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The Waitomo Caves are the area’s major drawcard. An incredible natural phenomenon in themselves, they also feature lots of adrenaline-inducing activities.


Top experiences in King Country

Travel guides

Starting at $36.39

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King Country activities

$102.92 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.

$38.25 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.

$43.12 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.

$110.58 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.

$54.24 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. .

$38.25 Outdoor Activities

1-Hour Guided Aranui Cave Tour

Set in the forest of the Ruakuri scenic reserve, the beautifully delicate formations in Aranui Cave create a place for quiet contemplation and a time to reflect on the wonders of nature. Aranui Cave is a magical, mystical place that is steeped in Maori myth and legend. As such, it occupies a very special place in the hearts of the people of the Waitomo district. Aranui Cave is set in the Ruakuri Scenic Reserve, 5 minute drive from the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. It is named after Ruruku Aranui, the local Maori man who first discovered this previously hidden gem back in 1910. Aranui Cave has a natural cave entrance and is the smallest and most delicate of Waitomo's three main caves. As a dry cave without a river running through it, it houses very little life past its entrance.  However, just inside the entrance is a colony of native New Zealand cave wetas and further into the cave is the most beautiful collection of stalactites, stalagmites, flowstones and decorative formations. On this guided tour, explore the ancient cave formations, high chambers and huge stalactites and stalagmites of Aranui Cave, one of Waitomo’s best kept secrets. These small-group tours are led by experienced guides who can provide information on the cave's unique geology and history.

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