Welcome to Waikato & the Coromandel Peninsula


But this is also Tainui country. In the 1850s this powerful Māori tribal coalition elected a king to resist the loss of land and sovereignty. The fertile Waikato was forcibly taken from them, but they retained control of the rugged King Country to within a whisper of the 20th century.

To the northeast, the Coromandel Peninsula juts into the Pacific, forming the Hauraki Gulf’s eastern boundary. The peninsula’s east coast has some of the North Island’s best white-sand beaches, and the muddy wetlands and picturesque stony bays of the west coast have long been a refuge for alternative lifestylers. Down the middle, the mountains are criss-crossed with walking tracks, allowing trampers to explore large tracts of isolated bush studded with kauri trees.


Top experiences in Waikato & the Coromandel Peninsula

Travel guides

Starting at $32.49

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Waikato & the Coromandel Peninsula activities

$102.12 Water Sports

Black Water Rafting Waitomo Caves Tour

The Black AbyssDesigned for people with a moderate level of fitness, the five-hour invigorating journey includes a minimum of two hours exhilarating underground adventure. Abseil (Rappel) into the awesome limestone tomb to experience the adrenaline rush as you clamber and slide through squeezes, zip into the black water filled abyss and scramble up waterfalls in your pursuit of daylight. Inside the cave naturally occurring decorations such as stalactites and stalagmites will amaze while the resident glowworms promise to provide a spectacular visual exhibition as you traverse through the subterraneous playground. Includes: Abseiling training, abseiling 37 metres, caving and walking, cave tubing (black water rafting), glow worms, jumps, flying fox, climbing The LabyrinthThis popular tour involves a combination of walking and floating on an inner tube through a unique underground river system. As you prepare for your adventure your professional guide will ensure you are properly equipped and teach you some fun techniques before you climb down into nature's underground network for an enjoyable cave tubing experience of a lifetime! Streams spill, twist, turn and join to build a river canyon. Glide with the water as it drops down the hidden waterfall and tumbles down rocky chutes before sliding through vaulted limestone galleries to finally emerge into the dazzling green Waitomo forest. Prepare to be amazed at the naturally occurring decorations within the cave including stalactites and stalagmites. This exhilarating journey also provides a spectacular visual display of glowworms. Includes: caving and walking, cave tubing (black water rafting), glow worms, small waterfall jump At the end of your experience enjoy a hot shower, hearty soup and bagel.

$37.95 Kid Friendly

Waitomo Glowworm Caves Guided Tour

World renowned and a magnet for both local and overseas visitors, the Waitomo Glowworm Caves occupy a high placing in the New Zealand vacation wish-list. The glow worm, Arachnocampa luminosa, is unique to New Zealand. Thousands of these tiny creatures radiate their unmistakable luminescent light as the expert guides provide informative commentary on their historical and geological significance to the region. Waitomo Glowworm Caves are a must see for any traveler. Enjoy the world famous boat ride under thousands of magical glowworms and become a part of over 125 years of cultural and natural history. Walk through the majestic Cathedral Cave famous for its spectacular formations and acoustics. 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 glow worm lights that make up the Glowworm Grotto. As you enter this galaxy of tiny living lights, you'll immediately experience a serene ambience and be fascinated and intrigued by tiny glowworms that light your way.

