Waitomo CavesCaves Waitomo
New Zealand Waitomo - Waitomo Caves, Glow Worms, Black Water Rafting, Tourist attractions NZ
Over 30 million years ago the Waitomo Caves began their legendary history with the formation of lime stone on the seabed. Waitomo offers memorable places of interest. Explore magic fireflies by boating in the world-famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Combination your Ruakuri cave adventure with fireflies nearby and climb down a dramatic vortex door.
Let yourself be enchanted by the artistic decoration of caves in the Aranui area.
The Waitomo firefly caves
You can do your own tour with the most famous Waitomo Glowworm and Ruakuri Caves, or Waitomo Glowworm and Aranui Caves, or the Triple Combo. Waitomo glowworm caves are open to people with appropriate levels of portability, with good hand-rails and walkways. The Waitomo Glowworm Caves do not have disabled accessibility.
The Ruakuri Grotto is accessible for wheelchairs. It is probably unique in the whole wide range of products of the million storactites in the Aranui cavern. A seismic error caused the cavern to form, i.e. the rainwater that forms the lime stone crystal occurs more easily. Waitomo Glowworm Caves was first discovered in 1887 by the Maori Chief Tane Tinorau in the company of the British surveying engineer Fred Mace.
The local Maori knew of the caves' presence, but the subsurface caves had never been thoroughly investigated until Fred and Tane went to study them. The rafts they constructed were made of flat stalks and with the only light being a candle, which hovered in the cavern where the creek sank. Entering the caves, their first encounter was the glow-worm grotto with its countless small luminous lamps covering the roof of the cavern.
Rubble and tree trunks polluted the waterways, but as they moved towards the dam, they could exit the float and discover the lower floors of the outcrop. There they were amidst the magnificent decoration of the caves. Cheering at their discoveries, they came back many a time to further investigate, and on an unrelated journey Chief Tane found the top floor of the cavern and easy ingress.
Tane Tinorau had opened the grotto to the public until 1889. The number of visitors increased and Chief Tane and his Mrs Huti accompanied groups through the cavern for a small charge. The management of the grotto was taken over by the local authorities in 1906. Almost 100 years later, in 1989, the lands and the grotto were given back to the offspring of the former owner.
Most of the employees working in the caves today are immediate descendents of Chief Tane Tinorau and his Mrs Huti. Learn more about the Waitomo Glowworm Caves from the first discovery more than 120 years ago to the magic fireflies that keep delighting you! Experienced travel leaders, many of whom are locals whose families and grandchildren have led in the caves, guide each group.
The caves are enlivened by their own stories, which tell the stories, peculiarities and myths of the caves. The Waitomo Glowworm Caves, built over 30 million years ago, have two planes 16 meters apart. It is a arid plain and contains the entry to the cavern and the catacombs, the pipe organ and the banquet room.
On the lower floor there are brook passageways and the cathedral. Situated on the lower plain of Waitomo Glowworm Caves, the cathedral is the biggest cave with a 14 meter high cave. Tomo is one of the marvels of Waitomo, it is a 16 meter high chalk stone pit, which follows the course of an old cascade, which today runs during rain.
Tomo was the last characteristic of the cavern to be built and connects the top plain with the Waitomo River below. In the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, a scientific consulting group is protecting the several hundred thousand small fireflies. Based on this information, the Consultative Group will determine the cavern surroundings to be managed, as well as the decision as to when the currents should be changed and the number of persons who can come each and every working day. 3.
Our goal is to offer the best possible services to all our visitor. Help us preserve the natural beauties of the cavern. In order to preserve the mood of the cavern and to enjoy and be aware of others, we ask you not to burn in the cavern.