Waitomo

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Waitomo [2] is a town on the North Island of New Zealand.

Get in[edit]

Waitomo is one hour from the nearest major city, Hamilton, and a three hour / 200km drive from Auckland. The holiday destinations Taupo, Rotorua and Mount Ruapehu are all one hour from Waitomo.

There are several sightseeing tour companies that operate from either Auckland or Rotorua.

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

  • Waitomo Glowworm Caves. The Waitomo Glowworm Caves are one of New Zealand's top tourist attractions, located just outside the main Waitomo township, easy to find and within easy reach of all local accommodation options. It is home to the famous Waitomo glowworms, Arachnocampa luminosa[3], tiny creatures that radiate their luminescent light. Formed over 30 million years ago, Waitomo Glowworm Caves have majestic and ornate water-formed cave features, a deep limestone shaft known as the Tomo and the equally magnificent Cathedral cavern. The Cathedral is known for its superb acoustics, which are due to the enclosed shape and rough surface. Many famous singers, including New Zealand opera diva Kiri Te Kanawa, and choirs have performed here. The Tomo is one of the main attractions at Waitomo, a 16m vertical limestone shaft which marks the course of an ancient waterfall which today only flows during heavy rains. The dramatic vertical drop is carefully lighted to show the scalloped walls and the layers of limestone. The Tomo was the last feature of the cave to be formed and links the upper level to the Waitomo River below.
  • Ruakuri Cave. Ruakuri, or 'den of dogs' in English, was discovered by local Maori between 400 and 500 years ago. It takes its name from the wild dogs that made their home in the cave entrance. The entrance was used by Maori as a burial ground and it is this "wahi tapu" (sacred area) that has now been protected with the construction of the spiral entrance a safe distance away. Ruakuri cave is situated in the Ruakuri Scenic Reserve.
  • Aranui Cave, in the Ruakuri Scenic Reserve, 5 minutes drive from the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. It is named after Ruruku Aranui, the local Maori man who discovered this previously hidden gem back in 1910. Aranui 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 a beautiful collection of stalactites, stalagmites, flowstones and decorative formations. It is one of the most richly featured caves in Waitomo. There is very little of the ceiling in this cave that has not been decorated by the dripping water.

Do[edit][add listing]

Black Water Rafting. Cave tubing or black water rafting offers an adventurous journey that falls outside the comfort zone to thrill. It involves the use of an inflated rubber inner tube as a flotation device to take you down river. There are many different types of Black Water Rafting adventures to choose from. Waitomo Adventures, Kiwi Cave Rafting, The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co and Cave World. There's something for everyone from easy going to absolute adrenaline!

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Waitomo offers a range of accommodation options for its many local and overseas visitors.

  • Kamahi Cottage- [4] - cottage 30 minutes from Waitomo. Self-contained. Bed & Breakfast accommodation on a farm with panoramic views. Phone/fax +64 7 8730849
  • Kiwi paka Backpackers (Kiwi paka Backpackers), School Road, Waitomo Caves, [1]. Qualmark rated 5 star quality accommodation in the heart of Waitomo Caves  edit
  • Waitomo Caves Hotel. Imposing turn-of-the-century grandeur.

Get out[edit]

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