Premium Tours and Experiences in Waitomo
A place of ancient cave systems harbouring unique glowworms deserves to be experienced in a special way. From private tours through unmodified caves to hiking uncrowded private trails, there are a few exclusive ways to do just that in Waitomo. Alternatively, you might want to learn more about the small-group caving tours or walking cave tours and learn how to complete your time in Waitomo with some of the region’s more relaxing activities. We go through it all in this list of luxury activities in Waitomo.
For more travel advice to plan the perfect trip, see The Luxury Guide to Waitomo.
1. Delve on an Exclusive Private Tour of Waitomo’s Caves
One of the most premium ways to experience Waitomo’s famous cave networks is on a private caving tour with Glowing Adventures. Explore the Waitomo caves at your own pace and discover some of the less-visited glowworm caves on a private family farm. Unlike other cave tours, there are no handrails, artificial lights or concrete paths allowing you to see the caves the way nature intended. Allow around three hours of this private adventure. Private photography tours are also available. Find out more about the different tours available on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Location: 1199 Oparure Road, Te Kuiti, approximately 19km (12 miles) from Waitomo Village.
2. Abseil, Float and Scramble Through the Caves with The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co.
Alternatively, there are plenty of small-group caving adventures to be had in Waitomo, such as with The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co. There are two exciting caving and underground tubing options available, from the more affordable and shorter Black Labyrinth to the comprehensive adventure of Black Abyss. See how the tours compare in What is the Best Black Water Rafting Tour in New Zealand? or head to Viator and Tripadvisor to book your tour.
Location: 585 Waitomo Caves Road, approximately 2km (1 mile) from Waitomo Village.
3. Hike the Uncrowded Trails of the Waitomo Great Walk
See a side of Waitomo that many don’t get to experience on the uncrowded multi-day trail of the Waitomo Great Walk. While not an official New Zealand Great Walk, the Waitomo Great Walk is a two to three-day hike through limestone-formed landscape. See vast waterfalls plunging into crevices, dramatic bluffs, glowworms, gorges and untouched forest. Elevate the experience with gourmet meal delivery throughout the trail. The trail is open from 1 October to 30 May. See more walks in the area in the 5 Best Walks in Waitomo.
Location: Walks depart from the Waitomo i-SITE, 21 Waitomo Village Road in Waitomo Village.
4. Indulge in the Spa Pools of the Waitomo Caves Hotel
After a big day in the caves, there’s nothing more soothing than a luxury hot pool. The Waitomo Caves Hotel is Waitomo’s premium historic hotel complete with its own spa room, which features two six-person in-ground spa pools. Bathe in the pools and enjoy the views of Waitomo’s bush-clad hills.
Location: Hotel Access Road, Waitomo Village.
5. Unwind with a Heavenly Spa Treatment
Relieve your body of the stress of adventurous caving and long drives around New Zealand with a blissful spa treatment at Waitomo Adventures. Their day spa is open for a range of facials, body treatments and floatation therapy. Treatments take place in their spacious treatment rooms with private courtyards, while the experience can be completed with a bite to eat at the on-site Adventures Cafe.
Location: 1227 Waitomo Valley Road, approximately 600m (650 yards) from Waitomo Village.
6. Enjoy a Scenic Boat and Walking Tour Under the Glowworms
Indeed, there are more options for touring the caves in Waitomo. For those looking for a more relaxing way to see the caves without getting wet, there are walking tours and boat tours. Popular options include the Waitomo Glowworms Caves (more info Viator and Tripadvisor) for its boat journey underneath one of the best displays of glowworms in the country and the Ruakuri Cave (on Viator or Tripadvisor) for a good combination of glowworms and magnificent limestone features. See more cave tours in the 10 Best Waitomo Cave Tours.
Location: Both tours depart from 39 Waitomo Village Road, Waitomo Village.
7. Fish for Rainbow and Brown Trout with Waitomo Boutique Lodge
Try your luck at hooking up a rainbow or brown trout on a fishing tour organised through the Waitomo Boutique Lodge. Not only does the luxury accommodation provide exclusive access to fishing streams on their farm, but you also have easy access to three rivers within 15 minutes of the lodge. The team will show you their favourite spots and supply fishing licenses and rods if needed. They’ll even smoke your catch for you back at the lodge.
Location: 256 Waipuna Road, approximately 21km (13 miles) from Waitomo Village.
8. Tee Off on the Rolling Fairways of Waitomo’s Golf Courses
If you’re looking at the undulating hills of Waitomo and thinking they’d be perfect for swinging a club, you’re in luck. There are two fantastic golf courses within driving distance of Waitomo. The Waitomo Golf Course is 5,975m (6,534 yards) championship course featuring a picturesque lake and fairways lined with exotic trees. Alternatively, head to the Piopio/Aria Golf Club which is a laidback course with fairways grazed by sheep.
Location: Waitomo Golf Course – Golf Road, RD7, Otorohanga. Piopio/Aria Golf Club – 1686 State Highway 3, Piopio.
9. Tackle the Multi-day Cycling Experience the Timber Trail
Finally, active travellers making their way in or out of Waitomo should seriously consider cycling one of the top bike trails in the country. The Timber Trail is a two to three-day trail in the natural haven of the Pureora Forest Park famous for its logging history, now a protected area where native trees and birdlife thrive. Experience the longest swingbridge in New Zealand and historic logging tramways among remote wilderness. In the centre of the trail is the Timber Trail Lodge providing upmarket guest rooms and bike, meal, and transport packages to organise the experience with ease. Learn more about Timber Trail Lodge on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Location: Shuttles to the trail depart from 26 Ongarue–Waimiha Road, 80km (50 miles) from Waitomo Village.