Introducing Waitomo Caves
Even if damp, dark tunnels sound like your idea of hell, take a chill pill and head to Waitomo anyway. The limestone caves and glowing bugs here are one of the North Island's premier attractions.
The name Waitomo comes from wai (water) and tomo (hole or shaft): dotted across this region are numerous shafts dropping into underground cave systems and streams. There are 300-plus mapped caves in the area: the three main caves – Glowworm, Ruakuri and Aranui – have been bewitching visitors for over 100 years.
Your Waitomo experience needn't be claustrophobic: the electrically lit, cathedral-like Glowworm Cave is far from squeezy. But if it’s tight, gut-wrenching, soaking-wet, pitch-black excitement you’re after, Waitomo can oblige.
Waitomo Caves destination guides
Waitomo Caves and Rotorua Day Trip from Auckland
See all the highlights of the Waitomo Caves and Rotorua in one day. You'll take a guided tour of Waitomo Caves stalactites and glowworms, and see Rotorua's bubbling mud pools and geysers, and make many other interesting stops along the way. You have the option to end your tour in Rotorua or return to Auckland.
Best of New Zealand
Compared with their enormous western neighbour, the islands of New Zealand don’t look especially big on the map, but don’t let their small stature deceive you. There is much, much, much to do here, be it biking to old gold mining sites, kayaking remote coves and some of the most breathtaking hiking routes in the whole world.