinerary together for your trip to Waitomo and some great stops along the way. We also recommend the Waitomo Top 10 Holiday Park for your overnight stay: