About the Waitomo District
The Waitomo District is known for adventure and natural beauty – both above and below the ground. It is one of New Zealand’s most inspiring natural wonders and a must-see destination.
Located just 2.5 hours from Auckland, Waitomo is famous for its labyrinth of limestone caves, underground galleries and grottos. Some of these are illuminated by millions of tiny glowworms that are unique to New Zealand. These tiny creatures turn the cave ceilings into star filled underground nightscapes.
Visitors will see amazing underground sculptures that have been 30 million years in the making. By taking a guided tour through a choice of caves, learn how the spectacular stalagmites and stalactites have formed as a result of millions of years of land movement, rain and river erosion. This is an experience that must be seen to be believed. Be prepared to be awe-struck by the sheer beauty that nature has provided.
Involve yourself with high adrenalin adventure. Try an exhilarating black water rafting experience down an underground cave stream; or abseil into the deep unknown and walk, swim and climb through cathedral-size vaults to make your way out.
Exploring the Waitomo region does not begin and end in the darkness of the world-renowned limestone caves. Waitomo has magnificent native flora and fauna with an amazing natural limestone landscape for those who enjoy the outdoor experience.
Try the free native walks to Marokopa Falls and the Mangapohue Natural Bridge. For keen walkers and birdwatchers, there are plenty of options available in the hidden wonderland of the Pureora Forest Park.
A visitor’s experience of Waitomo District isn’t complete if they don’t visit the quaint townships of Marokopa, Awakino and Mokau. These townships are located on the rugged and stunning west coast. With black sand beaches and a laid-back atmosphere, relaxation is guaranteed.
The district centre of Te Kuiti (also known as the “Shearing Capital of the World”) has charm and attractions all of its own. Visit the Te Kuiti Visitor Information Centre i-SITE for details on the town trail and local artists.
Photo: Waikawau beach is one of the many beautiful coastal locations to visit in the Waitomo District. You can access the beach through a stock tunnel constructed in 1911 to drive cattle to and from Nukuhakare Station.