$42.78 Outdoor Activities

Waitomo Glowworm Tour at Footwhistle Cave

Meet your guide and small group at the CaveWorld office, then hop in a shuttle for a 5-minute ride to the cave. Disembark and follow your guide on a short walk through New Zealand’s lush forest where you can glimpse native birds, ferns and a large waterfall that feeds a stream that runs into the cave. Pause at the entrance while your eyes adjust to the dim light and listen as your guide shares the history of Footwhistle cave, known to local Maori as Te Anaroa cave. Once you’re ready, enter the candle-lit cavern. Marvel at the soft pinpoints of light that come from the glowworms surrounding you. Your guide can help you get great photos in the dim cavern. Continue further into the cave on a side passage where you will see ancient bones from a moa, a large emu-like bird that went extinct about 600 years ago.As you slowly walk through the cave system, note its otherworldly setting of sparkly stalactite and stalagmite formations, twinkling bugs, and a bubbling stream that runs through the cave.When you reach the largest cavern, take a seat as your guide demonstrates how the first cave tours were conducted more than 100 years ago. Your guide lights a magnesium torch that flares brightly for a moment, revealing sculptural rock formations and a dome-shaped ceiling. As the torch fades, your guide turns on the lights and gives you time to look around the magnificent space. Make your way back to the cave entrance after about 30 minutes and return by shuttle to the office where your tour ends.

$109.71 Outdoor Activities

Glowworm Caving Adventure Tour in Waitomo

The cave system we visit is one of only two in the Waitomo district that is classified by New Zealand's Department of Conservation as being of “International Significance”. And it is completely untouched! There are no handrails, electric lights, concrete paths, or other modifications, and the tour involves climbing over boulders, up hills and wading through streams. A moderate level of fitness is therefore required. Allow 3 hours for the tour, of which approximately 2 hours is spent in the cave system. We provide all the equipment and clothing you need for your adventure, including appropriate clothing, boots, socks, and caving helmet. So once the tour is over you can pop back into your clean clothes and leave us to deal with your dirty laundry! We also offer shower facilities, hot drinks, and a snack, once the tour is over. Cameras are welcome on our adventures, as long as they are not too large. A small digital camera is best, and some people even bring their phones to take photos. Our guides will also take photographs during the tour, and digital copies are provided to you at no charge. Keen photographers hoping to bring larger equipment to capture the scenery may wish to consider one of our Glowing Adventures Glow Worm Cave Photography Tours. Glowing Adventures is located off the beaten tourist track, but still within a short drive of the Waitomo Caves Village and the small towns of Te Kuiti and Otorohanga. Please note: This tour is not suitable for elderly people or anyone with mobility difficulties. A reasonable level of fitness is required.

$57.96 Cultural & Theme Tours

Hobbiton™ Movie Set 2-Hour Walking Tour from Shires Rest

The Hobbiton™ Movie Set is a 2-hour experience to tantalize the senses of visitors from across the globe. This fully guided walking tour allows guests to  find themselves engulfed in the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of The Shire™, see the home of the Hobbits™, as featured in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies. The extraordinary following that the movies have amassed has led to these tours becoming a must-see while travelers are in New Zealand. The Hobbiton™ Movie Set is the only set that remains intact from the trilogies. This allows visitors to fully immerse themselves in the wonders of The Shire. Visitors are given a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the iconic movie set in its full glory; from wandering the rambling paths of The Shire, to seeing the submerged Hobbit Holes™ that litter the rolling hillsides. You will be taken around the 12-acre set: past Hobbit Holes™, the Mill and into the world-famous Green Dragon™ Inn, where you will be presented with a complimentary, exclusive Hobbit™ Southfarthing™ beverage to conclude your own Middle-earth™ adventure. This walking tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set will be 2 hours including transport to and from the movie set.

$53.82 Outdoor Activities

75-Minute Guided Ruakuri Cave Tour

Discover the spectacular Ruakuri Cave on this 75-minute guided walking tour.Ruakuri Cave has displays of glowworms and is filled with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites formed over millions of years. Points of interest include softly folding shawl-like formations (formed by flowing rivers) and fossilized seashells, which indicate how the caves were once part of the seabed. Major features include Holdens Cavern, named after James Holden who first opened the cave to the public, The Drum Passage, The Pretties, and The Ghost Passage.Tours depart every day (except Christmas Day) at 9.00am, 10.00am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm. Photography is permitted in Ruakuri Cave. Ruakuri Cave is wheelchair accessible. .