The Waitomo Caves is a village and a major tourist attraction in the northern country region of North Island of New Zealand. The word 'Waitomo' is derived from the Maori words-wai and tomo.The meaning of "Wai" is water and Tomo means a sinkhole.Thus it can be translated as the water passing through a hole.The Glowworm Cave is world renown for its population of Arachnocampa luminosa, a glowworm species found exclusively in New Zealand. The Glowworm Caves is a part of Waitomo's solutional cave system including The Ruakuri Cave & The Aranui Cave. Waitomo is approximately 3 hours drive from Auckland and an hour drive from Hamilton. The Caves were created over 30 million years ago and offer some of the country's best natural history and beauty. There are around 300 known caves in the area.
The Waitomo Caves is a real underground adventure. It depends upon your character what you are looking at. Either you can experience the magical 45 minutes tour of the Waitomo Glowworm Caves including an underground boat ride along the Waitomo river through the Glowworm Grotto and commentary on the caves’ history, or can try the unique experience of blackwater rafting if you are more into adventure. Here you will crawl, swim and float through the caves on a rubber tube. Or, you could abseil or zip-line through darkness.
The Waitomo has a lot to offer and it is not just the caves. It is worth heading out of Waitomo, 45 minutes up Te Anga Rd to see the Marokopa falls, the Piripiri Cave and the Mangapohue Natural Bridge. The Marokopa Falls is known as one of the best in the country, whereas you can see 25-million-year-old fossils exposed in the rocky outcrops at the natural bridge. If you are in a group, it is worth visiting the Mangapohue Natural Bridge in night to experience the Glowworms on the sides of walkway through the native bush.
The caves are underground so can be visited any time of the year. The temperature inside ranges from 12-14C year round and the water temperature remains almost the same through out the year. Although winter always has the best money-saving deals, spring is a good time to experience the region's other activities. Threre many tour companies organise day tour from Auckland, Hamilton and Rotorua. Supervan Shuttle is one of them. Supervan Shuttle provides transfer servicesfor Waitomo caves from Auckland, Hamilton & Rotorua. They also provide shuttle service between Hamilton and Auckland Airport. For more details please visit www.supervans.co.nz or can be contacted on0800777826 between 8:00 am-5:00 pm on week days and from 10:00 am -3:00 pm on Saturday. It is recommended to book in advance so as to avoid the last minute disappointment.