The Luxury Guide to Waitomo© Shaun Jeffers - THL
The Luxury Guide to Waitomo

The Luxury Travel Guide to Waitomo

© Shaun Jeffers – THL
Article Single Pages©
Article Single Pages©
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Plan a Luxury Getaway to the Waitomo Caves

Under verdant rolling hills lies a world of magnificent stalactites and caves decorated in the blue twinkling of glowworms. Waitomo provides the most dramatic cave networks in New Zealand, which deserve a special way to experience them. From private cave tours to uncrowded private hiking trails, there are many ways to experience exclusivity in Waitomo whether you are looking to celebrate that special occasion or simply treat yourself. There are also effortless ways to relax among the rural landscape, between golfing and indulging in spa treatments.

Discover the premium experiences, the luxury accommodations and special places to eat in this luxury travel guide to Waitomo.

Luxury Activities in Waitomo

  • Delve on an exclusive private tour of Waitomo’s caves with Glowing Adventures
  • Abseil, float and scramble through the caves with The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co.
  • Hike the uncrowded trails of the Waitomo Great Walk
  • Indulge in the spa pools of the Waitomo Caves Hotel spa
  • Relax with a spa treatment at Waitomo Adventures
  • Enjoy a scenic boat and walking tour under the glowworms
  • Fish for rainbow and brown trout with Waitomo Boutique Lodge
  • Play on the rolling fairways of the Waitomo Golf Club
  • Tackle the multi-day cycling experience, the Timber Trail.

For elaboration on each experience, see the 9 Luxury Activities in Waitomo.

The Luxury Guide to Waitomo© Shaun Jeffers - THL

Luxury Adventure Activities

Waitomo’s underworld is like nowhere else – a vast network of limestone cave awash in stalactites, stalagmites and decorated with shining glowworms. One of the most premium ways to experience them 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. With no handrails, artificial lights or concrete paths as you would find on other cave tours, the caves of Glowing Adventures allows you to see them the way nature intended. Allow around three hours of this private adventure. Private photography tours are also an option. Find out more about the different tours available on Viator and Tripadvisor.

Alternatively, join one of the popular caving adventures of the Waitomo Caves, such as with The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co. There are two exciting caving and underground tubing options available, from the more affordable 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.

See a side of Waitomo that many don’t get to experience on the uncrowded trails 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 the limestone-formed landscape surrounding Waitomo. See vast waterfalls plunging into crevices, dramatic bluffs, glowworm caves, gorges and untouched forest. While self-catering is an option, you can also elevate the experience with gourmet meals delivered to you throughout the trail. The trail is open from 1 October to 30 May.

The Luxury Guide to Waitomo©

Luxury All-weather Activities

The beauty of Waitomo is that most of its caves are, indeed, all-weather activities. Walking tours, especially, are not typically weather-dependent so you can enjoy exploring the cave networks regardless of what the weather is doing. 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.

One of the best ways to relax in Waitomo, especially after being in the cool caves for the day, is warming up in the luxury spa pools of the Waitomo Caves Hotel. The hotel’s on-site spa features two six-person in-ground spa baths with views of Waitomo’s bush-clad hills.

The Luxury Guide to Waitomo© Waitomo Boutique Lodge

Fine Dining in Waitomo

In the heart of New Zealand’s traditional countryside, fine dining is not something you’ll find in Waitomo. The discerning foodie, however, will find a couple of places that might suit their tastes above the rest. Those staying at the Waitomo Boutique Lodge can be treated to in-house meals prepared by a personal chef. Enjoy a cooked breakfast of lamb and duck sausages, have a gourmet picnic hamper prepared for your day out, and dine on the likes of beef, salmon, lamb or duck in a farm-to-table dining experience.

If you prefer to eat out, a favourable option is the Huhu Cafe in Waitomo Village. Their evening menu reflects the tastes of rural New Zealand with garlic and goat’s cheese tart, wild rabbit hotpot, organic rib-eye steak and more. Complete your meal with a decadent dark chocolate souffle or poached tamarillos. Bookings are essential in summer.

More About Waitomo

That’s it for the luxury travel guide to Waitomo. Find even more tips to make your luxury getaway exceptional in The Luxury Travel Guide to New Zealand.


The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Laura S.

This article has been reviewed and published by Laura, the editor-in-chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Laura is a first-class honours journalism graduate and a travel journalist with expertise in New Zealand and South Pacific tourism for over 10 years. She also runs travel guides for five of the top destinations in the South Pacific and is the co-host of over 250 episodes of the NZ Travel Show on YouTube.

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