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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. There are actually over 300 known limestone caves in the Waitomo district however, many of which are similarly large and impressive to the “original” Waitomo Glowworm Cave. Over recent years many of those less-visited caves have been opened up to visitors. Those visiting our district now have the choice of many different cave-related activities, from relatively 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 operate tours from 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

Casara Mesa Backpackers

A very relaxed backpackers 3km from information centre. Country setting and great views. Bed price includes pillows, sheets, duvets. Transport available to Waitomo Caves (20kms). Free pick up and drop off to Information Centre, trains, buses. Bookings for Waitomo activities.

Otorohanga Holiday Park

Otorohanga Holiday Park has a range of accommodation options, from fully self contained units to camp sites, large bus and campervan sites with easy access. The camping ground facilities include unmetered showers, large indoor/outdoor dining room with free BBQ, TV lounge, Sky TV, Wireless internet, a children’s playground and fitness centre. Walking distance to shops, restaurants, cafes and bars in Otorohanga.

Panorama Motor Inn

A well-established Te Kuiti motel/hotel situated in the heart of the King Country in the central North Island with motel/hotel accommodation to suit most travelers. Surrounded with beautiful trees and nestled on the hillside with magnificent views of Te Kuiti, the shearing capital of the world. Waitomo tourism adventures and activities are only a 15min drive away.

Penny Lodge — Pirongia

Penny Lodge Bed & Breakfast is on the outskirts of Pirongia Village, approximately 35 minutes drive from Waitomo Caves, less than an hour from Hobbiton, and 90 minutes from Auckland Airport. The spacious modern home offers rural views over adjacent farmland and Pirongia Mountain.

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.

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.

Things to do in Waitomo

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.

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.

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 isites 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