Black Water Rafting Deals

Black Water Rafting Deals

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Triple Cave Combo

Glowworm Cave + Ruakuri Cave + Aranui Cave

Waitomo Glowworm Caves: Allow 45 minutes
Ruakuri Cave: Allow 2 hours
Aranui Cave: Allow 45 minutes

Ruakuri Cave and Aranui Cave tour times must be pre-booked, however tours run through the Waitomo Glowworm Caves throughout the day (during opening hours).

You must all check in 30 minutes prior to departure on this tour.

​​
​Triple Cave ComboRegular PriceCombo Price
Adults$172​​$97
Children$74 $44
Family Pass (2 adults / 2 children)$424 $214

Booking Conditions

  • Valid from 1st October 2016 - 30th September 2018.
  • *Family pass is 2 adults and 2 children. Extra child available to add to add to family pass.
  • Child prices are for 4-14 years old inclusive (proof may be required).​
  • Theatre is included with all cave tickets shown above.
  • Discount is not valid with any other promotion. Saving is on individual cave prices versus combo prices.
  • Prices and tour times are subject to change without notice.
  • Tours are subject to availability and weather conditions.
  • ​"3 of the Best" Triple Cave Combo includes guided tours of the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Aranui Cave and Ruakuri Cave.
  • Child age is 4-14 years inclusive. Children under 4 are free.
  • While children (infants) under 4 are free, you will need to add them to your total booking number requirements to secure their position on the tour.​​​
  • No smoking, food, drink or litter are permitted inside the caves.
  • Photography and video are not permitted inside the waitomo Glowworm Caves, but is allowed in the Ruakuri Cave and Aranui Cave.
  • Management reserve the right to refuse entry to the caves.

Quick info

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Departure Times

Enquire at booking. Allow 4-5 hours.

Pricing Regular Price
Adult ticket$97
Child ticket$44
Family ticket$214
Extra Child ticket$31

​Find the right cave experience for you here​

Twin Cave Combo

Glowworm Cave + Aranui Cave

Waitomo Glowworm Caves: Allow 45 minutes
Aranui Cave: Allow 45 minutes

Aranui Cave tour times must be pre-booked, however tours run through the Waitomo Glowworm Caves during opening hours.

You must all check in 30 minutes prior to departure on this tour.

​Twin Cave ComboRegular PriceCombo Price
Adults$100$76
Childre$46​​ $34
Family Pass (2 adults / 2 children)$248​ $163

Booking Conditions

  • Valid from 1st October 2016 - 30th September 2018.
  • Tours are subject to availability and weather conditions.
  • Combo includes guided tours of the Waitomo Glowworm Caves & Aranui Cave.
  • Child age is 4-14 years inclusive. Children under 4 are free.
  • While children (infants) under 4 are free, you will need to add them to your total booking number requirements to secure their position on the tour.​​
  • Family Pass is for 2 adults and 2 children. Additional children can be added at a reduced rate.
  • No smoking, food, drink or litter are permitted inside the caves.
  • Photography and video are not permitted inside the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, but is allowed in the Ruakuri Cave and Aranui Caves. 
  • Management reserve the right to refuse entry to the caves.

Quick info

Book Now

Departure Times

Enquire at booking. Allow 2 hours.

Pricing Regular Price
Adult ticket$76
Child ticket$34
Family ticket$163
Extra Child ticket$20

​Find the right cave experience for you here​

Most Popular Combo

Glowworm Cave + Ruakuri Cave

Waitomo Glowworm Caves: Allow 45 minutes
Ruakuri Cave: Allow 2 hours

Ruakuri Cave tour times must be pre-booked, however, tours run every half hour through the Waitomo Glowworm Caves during opening hours.

You must all check in 30 minutes prior to departure on this tour.

