Are Waitomo Caves free?

Are Waitomo Caves free?

The Piri Piri Cave is located just down the road from the Mangapohue Natural Bridge. It's simply a 300m walk from the little roadside parking lot to one of the few Waitomo caves that are available to the public for free. You can explore this cave for as long as you like, there are no restrictions. You can also bring your own food into the cave, there are toilets and cold showers on site.

The only thing you need to pay for is a $10 entry fee per person. This covers use of the bell at the entrance to warn people not to enter while it's raining, and gives you access to all the sights inside the cave. If you arrive without a ticket, they'll charge you $50 instead.

Waitomo Caves have some amazing natural features, including glow-in-the-dark limestone formations and waterfalls. There are also small underground rivers and lakes. The largest cave in New Zealand is also its most popular: with more than 1 million visitors a year, it's no wonder it's managed by an exclusive group of caving partners who set the rules for how many people can go inside at any given time.

However, if you prefer not to wait in lines or buy tickets, there are other options for seeing the caves without going too far.

What to do in Waitomo Caves, New Zealand?

New Zealand's Legendary Black Water Rafting. A walking or boat trip is the most convenient method to visit the Waitomo Caves. If you want adventure, consider black water rafting, which involves crawling, swimming, and floating through caves on a rubber tube. The scenery is beautiful, but it's not for the faint of heart.

Waitomo is an indigenous Maori word meaning "water cave". The town itself is relatively small, with just over 5,000 residents, but it's well known for its attraction: the Waitomo World of Caves. The original cave entrance is about 100 meters west of the town center. Today, there are more than 20 caves within 15 minutes' walk of each other, some accessible only by kayak or boat. The largest is called Manu Kai National Park, it has several chambers and tunnels spread over a distance of about 500 meters.

The best time to visit Waitomo is between October and April when the weather is good. During summertime (from May to September), temperatures can reach up to 40 degrees Celsius, and there are often strong winds too. Autumn and spring are also nice times to go, when the weather is not so hot and the trees are colorful.

Is Waitomo Caves hotel open?

The Waitomo Caves Hotel is temporarily closed till further notice. Wellesley Hotels & Resorts manages the property. The staff apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

What is special about Waitomo Caves?

There are around 300 recognized limestone caverns underground in the Waitomo area, however the Waitomo Glowworm Caves are maybe the most unique. The titles given to the many caverns and hollows are indicative of their size, splendor, and awe-inspiring influence on visitors. Some examples include: Te Manawa, The Dwelling; Huna, The House; Rauru, The Room; Wao, The Waterfall.

The caves were first discovered by Maori hunters who believed the bones they found there were from a giant creature called a glowworm. They named it Waiohua (glowworm) cave after this discovery. In 1857, Henry Sewell became the first European to visit the caves when he came looking for shelter after his crew lost their boat in a storm. Since then, the caves have been explored several times but never fully cleared of stalactites and stalagmites.

In addition to its beautiful natural features, Waitomo also has plenty of activities for people of all ages. There are lots of tours you can take of the caves, including night tours where you can see the glowworms shine their way through the darkness.

Waitomo is located on New Zealand's North Island, near the border with Australia. It's only a one-hour drive from Auckland or Wellington, the two largest cities in New Zealand's South Island.

Which is the best Waitomo Caves tour?

The Top 8 Waitomo Cave Tours

  1. The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co.
  2. Cave World Waitomo.
  3. Ruakuri Cave.
  4. Glowing Adventures.
  5. Waitomo Glowworm Caves.
  6. Waitomo Adventures.
  7. Spellbound Glowworm & Cave Tours.
  8. Aranui Cave.

Are the Waitomo caves worth it?

If you read all of the replies, you'll notice that the overwhelming opinion was that the Waitomo Caves are worthwhile. If money is an issue, there are free activities available in and around Waitomo. Packages that include many tours are terrific value, but they might be repetitious. Your best bet is to try different options so you don't feel like a robot pounding the same drum forever.

The most popular item on any tour is definitely the glow-in-the-dark kayak. It's fun for kids and adults alike and doesn't cost much more than regular kayaking. The Underground River Journey is a long, arduous hike through wet limestone tunnels with no shade or shelter. While it's not for everyone, those who prefer a less strenuous experience can opt for one of the other tours or activities offered by Natural Energy Laboratory of New Zealand (NEL). NEL offers low-impact hydrotherapy where you can swim in natural pools filled with warm water from underground springs, take a spa bath, or just lounge in the sun while being treated with UV light therapy. There's a small charge for each person ($20-$40) which includes use of a towel, locker, and guidebook. You can also do some karate training at the lab, go hiking, or take horseback riding lessons.

Waitomo is about an hour's drive north of Auckland.

Is Waitomo Caves open?

Except for Christmas Day, the Waitomo Caves Museum & i-SITE Visitor Information Centre, Post Centre, and museum store are now open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, as well as public holidays. An after-hours caretaker can be contacted in case of emergency.

The caves are closed on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

Waitomo is a town near Cape Reinga on New Zealand's North Island. It's located in the Waikato region, 80 kilometres (50 miles) north of Hamilton and 20 kilometres (12 miles) south of Te Awamutu.

The town was founded by James Carroll from Ireland as he settled there with Māori partners to work on land grants. He named the area after Wales, where he had found prosperity. The town developed around the Waitomo River which flows through it into Lake Rotomahana, one of New Zealand's largest natural freshwater lakes.

The Māori name for the cave system is Raurimuawa, which means "water flowing between two hills". It refers to an underground stream that flows between two large chambers - Ruakuri (cave) and Makutu (hill).

How tall is the Tomo in the Waitomo Glowworm Caves?

The guided tour of the Waitomo Glowworm Caves takes the visitor through three distinct levels, beginning at the cave's top level and ending in the catacombs. The Tomo, a 16-metre vertical shaft built of limestone, connects the levels. The first part of the tour, which includes some narrow passages and several galleries, takes about 20 minutes to complete. At the end of this section are two large chambers, one with an arched ceiling made from natural stone, the other with stalactites and stalagmites.

The next stage, which lasts about five minutes, consists of climbing down a ladder into the bottom chamber, where you can see a large number of glowworms living among the rock formations.

Finally, after another short descent, you reach a small room where there are more lanterns for viewing the glowworms. From here, the tour finishes as it began: up a flight of stairs and out into the sunlight.

The average height of the Tomo is 4 metres (13 feet). Its diameter at its base is 3 metres (10 feet).

The Tomo was originally constructed around 1890 by coal miners who used the shaft as a shelter while working below ground. It was later occupied by Maori warriors who mined the caves for weapons and ammunition.

About Article Author

Ryan Sharp

Ryan Sharp is a nature enthusiast, with a passion for wildlife and plants. He has a degree in biological science from college and has been working in environmental consulting for the past 8 years. Ryan spends his free time hiking in the woods, camping under the stars, and exploring national parks.

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