Waitomo Caves are one of the North Island's premier tourist attractions and are believed to be over two million years old. The small township is the gateway to a dark world of limestone formations and a ceiling of living lights provided by the Waitomo glowworms, unique to this part of the region. There are over 300 caves in the region but most people only go to 3 of them. The Ruakuri and Aranui caves where most of adrenaline action happens and the more relaxed Gloworm Cavern.
Leaving the sunlight behind, you will climb down into an underground network of caverns and passages dripping with pristine crystal formations. limestone curtains, dainty stalactites, flowstone, crystal tapestries and hefty stalagmites are but a few. Don’t worry, it's guaranteed safe and you won’t be alone. Tour guides deliver an informative commentary on this awesome environment, sharing natural history and cultural legends. If you'll excuse the pun – the 45 minute tour is very illuminating!
One of the unusual features of the glowworm cavern is their almost perfect acoustics. So good that world famous opera singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa has performed in the Cathedral Cavern section of the caves. You'll also pass the deep limestone chasm known as Tomo (sinkhole).
For a little more adventure there’s blackwater rafting where you drift down a cave stream on a tube beneath ceilings of sparkling glowworm larvae and for the ultimate underworld adventure, go for the full caving experience - abseiling massive holes and waterfalls, rock-climbing, crawling and grovelling through squeezes, and gliding down rocky chutes. The staff will supply the tubes, wetsuits, helmets, abseiling devices and safety equipment. They will also teach you how to work ropes and identify formations. There’s even a hot shower to look forward to at the end of your adventure.