​Most Popular ComboRegular PriceCombo Price
Adults$122​$91
Children​$51​$34
Family Pass(2 adults/2 children*)$300$197

Booking Conditions

  • Valid from 1st October 2016 - 30th September 2018.
  • *Family pass is 2 adults and 2 children, with extra child available to add to family pass
  • Child prices are for 4-14 years old inclusive (proof may be required). Children under 4 years of age are free.
  • Theatre is included with all cave tickets shown above.
  • Discount is not valid with any other promotion.
  • Saving is on individual cave prices versus combo prices.
  • Prices and tour times are subject to change without notice.
  • Tours are subject to availability and weather conditions.
  • ​"3 of the Best" Triple Cave Combo includes guided tours of the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Aranui Cave and Ruakuri Cave.
  • Child age is 4-14 years inclusive. Children under 4 are free.
  • While children (infants) under 4 are free, you will need to add them to your total booking number requirements to secure their position on the tour.​​​
  • No smoking, food, drink or litter are permitted inside the caves.
  • Photography and video are not permitted inside the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, but is allowed in the Ruakuri Cave and Aranui Cave.
  • Management reserve the right to refuse entry to the caves.

Quick info

Book Now

Departure Times

Enquire at booking. Allow 3 hours

Pricing Regular Price
Adult ticket$91
Child ticket$34
Family ticket$197
Extra Child ticket$20

​Find the right cave experience for you here​

Aranui Cave

Waitomo's best kept secret

ARANUI CAVE GUIDED TOUR

DISCOVER NATURE'S INTERIOR DECORATIONS

A guide will take you along safe boardwalks into narrow chambers to see the finest cave formations of all the caves in Waitomo. The high chambers, magnificent limestone formations and the pale brown, pink and white shades of the huge stalactites in the Aranui Cave are truly spectacular.

CAVE WETA

Cave Weta
New Zealand Cave Weta
- Aranui Cave

Just inside the entrance to Aranui Cave is a colony of cave weta - large insects unique to New Zealand, which date back to the dinosaur age.  Wetas are closely related to the cricket and locust and the word literally translates from Maori as the 'ugly one' or the spiny one. 

Cave wetas differ from other wetas in the size of their limbs and antennae, in relation to their bodies.

They have very long legs and antennae, to help them find their way around their dark habitat.

They do have eyes but these are only really used to avoid light. Leaving the Aranui Cave at night they will forage on the forest floor for food. If there is a full moon, they will not leave the shelter of the cave as there is too much light.

Tour Departures

Hours of Operation:

  • Aranui Cave is open 364 days per year and is closed Christmas Day (25 December).

Additional Tour Information:

  • Bring comfortable walking shoes and a warm jacket.
  • Please note: Aranui Cave does not have wheelchair access and is therefore not suitable for visitors with mobility problems.Ruakuri Cave is wheelchair friendly.
  • You're welcome to bring cameras & GoPro's on this tour.
  • You must all check in 30 minutes prior to departure on this tour.

HISTORY OF ARANUI CAVE

DISCOVER NATURE'S INTERIOR DECORATIONS

In November 1910, a young Maori, Ruruku Aranui was chasing wild pigs that had strayed into a local reserve. His dog chased a pig down a steep hill and the pig suddenly disappeared and so too did the dog.

The dogs barking led Ruruku to a small hole in the side of the hill. He then crawled inside and with a match found them both in a high chamber that continued into the darkness. Ruruku Aranui went to Waitomo and told the manager in charge of the caves. They both then re-entered the caves exploring it further, absolutely fascinated by its great beauty.

Aranui main entrance
Aranui Cave

The discovery of a new cave in Waitomo caused much excitement around the country.  The cave was much easier to develop than the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, and in just over a year it was ready for tours. 

In February 1911, there was an official opening by the Minister of Tourism.  Originally the cave was to be called Ngutuhihi (the beak of the stitch-bird), but because pronunciation was difficult, it was decided by the Minister to name it Aranui Cave.

Aranui Cave is one of the most richly decorated caves in Waitomo.  There is very little of the ceiling in this cave that has not been decorated by the dripping water.

