Waitomo Caves Tourism Information

Waitomo Caves is one of New Zealand's top tourism destinations, attracting multitudes of travellers worldwide.

Located in the heart of King Country, the region offers a smorgasbord of adventurous and fun activities to enjoy.

From blackwater rafting, to Kiwi culture shows, you won't have a chance to get bored here.

The caves are well known for their stalagmite and stalactite displays, which adorn the massive subterranean caverns. Millions of glowing worms add their presence to this eerie labyrinth. waitomo caves

The magnificent glow-worm display is caused by the larval form of a small insect (Boletophila luminosa) which, when mature, is similar in appearance to a large mosquito.

The larval grub, which has a lamp in its posterior segment, moves within a silken web, from which depend several threads, delicately beaded with a mucous substance to catch the midges that hatch in the mud of the stream below.

The glow-worms are sensitive to light and to noise, and when disturbed they extinguish their glow and withdraw their threads. The scene, viewed in silence and darkness from a boat, is of indescribable beauty.

The first exploration was made in 1887 by a surveyor accompanied by the Maori owner of the land on a raft of karori (flax) stems on the underground river.

The long galleries are noted for the beauty of their stalactite and stalagmite formations, but even more so for the famous glow-worm grotto, a unique spectacle that attracts visitors to Waitomo caves from far and wide.

The magnificent glow-worm display is caused by the larval form of a small insect (Boletophila luminosa) which, when mature, is similar in appearance to a large mosquito.

The larval grub, which has a lamp in its posterior segment, moves within a silken web, from which depend several threads, delicately beaded with a mucous substance to catch the midges that hatch in the mud of the stream below.

The glow-worms are sensitive to light and to noise, and when disturbed they extinguish their glow and withdraw their threads.

The scene, viewed in silence and darkness from a boat, is of indescribable beauty.

The Aranui Cave, is said to be the most beautiful of the three for the delicacy of the stalactite formation, built up over centuries by the slow but constant drip of water from the roof of the cave, each drop bearing its minute contribution of carbonate of lime, a part of which is deposited before it falls, and a further part left behind at the point where it reaches the floor.

If you have time to spare, then a trip to the beautiful, coastal towns of Kawhia and Aotea only a scenic hours drive away, is well worth the time and effort.

There you can find natural hotpools bubbling out of the oceanbeach sands, heritage cruises and one of the best horseback riding adventures in the country.


Waitomo Caves and Rotorua Day Trip from Auckland

waitomo caves trip

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.

At Waitomo you'll take a guided tour through the long galleries and lofty chambers to view stalactites formed over thousands of years by the constant dripping of water.

Your caves tour includes a magical boat ride through the glowworm grotto, illuminated by thousands of glowworms suspended from the cave ceiling.

Next stop is the the Agrodome for a hands-on Kiwi farming experience. You'll see sheep mustering by highly trained dogs, sheep shearing demonstrations and receive an insight into the history of dairy farm milking. Don't miss the opportunity to milk a cow, feed young animals or even be photographed with a huge bull!

Then it's on to the famous Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Reserve to see the renowned silica terraces, bubbling mud pools and unique geothermal vegetation. Exploding from the ground up to 100 feet (30 meters) high is the world-famous Pohutu Geyser, which bursts into life 10-20 times a day and has been a visitor attraction since the early 1900s.

You'll also visit the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, to see how traditional carvings and weaving record history and customs in the Maori sacred meeting houses.

Book Waitomo Caves and Rotorua Day Trip from Auckland


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