Waitomo is the stuff of legends, and a 'must do' item on everyone's bucket list. Millions of years in the making, the Waitomo Caves are a worldfamous underground playground that have been enthralling visitors since 1889. This subterranean world of stalagmites, stalactites and underground waterfalls is full of geological and historical wonder.
From families to thrill-seekers, visitors will love the options on offer including gentle boat rides under galaxies of twinkling glowworms, walking tours of awe-inspiring limestone formations, and a blood-pumping range of adventure activities. Adrenaline junkies get ready, as expert guides take you black water rafting on underground rivers, zip-lining through spectacular caverns and abseiling deep into the bellies of caves.
While these activities may sound extreme, a moderate fitness level and a sense of adventure are all that is needed for most of these exciting tours. Waitomo comes from the Maori words "wai" (meaning water) and "tome" (meaning hole or shaft), rising from the sea about 30 million years ago. The caves have continued to evolve ever since thanks to the constant action of water seeping through the earth. Lesser-known but equally inspiring subterranean wonders can also be found near the coast of the North Waikato area