Top 3 Waitomo Short Walks

​Heading to visit our caves and wondering what else to do while you’re in the area? While Waitomo is a relatively small settlement, it definitely doesn’t lack for beautiful walks and natural scenery.

Here are three of our favourite short walks leading to spectacular sights in the Waitomo area. Each of these walks can easily be included as part of a day trip when visiting the caves. For minimal walking time you’ll find maximum wow-factor.

 

Ruakuri Walk

What you’ll find here:

A loop track cuts through lush native bush, following alongside Waitomo Stream. The track heads down to the highlight of the walk, Ruakuri Natural Tunnel. An impressive high-ceiling cave which the Waitomo Stream cuts through, a viewing platform allows a close-up look at the cave’s limestone formations.

Interesting natural features:

  • Striking stalactites and stalagmites, follow the track into the cave and a viewing platform allows a closer look at these limestone formations.
  •  After dark glowworms are visible along the track, near the main bridge. An enthralling night-time experience, be sure to bring a torch.

Walking time:

45 minute circuit

Distance from Waitomo Glowworm Caves:

2km

    


Marokopa Waterfall

What you’ll find here:

A dramatic 35 metre high waterfall, referred to by some as “the most beautiful in New Zealand”.

Interesting natural features:

  • Tawa and Nikau forest surround the short track to the waterfall.
  • The Marokopa River tumbles down over greywacke basement rock.
  • Going after a rainfall will let you see the waterfall in full force.

Walking time:

An easy 15 minute walk to to waterfall viewing platform

Distance from Waitomo Glowworm Caves:

29km

 

Mangapohue Natural Bridge

What you’ll find here:

A boardwalk leads through a picturesque limestone gorge to the base of this natural bridge. The 17m high limestone arch is the only, albeit impressive, reminder of a once expansive ancient cave system.

Interesting natural features:

  • Pass under the limestone bridge to see stalactite-like formations and get a great view back down the gorge.
  • Continue walking and you’ll find the track continues, going through farmland to a limestone outcrop. Preserved in the rocks are 25 million year old fossilised oysters.

Walking time:

15 minutes to waterfall viewing platform

Distance from Waitomo Glowworm Caves:

24km

For more information on these walks see the Department of Conservation website.