Many New Zealanders may have been to Waitomo sooner or later of their life to see the glow-worms.
Perhaps it was a college journey, or when Aunty Mabel and Uncle Harry came to visit from the UK, or on a household vacation.
It’s a kind of issues, like seeing the Pōhutu Geyser shoot sky excessive in Rotorua, driving Ninety-Mile Seaside, ambling via Hagley Park, marvelling on the intricate layers of the Pancake Rocks in Punakaiki; a New Zealand must-do.
However don’t be mistaken in considering that’s all this pocket of the Waikato has to supply; there’s a lot to refill an entire day – or perhaps a weekend, if time permits. Right here’s your information to a fun-filled day in Waitomo.
* The 10 unofficial natural wonders of New Zealand
* Green guide to Raglan: How to spend an eco-friendly weekend in the Waikato beach town
* An underground zipline? Why Waitomo offers much more than meets the eye
* New Zealand’s best secret spots revealed
* Five adventure activities everyone should try in New Zealand
Get up at Te Tiro Lodging
This pioneer-cottage lodging set on 1600 acres is a magical place to remain. Easy, cosy and homely, the views are really inspiring. Get up and look out over swirling mists to the coast on one aspect and Ruapehu and Ngāuruhoe on the opposite. In case you like the concept of glamping, that’s additionally an choice right here, full with an open fireplace proper exterior the tent. The shortage of road lighting permits for unbelievable stargazing alternatives throughout inky darkish skies – and the property even has its personal tiny bush stroll which ends at a bench subsequent to limestone faces coated in glow-worms. Hosts, Angus and Rachel, are ex-tour guides from the realm and supply a wealth of knowledge. Breakfast is supplied.
970 Te Anga Highway, Waitomo
Mangapohue Pure Bridge
It’s onerous to think about what a pure bridge may appear like, until you get there; the outline nearly undersells it a bit. A 20-minute drive from the B&B at Te Tiro, this 17 metre-high limestone arch is a sight to behold. Comply with the boardwalk via a powerful gorge that takes you straight beneath this spectacular feat of nature, relationship again thousands and thousands of years. The arch – or pure bridge, in the event you should – is all that is still of an historical cave system, and the ceiling is punctuated by gothic-looking stalactites. The view again down the gorge is gorgeous. This a really fast and simple stroll out and in, positively to not be missed in the event you’re within the Waitomo space. Simply depart some additional time to select your jaw up off the bottom while you not far away and see the arch in its full glory.
Six minutes down the highway from the pure bridge are the 35-metre-high Marokopa Falls, the place the Marokopa River cascades over chunky greywacke basement rock and swirling mists create a myriad of rainbows. It’s a brief monitor via lush tawa and nīkau forest to get there, however is usually a bit slippery after rain. There’s a viewing platform the place you may see this significantly spectacular physique of water in its full splendour. Mesmerising.
It’s a 40-minute drive again from the falls – and also you’ll want sustenance after a morning of magnificent pure sights. Native cafe Huhu has one thing for everybody, whether or not you’re on a well being kick or seeking to indulge. In case you’re travelling with household, there’s a youngsters’ menu too. Attempt their house-baked Rewena bread, heat with a thick layer of butter.
10 Waitomo Caves Highway
Waitomo Glow-worm Caves
That is the basic Waitomo cave expertise. If in case you have by no means been, go; and in the event you’re questioning if will probably be as enchanting as while you had been a child, it really will. Wander amidst limestone columns, stalactites and stalagmites, finally descending into the boat in darkness. It’s insane to suppose this cave dates again over 30 million years. The guides do an amazing job of preserving you all quiet, including to the magic of gliding silently via the tunnel of twinkling bioluminescence; glow-worms actually are one of many coolest pure phenomena. In case you’ve executed this just lately, there are many different cave experiences within the area, together with hikes, black water rafting, underground ziplining and even a troll cave!
39 Waitomo Village Rd, Waitomo Caves. See waitomo.com
Alexia Santamaria was a visitor of Hamilton & Waikato Tourism.