With stunning natural beauty and thrilling adventure activities, Waitomo is a must-visit destination for any traveler to New Zealand. Located in the North Island, this small town is famous for its underground caves illuminated by the mesmerizing glowworms. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg! There’s much more to do in Waitomo, including adrenaline-pumping experiences, cultural encounters, and breathtaking scenery. In this post, we’ll explore the best attractions and things to do in Waitomo, giving you a comprehensive guide on how to make the most of your time in this enchanting town. Let’s dive in!
Discover Waitomo’s longest underground guided walking tour with this captivating experience in Ruakuri Cave. Led by a knowledgeable local guide, you’ll learn about the history and geology of the cave while exploring unique rock formations, subterranean rivers, and thousands of glowworms. This intimate and educational experience is made even better by the small group size. With entry fees included in the package, you can marvel at the beauty of the cave during the 90-minute walking tour. This is just one of the many amazing things to do in Waitomo.
Discover a natural wonder in New Zealand with the Waitomo Glowworm Caves 45 Minute Experience. This mesmerizing guided tour takes you on a boat ride through an underground complex, where you’ll witness thousands of bioluminescent glowworms illuminating the rocky limestone. A knowledgeable local guide will educate you on the history and geology of the caves as you explore this incredible complex, including a chance to visit the Cathedral Cave on foot. Marvel at the stunning acoustics of the cave as you walk through. This 45-minute tour includes your entry ticket, souvenir photos, and an unforgettable experience. Please note that this tour is not suitable for wheelchair users. Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Waitomo.
Frequently Asked Questions About Waitomo: Your Ultimate Guide
If you’re planning a trip to Waitomo, a small town on New Zealand’s North Island, you might have some questions about what to expect during your stay. From the world-renowned glowworm caves to adventure sports, Waitomo has a lot to offer. In this guide, we’ll go over some of the most frequently asked questions about Waitomo so you can be fully prepared for your trip.
1. How Do I Get to Waitomo?
Waitomo can be reached by car or public transportation. If you’re driving, it’s about two and a half hours from Auckland and one hour from Hamilton. If you’re relying on public transportation, there are buses that run from both cities. Alternatively, you can book a bus tour or private shuttle from both Auckland and Hamilton if you don’t want to drive.
2. What Are the Best Things to Do in Waitomo?
Waitomo is known for its glowworm caves, which are a must-see attraction. There are several different tour companies that offer guided tours through the caves, including Black Water Rafting Co., Waitomo Adventures, and Spellbound. These tours will take you through stunning caverns filled with thousands of glowworms.In addition to the glowworm caves, there are several other adventure activities you can enjoy in Waitomo. If you’re feeling brave, you can go black water rafting, which involves floating down an underground river in an inflatable raft. There are also options for abseiling, zip-lining, and caving.
3. Do I Need to Book a Tour in Advance?
Yes, it’s recommended to book a tour in advance, especially during peak season (November through March). The tours can fill up quickly, and you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to see the glowworms. It’s also important to note that some tour companies only offer tours at specific times, so it’s best to plan ahead to ensure availability.
4. Are the Glowworm Caves Accessible for Wheelchair Users?
Unfortunately, most of the glowworm cave tours are not suitable for wheelchair users. The caves involve uneven terrain and narrow passageways, which can make it difficult for those with mobility issues. However, the Waitomo Glowworm Caves Visitor Centre does have an accessible tour that includes a boat ride through the cave system that can accommodate wheelchair users.
5. What Should I Wear/Bring on a Cave Tour?
It’s important to wear warm, comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes with good grip on a cave tour. The temperature inside the caves can be quite cool, so bring a jacket or sweater. You’ll also want to bring a waterproof camera or case to capture the glowworms.
6. Are There Accommodations in Waitomo?
Yes, there are several accommodation options in Waitomo, ranging from budget-friendly hostels to luxury lodges. The Waitomo Caves Hotel is a historic hotel located right next to the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. There are also several bed and breakfasts in the area, as well as campgrounds and holiday parks.
