Ruakuri Caves & Bush Scenic Reserve, Waitomo Caves
(4.9/5 based on 190+ 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
  • Did this walk after visiting the glow worms cave took around 20-30 mins, then returned after dark so that we could see the glow worms up close, really beautiful! 
  • Decided to take a trip to this cave as it offered a lot more than just glow worms and we were not disappointed. The guide walked us through about 1 km of caves explaining formations, glow worms and th...  more »
  • One of the best short walks in NZ, I think. I have been on this walk multiple times when visiting the Waitomo Caves with friends. It has beautiful limestone formations and a number of caves and views ...  more »