Booking Conditions

  • Rates are in NZD and are valid from 1st October 2016 - 30th September 2018 and are inclusive of 15% GST.
  • Child prices are for 4 -14 years old inclusive (proof may be required).
  • Children under 4 years of age are free.
  • Theatre is included with all cave tickets shown above.
  • You're welcome to bring cameras & GoPro's on this tour.​
  • While children (infants) under 4 are free, you will need to add them to your total booking number requirements to secure their position on the tour.​

Quick info

Book Now

Departure Times

Regular tours run daily from 9:00am with the last tour at 4pm (bookings are recommended). Allow 1 hour.

Pricing Regular Price
Adult ticket$50
Child ticket$23
Family ticket$124
Extra Child ticket$17

​Add world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves tour to your experience for only $24 Adult, $10 Child, or $35 for a family pass

​Add both Waitomo Glowworm Caves Aranui Cave for $45 Adult, $20 Child or $85 for a family pass​

Find the right cave experience for you here​

Ruakuri Cave

Discover Waitomo's longest underground guided walking tour

Hours of Operation:

  • Open 364 days a year. Closed Christmas Day (25 December)

​Additional Tour Information:

  • Bring comfortable walking shoes and a warm jacket.
  • Ruakuri Cave is fully wheelchair accessible. 
  • ​You're welcome to bring your camera on this tour. 
  • You must all check in 30 minutes prior to departure on this tour.

HISTORY OF RUAKURI CAVE

DISCOVER WAITOMO'S LONGEST UNDERGROUND GUIDED WALKING TOUR

According to Maori legend, Ruakuri Cave was first discovered 400-500 years ago by a young Maori hunter spearing birds for food.  A pack of wild dogs inhabited the entranceway and the cave was subsequently named Ruakuri ('rua' meaning den and 'kuri' meaning dogs) Cave.

Inside Ruakuri Cave
Inside Ruakuri Cave

Tane Tinorau the elder, Chief of Kawhia, had crossed the country with a war party to attack the local Ngati Hau Tribe and gain land in the Waitomo area. A hunter was sent to spear birds for food and he discovered the entrance to the cave which was occupied by a number of wild dogs. The wild dogs attacked the hunter who dropped his catch and fled.

Later, traps were set by the war party to capture the dogs and they were killed and eaten. Shortly afterwards on success of his attack Tane Tinorau took his people to live near the cave. The cave entrance was used by Maori as a burial ground (wahi tapu) and it is this sacred area that has now been protected with the construction of the spiral entrance a safe distance away.

Ruakuri Cave was first opened to visitors in 1904 by James Holden, an ancestor of the family that still owns much of the land above the cave system.

It was the second cave in the region to be opened as a visitor attraction and was quickly announced by early visitors to be visually impressive and an experience that was almost spiritual.

The Government claimed ownership of Ruakuri Cave and the attraction was then operated by the former Tourist Hotel Corporation until February 1988, when a legal and financial dispute forced its closure.

Ruakuri Cave was closed for over 18 years and was officially reopened for underground guided walking tours by the New Zealand Prime Minister in July 2005. This followed extensive redevelopment by Tourism Holdings Limited and an agreement with the Holden Family Trust of Waitomo. The re-opening marked the culmination of 18 months of underground construction work on walkways, bridges and a new spiral entrance way.

Booking Conditions

  • Rates are in NZD, and are valid from 1st October 2016 - 30th September 2018 and are inclusive of 15% GST.
  • Child prices are for 4 -14 years old inclusive (proof may be required).
  • Children under 4 years of age are free.
  • Theatre is included with all cave tickets shown above.
  • You're welcome to bring your camera on this tour. 
  • While children (infants) under 4 are free, you will need to add them to your total booking number requirements to secure their position on the tour.​

Quick info

Book Now

Departure Times

Tours depart daily at 9:00am, 10:00am, 11:00am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm & 3:30pm. Allows 2 hour

Pricing Regular Price
Adult ticket$74
Child ticket$29
Family ticket$180
Extra Child ticket$19

