Take time out from hectic schedules by hitting the road this weekend and head out towards Waitomo Caves.
If you love the idea of taking a break from urban life and breezing down the highway surrounded by lush greenery, then a drive from Auckland to Waitomo Caves won’t disappoint you.
The longest river in New Zealand, the Waikato, will keep you company along the road. The peaceful river offers various activities like kayaking, rowing, boating, and fishing.
How to Get There
From the State Highway, Auckland to Waitomo via Hamilton is nearly 200 kms (124 miles) and roughly a 2.30 hours’ drive. Opt for a car hire from Auckland and have a comfortable journey.
Places to Stop En-route
-Bombay: A major market gardening area with clear motorways.
-Te Kauwhata: Stop at this wine region to get a glimpse of country living.
-Huntly: Visit the local museum and get familiar with the area’s mining history, or explore one of the many walking trails such as Hakarimata Walkway, which is lined with kauri trees, waterfalls and rivers.
-Waingaro Hot Springs and Raglan: Stop over at this surf resort on the west coast for a little R&R.
Things to Do Once in Waitomo
Derived from Maori words ‘wai’ (water) and ‘tomo’ (hole), Waitomo is a striking maze of caves, cenotes, limestone structures and underground rivers. Visitors describe a trip to Waitomo caves as adventurous, spine tingling and divine.
Places to Visit:
-Black Water Rafting: A unique underground caving and rafting experience through Ruakuri Cave
-Glow Worm Caves: A fascinating boat ride under the luminescent light of many glow-worms
-Marokopa Falls: A 30m-high fall, it is often described as the most beautiful in the country. Enjoy its view from a lookout on the road or from a platform area nearby.
-Mangapohue Natural Bridge: This bridge is made of a limestone arch over the Mangapohue river.
Restaurants In and Around Waitomo
A long drive and exhilarating cave tours will definitely make you hungry. Visit any of these eating joints recommended by travellers:
-Roselands Waitomo Caves
-Waitomo General Store
-Long Black Café
Rent a car and take pleasure in driving around Auckland and walking through the mysterious caves of Waitomo with their striking stalactites, stalagmites, glow-worms, years of history and the splendour of nature.