cambridge isite logo07 823 3456

One of New Zealand's most popular tourist destinations, the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, are less than an hour's drive from Cambridge.

About 300 limestone caves, which started to form more than 30 million years ago, lie beneath the hills of Waitomo. They attract hundreds of thousands of visitors a year.

caving cambridge-isiteGuides take visitors into the caves by boat, gently gliding beside stalactite and stalagmite formations and getting close up to the wonder of glowworms. Each cave has its own character - the Aranui Cave has ornate decorations, while the Ruakuri Cave has a spectacular spiral entrance.

Visitors learn of the recent history of the caves, first explored in 1887 by local Maori Chief Tane and an English surveyor, Fred Mace. They built a raft from flax and explored the caves, using candles to light their way. They discovered the ceilings of the caves were lit by thousands of glowworms. By 1889, Tane had opened the cave to tourists but in 1906, administration of the cave was taken over by the government.

In 1989, the land and cave was returned to the descendants of the original owners. Many staff at the caves today are descendants of Chief Tane and his wife Huti.

For the more adventurous, The Legendary Black Water Rafting Company provides the chance for visitors to abseil, weave, jump and float through the caves using rafts in the dark. They have been operating black water rafting adventures since 1987.


Ruakuri Cave

Discover spectacular Ruakuri Cave, full of legends and tales. Go deeper into the story as you descend the dramaticspiral entrance. Your two hour trip will include an intimate and educational experience with small tour groups.

The Legendary Black Water Rafting Company

The Legendary Black Water Rafting Company is New Zealand's first black water rafting adventure operator.

Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Be amazed by thousands of magical glowworms above as you glide silently by boat in the world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves.

Need Help With Accommodation?

Find Accommodation Thats Right for You Read More
Download the Accommodation Assistance PDF

Play & Stay

Cambridge offers a range of activities with something to meet all ages and interests. Read More
Download the Play & Stay PDF