Waitomo is often top of mind when thinking of caving and black water rafting in New Zealand, however there are many awesome caving sites throughout the country for you to explore.
Spelunkers (cavers) say that New Zealand has some of the most challenging and spectacular caving systems in the world, but even first-time cavers can enjoy our underground scenery. Caving experiences range from a dreamy drift through a glow-worm grotto to a rip-roaring, rope-dangling, action-packed subterranean adventure.
In the North Island the best known caving area is Waitomo Caves in the Waikato region. There are caves that you can simply walk through; there are caves you can float through (this is called black water rafting); and there are caves that require abseiling, climbing and squeezing. Experienced operators here know how to turn you into a caver in a single day.
The South Island has several caving areas - you’ll find guided underground adventures in Nelson, Fiordland and on the West Coast. Harwood’s Hole, just off the main Motueka-Takaka road in the Nelson region, is the deepest sinkhole in the southern hemisphere. You can look into it, but be careful you don’t fall in - it’s 180 metres straight down.