Ruakuri Caves & Bush Scenic Reserve, Waitomo Caves

(4.9/5 based on 200+ reviews on the web)
Explore the verdant forest and limestone walls of Ruakuri Caves & Bush Scenic Reserve, a place of strong spiritual and cultural significance to the Maori. Follow the Ruakuri walk, a looping trail that leads you through rocky outcroppings and flourishing forest. The highlight is the vast Ruakuri natural tunnel, into which the Waitomo stream flows--look up at the dangling stalactites hanging from the high ceiling, and down at the stalagmites reaching up from below. At night, see the cave walls lit up by thousands of glowworms, but keep a respectful distance as touching them will kill them. For more in-depth appreciation of the surroundings, opt for a guided tour, which takes you through Aranui and Ruakuri caves. The local ecosystem supports native birds such as kereru, tui, piwakawaka, and tauhou; kareareas (New Zealand falcons) are often seen and heard from the parking lot. While the walk is relatively easy, do bring a flashlight or headlamp to help you navigate steps inside the caves. Take a look at our Waitomo Caves itinerary maker to schedule your visit to Ruakuri Caves & Bush Scenic Reserve and learn about what else to see and do during your holiday.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • While living in the local area we never tire of this beautiful Ruakuri walkway and it has been our delight to take overseas and local visitors here multiple times. Allow 30 - 40 minutes or more if you...  more »
  • Enjoyed this loop walk Dec 29, 2016. Family of 4(son 14, daughter 20). Not dark till 9:15p this time of year ... after a late supper we drove here. Arriving after 7:30p ensured we nearly had the place...  more »
  • This cave is awesome, you can walk inside the ride, polite people lasts 1 hour and a half and you see estalaquitites, stalagmites and luminous larvae.
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