Ruakuri Caves & Bush Scenic Reserve, Waitomo Caves

Categories: Wildlife Areas, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
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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  • This must be one of NZ's top short bush walks, complete with a couple of small caves and amazing limestone rock formations. Go at night and see glow worms twinkling in the bush. All for free! 
  • Sorry to say you have to be on the slim side to make it throught the entrance door. Still think this is the best walking cave of all. Well worth paying for. 
  • Best place to eat in Waitomo. The food and service were good. The atmosphere was wonderful, had a good lunch and a good dinner. 
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