Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Ruakuri Cave and Aranui Cave
Waitomo is a masterpiece of Mother Nature. Once part of the seabed, Waitomo’s underground labyrinth of ancient sea caves were forged over millions of years & made up of layers of ancient bones, shells and rock sediment. The most famous is the glowworm cave. World-renowned and attracting visitors from home and overseas, the unique New Zealand glowworms, Arachnocampa luminosa, radiate their luminescent light to light your way like stars in the Milky Way. Marvel at Mother Nature’s light show as you glide silently on the world famous boat ride along the Waitomo river through to the glowworm grotto. Nothing will quite prepare you for the sight, but you’ll never forget it.
Another, Aranui Cave, was rediscovered in 1910 by Ruruku Aranui, a local Maori man. In the Ruakuri Scenic Reserve, and only 5 minutes away from the Glowworm Cave, it is a dry cave without a river running through it. It is the smallest & most delicate of Waitomo’s three main caves with the most stunning collection of stalactites, stalagmites, flowstones and decorative formations. Just inside the natural cave entrance is a colony of cave weta. These large insects, closely related to the cricket & locust, are unique to NZ and date back to the dinosaur age. They differ from other wetas in that they have very long legs & antenna to help them move around in the dark - even bright moonlight is too much for them.
The third, Ruakuri Cave, (meaning dog den) is New Zealand’s longest guided underground walking tour. Travel down the spectacular spiral entrance to experience a captivating blend of Waitomo’s most compelling subterranean experiences. Admire the softly folding limestone formations and crystal tapestries, as well as the rising & falling rock formations. Get right up close to the glowworms in the roof of the cave, so bring your camera & your youngest kids!
Prices are in New Zealand Dollars (NZD).
Waitomo Glowworm Cave: Tours depart every half hour: 9:00 to 17:00. Last tour at 17:30 from 01 November - 31 March. Last tour on Christmas Day is 16:00. Additional tours at 18:00 and 19:00 from 26 December to 31 January. Duration is 45 min.
Ruakuri Cave: tours depart every day (except Christmas Day) at 9:00, 10:00, 11:30, 12:30, 13:30, 14:30 and 15:30. Duration is 2 hours.
Aranui Cave: regular tours run daily (except Christmas Day) from 9:00 with the last tour at 16:00. Duration is 1 hour.
All caves are suitable for all ages so bring a warm jacket & comfortable shoes. Because of some clever and innovative design Ruakuri is also fully wheelchair accessible.
Total duration of the tour
100% cancelation fee within 48 hours. Customers will be charged a $20 administration fee in any case
39 Waitomo Village Rd, Waitomo 3943