Add world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves tour to your experience for only $17 Adult, $5 Child or $16 for a family pass

Add both Waitomo Glowworm Caves Aranui Cave for $23 Adult, $15 Child or $33 for a family pass​

​Find the right cave experience for you here​

Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Discover New Zealand's natural highlights

DEPARTURE TIMES:​

​Travel Date​Operation Hours​Tour Iteration
​01/12 - 15/12​8:00am - 5:30pm​Tours depart every 15 minutes from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tours depart every 30 minutes from 8:00 am - 9:00 am, 5:00pm - 5:30pm
​16/12 - 28/02​8:00am - 7:00pm​​Tours depart every 15 minutes from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tours depart every 30 minutes from 8:00 am - 9:00 am, 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Last tour on Christmas Day is 4:00pm
​01/03 - 31/03​8:30am - 5:30pm​​​Tours depart every 15 minutes
​01/04 - 31/10​9:00am - 5:00pm​Tours depart every 30 minutes
​01/11 - 30/11​8:30am - 5:30pm​​​​Tours depart every 15 minutes​


Summer Season Departure Times:

Regular Departure Times:

  • Tours currently depart every 15 minutes daily.
  • Tours depart every half hour daily from 9am-5pm daily from 01 April - 31 October.

Hours of Operation

  • Open from 9am daily, 365 days a year.
  • Summer Hours: 8.30am - 5.30pm (01 November - 31 March)
  • Winter Hours: 9.00am - 5.00pm

Additional Tour Information

  • Bring comfortable walking shoes and a warm jacket.
  • The Waitomo Glowworm Caves are accessible to those with reasonable mobility, with good handrails and paths.
  • Please note: the Waitomo Glowworm Caves do not have wheelchair access. However Ruakuri Cave is wheelchair friendly.
  • Sorry, cameras and GoPro's can't be taken on this tour.  ​
  • You must all check in 30 minutes prior to departure on this tour.

HISTORY OF THE WAITOMO GLOWWORM CAVES

DISCOVER NEW ZEALAND'S NATURAL HIGHLIGHTS

Chief Tane Tinorau Chief Tane Tinorau

The massed delicacy of the millions of stalactites in Aranui Cave is probably without equal in the world. The cave was formed on an earthquake fault, which means the rain water that creates the limestone crystals enters more readily. As a result, almost every corner of the roof and walls is adorned with fragile, sparkling forms in pale brown, pink and white. There is very little of the ceiling that has not been decorated by the dripping water.

The Waitomo Glowworm Caves were first explored in 1887 by local Maori Chief Tane Tinorau accompanied by an English surveyor Fred Mace. Local Maori people knew of the Caves existence, but the subterranean caverns had never been extensively explored until Fred and Tane went to investigate. They built a raft of flax stems and with candles as their only lighting, floated into the cave where the stream goes underground.

As they entered the caves, their first discovery was the Glowworm Grotto with its myriad of tiny bright lights dotting the cave ceiling. As their eyes adjusted to the darkness, they saw a multitude of lights reflecting off the water. Looking up, they discovered that the ceilings were dotted with the lights of thousands of glowworms. Debris and logs littered the waterway, but by poling themselves toward the embankment they were able to leave the raft and explore the lower levels of the cave. Here they found themselves surrounded by the glorious cave decorations.

Fred Mace
Fred Mace

Jubilant at their discovery, they returned many times to explore further, and on an independent trip Chief Tane discovered the upper level of the cave and an easier access. Only after many subsequent visits did they discover an entry point on land. This is the same entry point used today by thousands of visitors annually. By 1889 Tane Tinorau had opened the cave to tourists. Visitor numbers soared and Chief Tane and his wife Huti escorted groups through the cave for a small fee. In 1906 the administration of the cave was taken over by the government.

The Caves Today - 100 years later

In 1989, almost 100 years later, the land and the cave was returned to the descendants of the original owners.  Many staff employed at the caves today are direct descendants of Chief Tane Tinorau and his wife Huti.

