Discover serenity in the most delicate and intimate of the main caves in Waitomo
Bring the kids along for a wild spin on the Aranui Cave tour, which takes young explorers on the ultimate treasure hunt through a series of fun games and challenges as they discover the magic of this mystical cave. This natural wonder is full of colourful limestone formations and larger-than-life stalactites, and is perfect for children aged 5+.
Aranui Cave is a magical, mystical place that is steeped in Maori myth and legend. It is named after Ruruku Aranui, the local Maori man who first discovered this previously hidden gem back in 1910.
Begin your tour at the Ruakuri Scenic Reserve, 5 minutes from the visitor centre, as you take a scenic stroll through an enchanted forest to discover the hidden entrance to Aranui Cave. With no river running through it, Aranui Cave houses little life beyond a colony of native New Zealand cave wetas just inside its natural entrance.
Upon entering the cave, discover the exquisite interior decorations that have to be seen to be believed. Your 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. Almost every corner of the roof and walls are adorned with fragile, sparkling forms in pale brown, pink and white in our most intimate cave system.
Explore what else is happening in Waitomo this November as part of Adventure Month.
- 39 Waitomo Village Rd, Waitomo Caves
- 0800 456 922
- Open from 10am Friday - Sunday
Current Departure times::
Open from 10am Friday - Sunday
Tours depart from the Ruakuri Reserve, Tumutumu Road, Waitomo Caves. Allow 2 hours. Check in 30 minutes prior to tour departure.
- Wear comfortable shoes
- Wear a warm jacket
- Bring your camera
Photography and video are permitted in Aranui Cave. Please help us protect the beauty of the cave - do not touch the formations. They are easily discoloured by people touching them and the more fragile formations can break.
All you will need are comfortable shoes and a warm jacket.
No, Aranui Cave has no river running through it, meaning it houses little life past its entrance. However, just inside the entrance is a colony of native New Zealand cave weta!
Allow 2 hours.
3 year olds and under go free, but they must be booked to secure a place on the tour.
No children over 14 years of age will need to be booked as an adult. Proof of age may be required.
Aranui Cave tours check-in at the Visitors Centre, then self-drive to Ruakuri Bush Walk for your tour, follow the signs located at the corner of Ruakuri Road and Tumutumu Road down to the lower carpark, where you will wait for your guide.