Waitomo Caves

Travel Guide
Waitomo Caves featuring interior views, caves and caving

One of New Zealand's most popular attractions, the sparkling glow worms and echoing acoustics make this underground palace an unforgettable experience.

Stroll through the deep limestone chambers and listen in for the sound of the underground waterfalls throughout the cavernous darkness. Visitors will glide over the dark black waters and gaze up at the dazzling glow worms that line the roof of the Waitomo Caves. For those looking for a more physical experience, abseil down into the caves and tube through this underground labyrinth on a “black-water rafting” tour.

The Waitomo Caves have been a major attraction in New Zealand for over 100 years. Most visits focus on the Ruakuri, the Aranui and the Glowworm Cave, but a further 300 are in existence in the area.

The entrance to the Glowworm Cave is situated just behind the main visitor centre. A 45-minute tour is available to visitors and begins with a descent into The Cathedral, so called for it cathedral-like acoustics. A boat then takes visitors into a smaller area of the cave which is entirely illuminated by thousands of glow worms, a truly remarkable sight.

To explore other caves in the area, visitors should be prepared to walk for an hour or arrange transport via the visitor centre. The Aranui cave is dry and does not therefore have any glow worms. What it lacks in glow worms though, it makes up for in size and natural beauty. The majestic rock formations look almost sculpted into the walls and ceiling of this beautiful underground sanctuary. You can take a 2-hour tour of the Ruakuri cave, which begins at a spiral staircase and takes visitors on a 1.6-kilometre visit of the caverns, passing stunning waterfalls and areas of glow worms on the way.

For those wanting to inject a bit more excitement into the experience, adventure tours are on offer where visitors can abseil down dark tunnels and climb along narrow ledges. Rafting and swimming through the rivers is another way in which visitors can spice up their cave viewing tours. For more information about adventure tours, visitors should ask at the visitor centre or book in advance online. The visitor centre has a café and provides guests with a brief history of the region.

Situated an approximate 1 hour’s drive south of Hamilton, the Waitomo Caves are open daily and run tours at regular intervals. If you wish to visit more than one cave, it’s best to purchase a “Cave Combo” ticket from the visitor centre for a discount.

Waitomo Top 10 Holiday Park
Waitomo Top 10 Holiday Park
4.5 out of 5
12 Waitomo Caves Road, Waitomo Caves
The price is NZ$118 per night from 6 Dec. to 6 Dec.
Situated in Waitomo Caves, this eco-friendly holiday park is within a 5-minute walk of Caveworld and Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Woodlyn Park and Aranui Cave are ...
4.4/5 Wonderful! (221 reviews)
"Pool and playground"

Reviewed on 3 Oct. 2021

Waitomo Top 10 Holiday Park
Woodlyn Park
Woodlyn Park
3.5 out of 5
1177 Waitomo Valley Road, Waitomo Caves, Waikato
The price is NZ$189 per night from 6 Dec. to 6 Dec.
Situated in Waitomo Caves, this aparthotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Woodlyn Park and Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Caveworld and Aranui Cave are also within 3 miles ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (160 reviews)
"It was an unique experience staying in a plane and 11 year old loved every minute. Unfortunately the themed units look tired inside and out and are in desperate need of some maintenance. It would be a shame for so many families to miss out on this experience if the units aren't appropriately ..."

Reviewed on 30 Jul. 2021

Woodlyn Park
Waitomo Woodlyn Park Hobbit Motel
Waitomo Woodlyn Park Hobbit Motel
1177 Waitomo Valley Rd, Waitomo Caves, Waikato
The price is NZ$320 per night from 6 Dec. to 6 Dec.
Situated in Waitomo Caves, this holiday home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Woodlyn Park and Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Caveworld and Aranui Cave are also within 3 miles ...
4/5 Very Good! (1 review)
Uniqueness
"Was a nice place to stay with a unique twist"

Reviewed on 16 Feb. 2020

Waitomo Woodlyn Park Hobbit Motel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Woodlyn Park
Woodlyn Park
3.5 out of 5
1177 Waitomo Valley Road, Waitomo Caves, Waikato
The price is NZ$189 per night from 6 Dec. to 6 Dec.
Situated in Waitomo Caves, this aparthotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Woodlyn Park and Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Caveworld and Aranui Cave are also within 3 miles ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (160 reviews)
"It was an unique experience staying in a plane and 11 year old loved every minute. Unfortunately the themed units look tired inside and out and are in desperate need of some maintenance. It would be a shame for so many families to miss out on this experience if the units aren't appropriately ..."

Reviewed on 30 Jul. 2021

Woodlyn Park
Waitomo Woodlyn Park Hobbit Motel
Waitomo Woodlyn Park Hobbit Motel
1177 Waitomo Valley Rd, Waitomo Caves, Waikato
The price is NZ$320 per night from 6 Dec. to 6 Dec.
Situated in Waitomo Caves, this holiday home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Woodlyn Park and Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Caveworld and Aranui Cave are also within 3 miles ...
4/5 Very Good! (1 review)
Uniqueness
"Was a nice place to stay with a unique twist"

Reviewed on 16 Feb. 2020

Waitomo Woodlyn Park Hobbit Motel
Waitomo Woodlyn Park Waitanic Endeavour Unit
Waitomo Woodlyn Park Waitanic Endeavour Unit
1177 Waitomo Valley Rd, Waitomo Caves, Waikato
The price is NZ$228 per night from 6 Dec. to 6 Dec.
Situated in Waitomo Caves, this houseboat is within 1 mi (2 km) of Woodlyn Park and Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Caveworld and Aranui Cave are also within 3 miles ...
Waitomo Woodlyn Park Waitanic Endeavour Unit
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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