Booking Conditions

  • Rates are in NZD and are valid from 1st October 2016 - 30th September 2018 and are inclusive of 15% GST.
  • Child prices are for 4 -14 years old inclusive (proof may be required).
  • Children under 4 years of age are free.
  • Theatre is included with all cave tickets shown above.
  • Sorry, cameras and GoPro's can't be taken on this tour.  ​
  • While children (infants) under 4 are free, you will need to add them to your total booking number requirements to secure their position on the tour.​

Quick info

Book Now

Departure Times

Last tour at 5.30pm from 01 November - 31 March. Tours depart every half hour daily from 9am-5pm daily from 01 April - 31 October. Allow 45 minutes.

Pricing Regular Price
Adult ticket$51
Child ticket$23.5
Family ticket$127
Extra Child ticket$17

​Most Popular Combo Upgrade: add Ruakuri Cave​ for only $39 Adult, $10 Child, or $68​ for a family pass​

Twin Cave Combo Upgrade: ​ add Aranui Cave, Waitomo's best kept secret to your experience for only $24 Adult, $10 Child, $35 for the family pass

​Triple Cave Combo Upgrade: add both Ruakuri Cave​ & Aranui Cave  for only $45 Adult, $20 Child, or $75​ for a family pass​

​Find the right cave experience for you here

Black Abyss

The ultimate caving adventure

Departure Times

All year ​9.00am, 11.00am, 2.00pm plus additio​nal tours in summer (to be confirmed at booking).

What You Need To Know

  • Allow 5 hours
  • Beginner level
  • You may be 16 years and 45kg+
  • Need swimwear and towel
  • Water temperature 10-14°C / 50-57°F
  • Wetsuits and footwear provided
  • 8 people per tour maximum
  • You must all check in 30 minutes prior to departure on this tour​

Activity Involves

  • Abseiling training
  • Abseiling 35 metres
  • Caving and walking
  • Cave tubing (black water rafting)
  • Glow worms
  • Jumps
  • Flying Fox
  • Climbing
  • Waterfalls
​Black Abyss Tour Price
Adult ticket$246

Booking Conditions

  • Subject to availability and weather conditions.
  • Minimum of 2 people per trip.
  • ​Prices and times are valid until 30th September 2018 and are subject to change without notice.
  • Sorry, cameras and GoPro's can't be taken on this tour.  ​

Quick info

Book Now

Departure Times

Every hour from 7am-2pm in the summer. Please check your booking confirmation email for your tour depature time. Allow 5 hours

Pricing Regular Price
Adult ticket$246

​Find the right cave experience for you here​

Black Labyrinth

THE ORIGINAL CLASSIC ADVENTURE

Departure Times

Summer: Every 30 minutes from 7am
Regular tours - 9.00am, 10.30am, 12.00pm, 1.30pm, 3.00pm, plus additional tours in summer (to be confirmed at booking).​ ​

What You Need To Know

  • Allow 3 hours
  • Beginner level
  • You must be 12 years and 45kg+
  • Need swimwear and towel
  • Water temperature 10-14°C / 50-57°F
  • Wetsuits and footwear provided
  • 12 people per tour maximum
  • You must all check in 30 minutes prior to departure on this tour​​

Activity Involves

  • Caving and walking
  • Cave tubing (black water rafting)
  • A small waterfall jumping
​Black Labyrinth Tour Price
Adult ticket$142.00

Booking Conditions

  • Subject to availability and weather conditions.
  • Maximum of 12 people per trip.
  • Prices and times are valid until 30th September 2018 and are subject to change without notice.
  • Sorry, cameras and GoPro's can't be taken on this tour.  

Quick info

Book Now

Black Labyrinth

Departure Times

Summer: every 30 minutes from 7am. Book now to see available times. Allow 3 hours.

Pricing Regular Price
Adult ticket$142

​Find the right cave experience for you here​