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Our most recommended Waitomo Ecotourism

Waitomo: Glowworm Cave 3-Hour Guided Eco-Tour

1. Waitomo: Glowworm Cave 3-Hour Guided Eco-Tour

Get off the beaten track on this intimate 3-hour tour through some of New Zealand's natural wonders. Start with a brief walk through native bush and the scenic Mangapu gorge.  Hike through beautiful native New Zealand forest, wade through freshwater streams, climb over boulders, and explore untouched limestone caves and spectacular rock formations. Enjoy the mesmerizing glowworm displays in privately owned caves that remain unspoiled by paths or electric lights.  Finish up your tour with a shower, a hot cup of coffee or tea, and some light refreshments. 

Black Water Rafting Adventure in the TumuTumu Cave

2. Black Water Rafting Adventure in the TumuTumu Cave

Spend about 2.5 hours underground in the dark, the only light from glowworms, on this wet adventure through sections of the TumuTumu Cave. Put on a helmet, boots and a wetsuit to take on the world-famous Waitomo Caves on a fun off-the-beaten-track experience. The trip combines the best elements of blackwater rafting, walking, climbing, swimming and tubing. The friendly staff will equip you with all the gear you need and look after you along the way. You don’t need to be a good swimmer, as the wetsuits provide lots of warmth and buoyancy.

From Auckland or Rotorua: Hobbiton and Cave Rafting Day Trip

3. From Auckland or Rotorua: Hobbiton and Cave Rafting Day Trip

Get picked up from your accommodation or an agreed-upon meeting point in Auckland or Rotorua and set off for Hobbiton. Upon arrival, you'll have some time to get something to eat or explore the Shires Rest souvenir shop before joining a two-hour walking tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set, which includes a complimentary drink at the Green Dragon Inn.  Transfer to the movie set on one of the tour operator's buses and hear about how this set was used for all filming of both "The Lord of the Rings" and the "The Hobbit" movies. After the tour, take 15 minutes to relax in the Green Dragon Inn before traveling to Waitomo Caves. Between the two stops, you'll have time to enjoy your picnic lunch. At Waitomo Caves, join a group of up to 12 people on the Black Labyrinth tour, which includes cave tubing and caving in the river that runs through the bottom of the Ruakuri Cave. After arriving at the cave, you will be given a briefing on the art of cave tubing before starting your rafting excursion. Float through a glow-worm grotto, jump over small waterfalls, and enjoy other adrenalin-filled experiences. The tour runs about three hours, 1.5 of which are underground.  Rejoin the main transport for the day and travel to your drop-off destination. On some occasions, the activities may be reversed. After you have completed the final activity, you will be taken to Auckland or Rotorua. You can start and finish in the same place, or choose to make this a one-way journey beginning or ending in Auckland or Rotorua.

  • Day trips
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Frequently asked questions about Waitomo Ecotourism

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Which Waitomo Ecotourism are taking additional COVID-19 precautions?

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Other Sightseeing Options in Waitomo

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What people are saying about Waitomo

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 7 reviews

Activity that is a truly personal experience. Ash was fantastic, stopped to take pictures of us (which were included with tour), and guided through a true cave tour. This isn’t a tour where you’re going to walk through man-made steps in a cave; instead, you’ll climb over and under rocks, gets your water in your boots, and have a one-of-a-kind experience. For clothing, all will be provided with clean changing rooms so that you get no personal clothing wet or dirty; cell phone cameras aren’t only allowed, Ash very much encourages you to take pics or simply ask him to take pics, which he’s more than happy to do! When you return, there’s a hot, clean shower awaiting if you’d like to warm up, followed by a hot coffee or tea of your choosing as well as cookies. Ash provides the family-type feel where you can sit and chat afterwards. There’s no rush through the tour or to leave afterwards. Hang around and chat and have a couple cups of coffee/tea if you wish! 10/10 recommend!

Have done quite a few of the caves in this area and this cave trip has to be the best. Cave is in its raw state, some narrow passage ways, sometimes walking in the creek. Fossils. Excellent stuff. My 14 year old grandson was just buzzing with the experience. 3 hour tour. Great tour guide we had (Ashley) Excellent, friendly company to deal with

It was hard work but everyone helped each other, the floating looking up at the glow worms was magical. A very worthwhile experience.

Recommend this highly. Will definitely be a repeat activity for us.

It was an extraordinary experience. The guide was experienced.