7. What’s the Best Time of Year to Visit Waitomo?
Waitomo can be visited year-round, but the best time to visit depends on your interests. If you want to avoid crowds, visit during the off-season (April through October). If you want to see the glowworms at their brightest, the best time to visit is during the winter months (June through August). Keep in mind that these months can be quite chilly, so dress appropriately.
8. Can I Take Photos/Video Inside the Glowworm Caves?
Yes, most tour companies allow photography and videos inside the glowworm caves, although flash photography is not allowed as it can disturb the glowworms. Keep in mind that some tours may have restrictions on photography and videography, so it’s best to check with your specific tour company beforehand.
How to Spend Your Time as a Tourist in Waitomo
Are you planning a trip to Waitomo, New Zealand and wondering how to make the most of your time there? Waitomo is famous for its extensive network of underground caves, glow worm sightings, and outdoor adventures. In this guide, we’ll cover all the must-do activities, best places to eat, and where to stay during your visit.
What to Do in Waitomo
There are many activities to take part in during your stay in Waitomo, here are our top recommendations:
Visit the Waitomo Glowworm Caves
The Waitomo Glowworm Caves is the most famous attraction in Waitomo, and for good reason. The caves are filled with thousands of sparkling glow worms, creating an otherworldly atmosphere. The best way to experience the glow worms is to take a guided tour. There are several tour options available, such as the Glowworm Cave Tour, the Glowworm & Aranui Cave Tour or the Black Water Rafting Experience.
Take Part in Black Water Rafting
Black water rafting is a good combination of rafting and underground cave exploration. During this experience, you’ll float along underground rivers, hike through caves and jump off waterfalls. It’s an exciting excursion that is sure to provide an adrenaline rush.
Explore the Ruakuri Cave
This cave is another popular attraction in Waitomo. During your visit, expect to see unique formations of stalactites and stalagmites. You can take a guided or self-guided tour to navigate through the cave’s winding paths.
Enjoy the Outdoors
For those who prefer the great outdoors, hiking and caving in Waitomo is an option. For hiking, visit the Waitomo Walkway, which offers multiple trails with varying difficulty levels. For caving, there are many options available, such as the Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk or the Marokopa Falls Walk, which take you through stunning limestone formations.
Where to Eat in Waitomo
Waitomo has a range of dining options, from casual cafés to upscale restaurants. Here are three of our top picks:
Bosco Café & Bar
Bosco Café & Bar is a casual eatery that serves up delicious New Zealand cuisine. Featuring homemade dishes, such as quiches and pastries, made from local ingredients, Bosco Café & Bar is a great place to stop for breakfast or lunch.
Huhu Café is a well-known restaurant located in Waitomo Village, serving up delicious New Zealand cuisine with a contemporary twist. The restaurant has a cozy atmosphere with indoor and outdoor seating options. Make sure to try their iconic Huhu Grub Degustation, which features wild food and native ingredients.
Tomo Bar & Eatery
Tomo Bar & Eatery is an upscale dining option in Waitomo. The restaurant has a modern, sophisticated atmosphere and serves up innovative New Zealand cuisine. Make sure to try their signature dish- the Sous-vide lamb rump, which is cooked to perfection.
Where to Stay in Waitomo
Waitomo has many accommodation options, from luxury lodges to budget hostels. Here are our top picks:
Waitomo Caves Hotel
Waitomo Caves Hotel is an iconic landmark in Waitomo, built-in 1908. The hotel offers a luxurious stay with modern amenities and comfortable rooms. The hotel is located close to the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, making it a convenient option for tourists.
Woodlyn Park is an extraordinary place to stay during your visit to Waitomo. The accommodation is in refurbished trains, planes and hobbit holes, making for a unique experience. The park is located in the countryside, so expect a peaceful stay.
YHA Waitomo is a budget hostel that offers comfortable rooms and amenities for travelers. The hostel has a friendly atmosphere, and there are plenty of activities organized, such as movie nights and hiking trips.
Book Your Tour Now
Waitomo is a beautiful and unique destination in New Zealand, filled with adventurous activities, beautiful scenery and delicious food. No matter what your interests are, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this beautiful part of the world. We hope that this guide has provided helpful information about how to make the most of your time in Waitomo.