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Waitomo Cave boat, rafting and photography tours

Waikato, New Zealand

Getting there and FAQ

Adrenaline fuelled underwater adventure or a leisurely cruise on an underground river Waitomo offers choices on how to experience the massive underground geological wonder.

Waitomo only allows guided tours. Here’s your guide of tour operators plus a handy checklist of frequently asked questions. Now the fun part choosing which tour operator …

Klook discount special

A popular day-trip option is Auckland to Waitomo to visit the Waitomo Glowworm Caves which takes approximately two hours 20 minutes, so you can definitely squeeze in a few more activities on route.

Waitomo Caves & Rotorua Small Group Tour including Te Puia from Auckland

The Waitomo Caves and Rotorua rank among New Zealand’s top attractions, offering natural beauty, geothermal features…

Waitomo Glowworm Caves Guided Tour

Come visit a New Zealand attraction that’s sure to have you ‘glowing’ during this 45-minute small-group guided boat ride through the famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves.

Black Water Rafting Experience Waitomo Caves Tour

Go Waitomo black-water rafting (cave tubing) for a memorable adventure in the Waitomo Caves. Choose a 3-hour Labyrinth experience that takes you floating underground …

75-Minute Guided Ruakuri Cave Tour Waitomo

The Waitomo Glowworm Caves are among the most visited attractions of New Zealand’s North Island and Ruakuri Cave is the longest of the underground caves.

Off the Beaten Track – Glowworm Caving Adventure Tour in Waitomo

Experience one of the wonders of New Zealand’s natural world on this glowworm caving adventure in Waitomo.

3-Hour Private Photography Tour in Waitomo Caves

Photograph New Zealand’s spectacular scenery both inside and outside of the caves on a private photography tour with your own photographer-guide. Visit a pristine glow worm cave …

Waitomo Сaves experiences frequently asked questions

Ruakuri Cave Adventure, Waitomo Glowworm Cave, New Zealand
Ruakuri Cave Adventure, Waitomo Glowworm Cave, New Zealand

Can you independently explore the Waitomo Caves?

You are not allowed to explore the Waitomo Caves by yourself. You must join a guided tour to protect the fragile environment from too many people. The Waitomo Caves are a popular destination. Book beforehand to get the tour time that fits into your holiday schedule.

Find out what makes the place one of New Zealand’s internationally renowned tourist attractions. Captivating Waitomo is not just a subterranean cave rather it’s a lush, natural world weaving holiday magic for over 150 years and counting. Remember to check the Hamilton travel guide for tips on what to do nearby … READ MORE Waitomo Caves highlights what to see and do.

How to get to Waitomo Caves to join boat tour or underground rafting experiences?

The easiest way to get to Waitomo Caves is with your own vehicle. If this is not possible, join a tour bus. Keep scrolling to check out which tour works for you.


Currently there is a shuttle service from the Otorohanga Train Station operated by Real New Zealand Adventures. The shuttle service Waitomo Caves Tours and Transfers is a New Zealand family owned and operated transport company based at Waitomo Caves, New Zealand.

Have you remembered your checklist & FAQ’s?

Scroll thru for handy tips

What is the best time to visit the Waitomo Caves?

The best time to visit the Waitomo Caves is November to April (spring to early autumn). The average temperature in Waitomo Caves in January for a typical day ranges from a high of 23°c  to a low of 14°c. While the caves are open in winter, Waitomo Caves can be cold.

Glow worm caves in Waitomo Caves, New Zealand
Glow worm caves in Waitomo Caves, New Zealand
Waitomo Cave system underground river, New Zealand
Waitomo Cave system underground river, New Zealand

What to wear when visiting the Waitomo Caves?

When you visit Waitomo Caves wear comfortable walking shoes with grip as the ground could be wet and slippery and carry waterproof layers for the caves and the three short walks around Waitomo afterwards.

Waitomo Glowworm Caves tours are made up of two levels. The upper being dry and decorated with stunning, delicate cave formations and the lower level consisting of stream passages, glowworms and the Cathedral, the tallest chamber in the cave.

Essential Information

  • 39 Waitomo Village Rd, Waitomo Caves
  • 0800 456 922
  • Open daily 9am – 5pm – Pre-Booking is Essential
  • Tours depart every 30 minutes.
Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Waikato, New Zealand
Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Waikato, New Zealand

Waitomo Caves is it wheelchair friendly?

The Waitomo Glowworm Cave is accessible to those with reasonable mobility, with good handrails and paths. Please wear comfortable footwear suitable for walking. Some areas of the cave can be wet and slippery. Please note: the Waitomo Glowworm Cave does not have wheelchair access however, Ruakuri Cave is wheelchair friendly.

Where are the Waitomo Caves located?

Waitomo is easily accessible from the North Island of New Zealand’s main centres. Hamilton, a city focused on the dairy industry, is 1-hour drive away. New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, is around 21 ⁄ 2 hours (202 km) driving distance and Taupo, Rotorua and Mount Ruapehu are under 2 hours from Waitomo.

Auckland to Waitomo 202 km 2.5 hours
Hamilton to Waitomo 71 km 1 hour
Matamata(Hobbiton) to Waitomo 83 km 1.25 hours
Rotorua(Te Puia) to Waitomo 147 km 2 hours

Waitomo Glowworm Cave tours depart from 39 Waitomo Village Rd. Check-in at least 30 minutes prior to tour departure. If you are late or miss your departure time, your ticket (s) are forfeited and non-refundable.

3-Hour Private Photography Tour in Waitomo Caves

Photograph New Zealand’s spectacular scenery both inside and outside of the caves on a private photography tour with your own photographer-guide. Visit a pristine glow worm cave in the Waitomo district, and take your time to capture great shots of the glow worms and other sights. You can use larger cameras and equipment like small tripods on this photography tour, with the freedom to take more time for your photography than on standard tours. Includes guide, use of wet weather gear, and snacks. Private photography tour in Waitomo Caves Explore an untouched cave system in the Waitomo district Have time to take high-quality photos of glow worms Receive photography tips from a photographer-guide Choose from morning and afternoon departures Includes guide, and use of caving equipment and clothing such as gumboots, helmet, and headlamp.



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