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Waitomo is an area in the North Island of New Zealand which is home to a very special and unique creature. The glow worm. This little creature has created world-wide buzz around the Waitomo area in New Zealand, but Waitomo isn’t all about glow worms. The area provides the perfect destination for healthy outdoor experiences and a balanced lifestyle with an abundance of leisurely activities and great food. Whether you enjoy a brisk walk through lush New Zealand native bush or an underground guided walk through ancient cave formations then Waitomo is the perfect place for a healthy weekend getaway.
Waitomo was once a part of the seabed forged over millions of years made up of layers of ancient bones, shells and rock sediment which now make Waitomo’s underground labyrinth of ancient sea caves.
Limestone bluffs are prominent all over Waitomo, poking out through the grassy hills all over the area, making the landscape a unique one for walkers, runners or just for an afternoon stroll. The clean, green environment provides a perfect backdrop for being active with family and friends.
The Waitomo Great Walk is one of Waitomo’s most popular hikes which can take up to two or three days and over 40km depending on how long you want to spend exploring the area. On this great walk you will pass through Tawarau Forest, home to the spectacular Tawarau Falls and Marokopa Falls. With plenty of boutique accommodation along the way, this walk makes for a great weekend getaway with the family.
Shorter walks include the 3.5hr Tawarau Falls Loop Track, and the 6hr Pehitawa Track so you can fit in the world-famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves after your morning Waitomo adventure. The area is also perfect for star-gazing. Pitch a tent, grab a cuppa and fall asleep admiring the stars.
Local food and produce
A wide range of local food and produce available in the Waitomo area makes it a haven for foodies and nature lovers alike. If you are visiting Waitomo on the fourth Sunday of any month, head to the Otorohanga Craft Market which offers delicious home baking, fresh preserves and home crafts. HuHu Café and restaurant is a charming, modern establishment in Waitomo Village. The European style menu is a foodies dream with a great wine-list to match. The Waitomo Homestead is a must when you pass through Waitomo, the giant red apple is an icon of the area and still stands tall today. Enjoy the healthy food options available while you relax and admire the orchard.
Remember – you can pick up your Waitomo Glowworm Cave tickets from the Waitomo Homestead to avoid queues on busy weekends!
Activities in Area
The world-famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves is one of 2016’s Top 10 most pinned travel destinations on Pinterest and an absolute must if you’re visiting the area for the first time. The world-renowned caves are a magnet for both local and international visitors with many New Zealander’s travelling the country each year to visit the local tourist attraction. The glow worm, Arachnocampa luminosa, is unique to New Zealand and glow on the roof of the limestone caves in the pitch black, making them appear to be a galaxy of living-stars. By visiting the ancient caves, you are becoming a part of 120 years of cultural and natural history. If you are after diversity, we do also have Ruakuri Cave, which offers Waitomo's most compelling subterranean experiences and is New Zealand’s longest guided underground walk. Aranui Cave offers the most beautiful collection of stalactites, stalagmites, flowstones and decorative formations. Come before 12pm and fit all three caves into your afternoon!
If you are after a more extreme Waitomo adventure, Waitomo is home to The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co. With three exhilarating underground caving experiences, your time in the area will be well spent if you choose to partake in abseiling, zip lining through glow worm studded caves, cave tubing down underground streams and climbing waterfalls. After your morning stroll through lush native forest, head underground with the experts and experience a truly active and adrenaline pumping activity.
Perfect for a weekend away
Waitomo is the perfect New Zealand area to have a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Many families and couples choose Waitomo for their long weekends away, to get out of the city into the fresh, tranquil environment that the local community has become so close with. Families with active lifestyles choose to spend weekend in Waitomo, go for long walks and eat good food with a lovely community of warm welcoming people.
Waitomo is a spiritual place, with ancient limestone caves scattered throughout the area, magical underground rivers and enchanting native New Zealand forest. Take the opportunity to connect with nature, breath in the fresh Waikato air and expand your mind. There is no other place quite like Waitomo.
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