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Need help with your car rental? Phone: 0800-141-466
Need help with your car rental?
Phone: 0800-141-466

Waitomo Wonders With the Wow Factor

glow worms in waitomo

Get off the beaten tourist track for a great value in the Waikato

Waitomo District, with its ancient caves, is one of New Zealand's oldest tourist regions. There are three stunning and well-developed cave systems available to explore. It's famous for its 'Black Water Rafting', the chance to tour underground in a rubber tube as an adventure activity. As is always the case, visiting commercial attractions comes at a price. While we highly recommend the Waitomo Caves as an attraction for all the family, no one has bottomless pockets. There are some fantastic low or no-cost activities available while you are in the area.

VroomVroomVroom not only provides cheap car rental, we can also help you out with low to zero costs options for you to choose from at Waitomo.

The Waitomo Caves Discovery Centre and i-site houses New Zealand's only speleological museum. Speleology is a flash word for the study of caving! For just a $5 entry fee you can get loads of information about the cave structures, and see historical displays, including a precious skeleton of New Zealand's extinct moa bird. They also have a theatre that plays a range of educational caving films.

Also call into the Waitomo Glowworm Caves Visitor Centre, even if you are not planning to take a tour. The building here is a modern rebuild after the original centre was destroyed by a fire. The new structure has won awards for its design.

Pick up your rental car from Hamilton, the closest depot, or start your tour from Auckland, which is a 2.5-hour drive away. Once you've checked out Waitomo Village, continue onto Te Anga Road to enjoy the 25 minute scenic drive and experience the true jewels of this journey. Park your hire car, and put on your walking shoes!

The Mangapohue Natural Bridge walk - A 20-minute loop that exhibits what remains of an ancient cave system, a 17-metre high limestone arch that spans the stream, with fascinating views of the icicle-like rock formations. If you continue walking for 15 minutes on through the farmland and follow the marker posts up and around the hill, you'll get to see 25-million-year-old oyster fossils cast in the limestone outcrops.

The Piripiri Cave walk - Three minutes drive from the Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk. Save this treat for your return trip after dark as this brief five minutes walk through native bush and past some limestone outcrops will lead you to the entrance of a natural wonder, the glow-worm cave and viewing platform. [Preparatory Note: Pack a torch, jersey and good walking shoes as it can get very cold and slippery]
The Marokopa Falls walk - Continue driving for two minutes till you come across the parking bay available to your left. Park your cheap car rental here and set off on the 20-minute return walk. This leads to what is often described as the most beautiful waterfall in the country- a 35-metre high cascade of water, plunging down onto the undercut greywacke basement rock.

If you keep driving for another 20 minutes from the falls, you'll the little township of Marokopa and the black sand Kiritehere Beach. The options are endless and full of 'wow factor'.