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The Waitomo District

The Waitomo district is located in the King Country, on the western side of the North Island, New Zealand. It is most famous for the Waitomo Caves tourist attractions.

The Waitomo Glowworm Cave has been a major tourist attraction for over 100 years, with many thousands of visitors every year. However, there are actually over 300 known limestone caves in the Waitomo district, many of which are as large and impressive as the “original” Waitomo Glowworm Cave.

Over recent years many of the less-visited caves have been opened up to visitors, including ours! Visitors to our district can now choose from many different cave-related activities, from short and easy walking tours with concrete paths and electric lights (e.g. the Waitomo Glowworm Caves), to more adventurous “real caving” tours (e.g. Glowing Adventures).

Glowing Adventures tours are run on our family-owned farmland that includes the Mangarongapu Cave, Lime Cave, and Mangapu Gorge, all of which are part of the Mangapu Cave System. The Mangapu system is one of only two Waitomo cave systems (along with the Waitomo Glowworm Cave) that is classified as being of “international significance” by New Zealand’s Department of Conservation.

Places to stay in Waitomo

Rock Retreat

Experience the peace and tranquility whilst absorbing stunning mountain and limestone views of the central North Island. Rock Retreat is a perfect place to escape. A great place for reconnecting with yourself and your family. Rock Retreat prides itself on being an eco-friendly, self-sufficient accommodation option.

Te Kumi Tirohanga Boutique Homestay

Join Karen and Phillip as your friendly hosts and enjoy their new architecturally designed home in the Waitomo countryside. You will be treated to panoramic views, privacy and comfort to match in this exclusive residence. Enjoy our King Country region and all it has to offer!

Waitomo Guest Lodge

Waitomo Caves Guest Lodge is situated on a hillside just as you come in to Waitomo Caves Village. The guest lodge is surrounded by gardens with numerous shrubs, trees and flowers. These attract lots of bird life, including native birds, tuis, bellbirds, fantails, swallows, kingfishers and native pigeons, among others, visiting the garden at different times of the year.

Redwood Lodge

Located in a New Zealand rural setting, situated in close proximity to many of the Waitomo activities. Together with the many other outdoor adventure activities that are available here in the heart of the Waitomo, Redwood Lodge Bed & Breakfast represents both the perfect stopover, and a base for the longer stay.

Things to do in Waitomo

Hairy Feet — Waitomo/Piopio

Visit New Zealand’s stunning Denize Bluffs farm and tour where Sir Peter Jackson, director of Lord of the Rings Trilogy, filmed the most location screen time for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The towering limestone cliffs, a primeval native forest and massive rock formations on this Piopio farm, near Waitomo.

Otorohanga Kiwi House

The best place to see Kiwi in New Zealand! Close-up viewing of Kiwi (New Zealand’s national bird). Rare Great Spotted Kiwi and Brown Kiwi on display. See Kiwi active & feeding throughout the day. Get up close and personal with a large collection of unique NZ birds and reptiles. Walk through New Zealand’s largest dome aviary. See the unique tuatara, a native New Zealand reptile, which pre-dated the dinosaurs.

Marakopa Falls

These stunning 35m high falls are often described as the most beautiful in the country. Here the Marokopa River cascades over the undercut greywacke basement rock. Take the short track through tawa and nikau forest down to the viewing platform. Combine this walk with Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk and Piripiri Cave Walk on a scenic drive from Waitomo to Marokopa.

Waitomo Caves Discovery Centre

The award-winning Waitomo Caves Discovery Centre is located in the heart of Waitomo village. It is one of the best special interest museums in New Zealand and possibly one of the best cave interpretation centres in the world. The centre explores the above and below ground treasures of Waitomo. Features a multi-media show called Arachnocampa Luminosa that describes the life-cycle of the New Zealand glow worm. Displays include the formation of karst (limestone) landscapes and caves, local history and culture, an impressive collection of cave fossils and moa bones and a cave crawl challenge for the adventurous.

For more information about the wider area and accommodation visit or phone the local i-SITE Information centres:

Waitomo i-SITE – 21 Waitomo Village Road, Waitomo Caves – 07 8787640

Te Kuiti i-SITE – Rora Street, Te Kuiti – 07 8788077

Otorohanga i-SITE – 27 Turinga Street, Otorohanga – 07 8738951

Roselands Waitomo Caves

BBQ + Buffet Restaurant, Gift Shop, Award-winning Gardens, Family Activities, Function venue, Team Building and Accommodation all on 20 acres of rural property with native woodlands. Just 3km from Waitomo Caves Village.