Waitomo Caves

Travel Guide
Waitomo Caves featuring interior views, caves and caving

This underground labyrinth of spectacular rock formations, with dazzling glowworms and enchanting acoustics, is one of New Zealand’s most popular attractions.

Glide over the ink-black waters and look up to the roof of the Waitomo Caves to see the twinkling glow worms. Take a walk through deep limestone chambers and listen for the eerie echo of the underground waterfalls. Experience the thrill of abseiling down to and tubing through the dark network of caves on a “black-water rafting” tour.

Waitomo Caves have been explored by tourists in New Zealand for over a hundred years. Most visits involve the Ruakuri, the Aranui and the Glowworm Caves, but there are about 300 similar underground limestone formations in the area.

Just behind the visitor centre is the entrance to the Glowworm Cave. A 45-minute tour leads you deep into The Cathedral, so named for its near-perfect acoustic quality. A boat waits for you towards the back of the cave and will carry you into a smaller, darker area, which is lit up by the neon lights of thousands of glowworms.

If you want to visit the other caves, be prepared to walk west for an hour or to arrange other transport at the visitor centre. Aranui cave is dry, and therefore void of glowworms. It has Gothic-like rock formations and a colony of native insects, the cave “weta”. Head to Ruakuri cave to take the two-hour underground tour, which begins at the spectacular spiral staircase and takes you for 1.6 kilometres (1 mile) past gushing waterfalls, vast caverns and further enclaves of glowworms.

Adrenalin junkies can book in for one of the adventure tours on offer. You can abseil down dark tunnels, climb along narrow ledges, ride a raft down the rapids and swim through rivers. Ask the staff in the visitor centre for more details or book ahead on the website. The visitor centre has a café, exhibitions and a short film about the region.

The Waitomo Caves, a one-hour drive south of Hamilton, are open daily. Tours run regularly. If you plan to visit more than one cave, purchase a “Cave Combo” ticket from the visitor centre to receive a discount.

Waitomo Top 10 Holiday Park
Waitomo Top 10 Holiday Park
4.5 out of 5
12 Waitomo Caves Road, Waitomo Caves
The price is AU$113 per night from 6 Dec. to 6 Dec.
Situated in Waitomo Caves, this eco-friendly holiday park is within a 5-minute walk of Caveworld and Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Woodlyn Park and Aranui Cave are ...
4.4/5 Wonderful! (221 reviews)
"Pool and playground"

Reviewed on 3 Oct. 2021

Waitomo Top 10 Holiday Park
Woodlyn Park
Woodlyn Park
3.5 out of 5
1177 Waitomo Valley Road, Waitomo Caves, Waikato
The price is AU$182 per night from 6 Dec. to 6 Dec.
Situated in Waitomo Caves, this aparthotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Woodlyn Park and Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Caveworld and Aranui Cave are also within 3 miles ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (160 reviews)
"It was an unique experience staying in a plane and 11 year old loved every minute. Unfortunately the themed units look tired inside and out and are in desperate need of some maintenance. It would be a shame for so many families to miss out on this experience if the units aren't appropriately ..."

Reviewed on 30 Jul. 2021

Woodlyn Park
Waitomo Woodlyn Park Hobbit Motel
Waitomo Woodlyn Park Hobbit Motel
1177 Waitomo Valley Rd, Waitomo Caves, Waikato
The price is AU$309 per night from 6 Dec. to 6 Dec.
Situated in Waitomo Caves, this holiday home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Woodlyn Park and Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Caveworld and Aranui Cave are also within 3 miles ...
4/5 Very Good! (1 review)
Uniqueness
"Was a nice place to stay with a unique twist"

Reviewed on 16 Feb. 2020

Waitomo Woodlyn Park Hobbit Motel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Woodlyn Park
Woodlyn Park
3.5 out of 5
1177 Waitomo Valley Road, Waitomo Caves, Waikato
The price is AU$182 per night from 6 Dec. to 6 Dec.
Situated in Waitomo Caves, this aparthotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Woodlyn Park and Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Caveworld and Aranui Cave are also within 3 miles ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (160 reviews)
"It was an unique experience staying in a plane and 11 year old loved every minute. Unfortunately the themed units look tired inside and out and are in desperate need of some maintenance. It would be a shame for so many families to miss out on this experience if the units aren't appropriately ..."

Reviewed on 30 Jul. 2021

Woodlyn Park
Waitomo Woodlyn Park Hobbit Motel
Waitomo Woodlyn Park Hobbit Motel
1177 Waitomo Valley Rd, Waitomo Caves, Waikato
The price is AU$309 per night from 6 Dec. to 6 Dec.
Situated in Waitomo Caves, this holiday home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Woodlyn Park and Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Caveworld and Aranui Cave are also within 3 miles ...
4/5 Very Good! (1 review)
Uniqueness
"Was a nice place to stay with a unique twist"

Reviewed on 16 Feb. 2020

Waitomo Woodlyn Park Hobbit Motel
Waitomo Woodlyn Park Waitanic Endeavour Unit
Waitomo Woodlyn Park Waitanic Endeavour Unit
1177 Waitomo Valley Rd, Waitomo Caves, Waikato
The price is AU$219 per night from 6 Dec. to 6 Dec.
Situated in Waitomo Caves, this houseboat is within 1 mi (2 km) of Woodlyn Park and Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Caveworld and Aranui Cave are also within 3 miles ...
Waitomo Woodlyn Park Waitanic Endeavour Unit
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top activities in Waitomo Caves