Ruakuri Cave

Ruakuri Cave: Our most recommended tours and activities

Ruakuri Cave 1.25-Hour Guided Tour

1. Ruakuri Cave 1.25-Hour Guided Tour

Explore Ruakuri Cave, New Zealand’s longest guided underground walking tour. Ruakuri Cave offers a captivating blend of Waitomo's most compelling subterranean experiences. Ruakuri Cave has displays of glowworms and is filled with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites formed over millions of years. Journey down through the spectacular spiral entrance, and marvel at the softly folding shawl-like limestone formations and crystal tapestries.  Hear the distant thunder of the subterranean waterfalls and get up close to the glowworms. Major features include Holdens Cavern, named after James Holden who first opened the cave to the public, The Drum Passage, The Pretties, and The Ghost Passage. Your knowledgeable guide will bring the history, features, and legends of the cave to life with their storytelling. Many of the guides are locals whose parents and grandparents have guided in the caves. The experience will leave you awe-struck and humbled by the sheer majesty of nature.

Waitomo Caves: Labyrinth Black Water Rafting Experience

2. Waitomo Caves: Labyrinth Black Water Rafting Experience

Float down an underground river, slip into fast waters, jump off a small waterfall and take in the magic of the glowworm grotto of Ruakuri Cave on this Black Labyrinth adventure. Put on your gear and learn from professionally trained guides that will take you ziplining, rafting, and caving.  Check in for your black water adventure in Waitomo. Get all your equipment and instructions from your guide before you begin the subterranean journey. Leap over cascading waterfalls and weave and climb through a glowworm-studded wonderland. After an energized trip, float serenely down the underground river. Enjoy the glow worm show on the vaulted limestone galleries up above. Ride a stream that twists and turns through a canyon, and tumble down a hidden waterfall and rock slide before emerging into the sun-dappled Waitomo forest. The rafting base is located a short distance outside Waitomo Caves village. This is the booking and assembly point for all black water rafting expeditions. It is also the home of the Long Black Cafe, where you'll find delicious food, coffee, and friendly Kiwi service. 

From Auckland: 18-Day North & South Island Tour with Lodging

3. From Auckland: 18-Day North & South Island Tour with Lodging

Experience the majestic beauty of New Zealand's diverse landscapes on an 18-day adventure. Join your guide on the trip of a lifetime as you travel from Auckland all the way down to Queenstown. Take part in unique local activities along the way and end your journey in the city of Christchurch. Day 1: Auckland to Hot Water Beach •Explore the stunning Cathedral Cove •Relax at Hot Water Beach by digging your own spa pool Day 2: Hot Water Beach to Waitomo •Hike through the Karangahake Gorge •Admire the magical glowworm caves in Waitomo Day 3: Waitomo to Rotorua •Explore the lush Ruakuri Reserve •Spend the night in a Māori village, where you'll learn about local history and culture •Seize the opportunity to visit Hobbiton at your own expense •Discover the town and lake in Rotorua Day 4: Rotorua to Tongariro National Park via Taupo •Walk the scenic Huka Falls walkway •Soak under a waterfall or in the naturally heated rock pools at Spa Park Day 5: Tongariro National Park •Book a shuttle to Tongariro Crossing, one of New Zealand's best hikes •Rent skiing or snowboarding equipment and head over to Mount Ruapehu Day 6: Tongariro National Park to River Valley •Walk the trail to Taranaki Falls •Spend the day at River Valley Lodge, nestled along the Rangitikei River •Enjoy free time to go white water rafting or horseback riding •Taste an organic roast dinner Day 7: River Valley to Wellington •Take in the vibrant city vibes of Wellington, New Zealand's capital Day 8: Wellington to Kaikoura •Board a spacious ferry for a ride across the Cook Strait •Sip on some local wine in the Marlborough region •Visit the impressive Kaikoura seal colony Day 9: Kaikoura to Christchurch •Hike the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway •Admire incredible panoramic views of Kaikoura •Discover hidden gems of Christchurch on a city-street art trail Day 10: Christchurch to Lake Tekapo •Marvel at the stars in the Dark Sky Project •Visit the Church of the Good Shepherd •Trek up Mount John for panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and lakes Day 11: Lake Tekapo to Mount Cook •Spend the day inside the Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park •Walk through the Hooker Valley track to Hooker Lake Day 12: Lake Tekapo to Queenstown •Feast on a buffet dinner with panoramic views of Queenstown at the Skyline Stratosphere Restaurant Day 13: Queenstown free day •Have the whole day to yourself and explore the wonders of Queenstown Day 14: Queenstown to Glenorchy day trip •Cruise past the lake and onto Glenorchy, where you can embark on short scenic walks Day 15: Queenstown to Wanaka •Take in views over Lake Wānaka from Roys Peak (only accessible from November to May) •Alternatively, join the Mt Iron hike, providing 360-degree views of the Pisa range •Visit the famous Wanaka tree Day 16: Wanaka to Franz Josef •Discover the Thunder Creek falls in Mt Aspiring National Park •Admire the famous mirror views of Aoraki/Mount Cook from Lake Matheson Day 17: Franz Josef •Design and carve your own Greenstone jewelry in a West Coast workshop •Take on a glacier walk Day 18: Franz Josef to Christchurch •Explore a variety of trails across Arthur's Pass •Walk the Castle Hill track •Stop at the Devils Punchbowl waterfalls.

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What people are saying about Ruakuri Cave

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 372 reviews

Loved this so much. One of the most unique experiences I’ve ever had and I can’t imagine a better way to experience the glow worms than floating through the caverns. Guides were fantastic, very funny. Whole day was just jam packed with fun. Food after also was a nice touch, photos came through instantly and the cafe had great food for after it all. Would highly recommend this!

The experience was awesome our guides were very very helpful, we had a person who normal wears glasses and had trouble seeing and they helped her though out the experience. The were very relatable and easy to talk to and get alone with.

One of the best experiences I’ve signed up to. Matt and Luke were entertaining instructors who made us feel safe throughout the experience. Highly recommend this activity. Seeing the glow worms on a raft as you go through is a must.

Fun tour, great location, entertaining and informative guide. Would definitely recommend.

Amazing guide...great knowledge of area etc.. Orsum experience ..we all lived it..