Caves are a village and cave system forming a
major tourist attraction in the southern Waikato region of the North Island
of New Zealand, 12 kilometres northwest of Te Kuiti.
The community of Waitomo Caves itself is very small, though the village has
many temporary service workers living there as well.
The word Waitomo comes from the Māori language wai meaning
water and tomo meaning a doline or sinkhole; it can thus be
translated to be water passing through a hole. These Caves are
believed to be over two million years old.
Several of the hundreds of limestone caves in the district are sites for
adventure activities, including abseiling into caverns, floating through on
inner tubes, or guided walks or boat trips through spectacular formations or
In addition to sightseeing at Waitomo, there is the popular Museum of Caves
which operates the Visitor Information Centre.
Near the picturesque village there is a walkway, the Ruakuri Bushwalk, which
passes through three short caves and features unusual limestone formations.
There is also a pioneer farm show and horse trekking. Jet boats and
four-wheel-drive motorbikes may be hired.
Waitomo Caves is served by
coach and bus operators
operating regular daily services.
There are no air services to or from Waitomo Caves. Nearest airport for
regular domestic air services is either
There are no passenger train
services from Waitomo Caves to Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Tauranga or
The nearest railway station to Waitomo Caves is Otorohanga which is 30
minutes by road. There are no passenger train services to or from Waitomo Caves.