Waitomo caves

The Waitomo caves are one of New Zealand’s must-see natural attractions. A system of underground caves comprised by the Glowworm caves, the Ruakuri cave and the Aranui cave.


The Waitomo Caves are a labyrinth of caves, stalactite and stalagmites formations and underground rivers, filled with magical Arachnocampa luminosa, a glowworm specie endemic to New Zealand. The Geological and volcanic activity of the area created the limestone caves over the last 30 million years, when the region was still under the ocean.

The word “Waitomo” means “water-hole” in Maori.

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Waitomo Glowworm Caves

The Glowworm Caves are the most famous caves, and have been a tourist attraction since 1890. Its tallest chamber, the Cathedral, is 59 feet (18 m) high.

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The Ruakuri Cave 

The Ruakuri Cave is the largest cave in the Waitomo system, discovered 500 years ago. An extensive system of limestone formations and crystal tapestries can be found upon entrance.

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The Aranui Cave

The Aranui Cave is the only cave of the system that doesn’t have water, and therefore doesn’t have worms. However, is home to spectacular pale brown, pink and white stalactites.

There is a lot to do. You can walk them, take a tour, do some rafting or even get on the zipline through the dark caves. Take a ride through the caves and discover the magical luminescent worms from another world.