Waitomo Caves Tours
75-Minute Guided Ruakuri Cave Tour Waitomo
4.5

75-Minute Guided Ruakuri Cave Tour Waitomo

By Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Recommended by 93% of travelers
93% of reviewers gave this product a bubble rating of 4 or higher.
About
from
$67.53
per adult
Lowest price guaranteeReserve now & pay laterFree cancellation

Ages 0-99, max of 16 per group
Duration: 1h 30m
Start time: Check availability
Mobile ticket
Live guide: English
More


  • Local guide
  • Entry/Admission - Ruakuri Cave
What's not included
  • Food and drinks
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off


Start:Multiple meeting point options.
  • Option 1
    Waitomo Village Road, Waitomo Caves 3977, New Zealand
    Check in point 30 minutes before the tour departs Address: 39 Waitomo Village Road Waitomo Caves
  • Option 2
    Ruakuri Cave Tours, 204 Tumutumu Road, Waitomo Caves 3985, New Zealand
    Starting point of tour - you must have a vehicle to drive yourself to the tour as we do not offer a shuttle service
End:This activity ends back at the meeting point.

    • Wheelchair accessible
    If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 3930P7

    • Most travelers can participate
    • Children must be accompanied by an adult
    • All you will need are comfortable shoes and a warm jacket.
    • You must check in 30 minutes before the tour departs .
    • Due to high demand and limited capacity if you are late or miss your scheduled tour time your ticket(s) are forfeited and non refundable. New bookings will incur the full tour cost and are subject to availability
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 16 travelers

    • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

    If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 3930P7

    Reserve your spot

    Similar experiences

    Itinerary
    • 1
      Discover the spectacular Ruakuri Cave on this 75-minute guided walking tour. Ruakuri Cave has displays of glowworms and is filled with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites formed over millions of years. Points of interest include softly folding shawl-like formations (formed by flowing rivers) and fossilized seashells, which indicate how the caves were once part of the seabed. Major features include Holdens Cavern, named after James Holden who first opened the cave to the public, The Drum Passage, The Pretties, and The Ghost Passage. Tours depart every day (except Christmas Day) at 9.00am, 10.00am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm. Photography is permitted in Ruakuri Cave. Ruakuri Cave is wheelchair accessible. .
    About the operator
    Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator:
    • Waitomo Glowworm Caves
      5,798
      New Zealand
      Joined in July 2010
    • lfrsimba
      0 contributions
      3.0 of 5 bubbles
      Sat stationary in boat- not compensation
      Not worth the hype for me personally. It rained heavily the night before so I was happy the tour ran until we got in a boat went round a corner and just sat stationary for 1 min looking at a few glowworms on the ceiling before heading back. The water was too high to do the boat ride so we just sat stationary in a boat and we were not offered compensation. It was a good talking tour but boat part was a rip off. I understand that these thing happen but it was not what I paid for.
      Written June 14, 2024
    • Compass33947821652
      0 contributions
      1.0 of 5 bubbles
      Tour cut short
      I had an unfortunate experience when I took my Mum, who was visiting from the UK for the first time, on a tour. Our guide seemed disinterested from the start, and his mood worsened when other guests arrived late. Despite the rules against phone usage, some disobeyed, causing the guide to cut our experience short and blame everyone. We were then told we could not leave until those that were taking photos had deleted them off their phones. It was unfair and unprofessional, especially considering the effort and expense we invested to be there. I wouldn't recommend it to others.
      Written June 13, 2024
    • G4348QLjoew
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Moria... You fear to go into those mines...
      I was resigned to the fact I would not be able to see every Lord of the Rings location during my time in New Zealand-- for reasons of price, logistics, and the simple fact Mother Earth cannot serve as a backdrop for every fantastical environment imagined by man. But that is why this experience was so unexpected and wonderful. It is the closest you will come to exploring the world of Tolkien's dwarves. It is a cathedral of pure rock hidden from sight beneath a humble hill. Vaulted ceilings lit by thousands of glowing backsides: worms who are convinced they are stars. You abseil down into the caves and thus begins an incredible adventure that reminds grown men of what is was like to go to their first waterpark as a child. My particular tour was made especially memorable by the limited size of our group, it being the end of the season, and our hilarious guides, Mitch and George, who I am told do not often work together. That is a mistake. They kept us laughing throughout the tour, and George even serenaded us with a beautiful Gaelic? hymn. I was privileged to be led by multiple fantastic guides during my stay in New Zealand, but these two took the cake. Thank you both for an awesome tour!
      Written May 31, 2024
    • DGE101
      0 contributions
      3.0 of 5 bubbles
      Too industrial..
      Pleasant and enjoyable but too many tours crammed too close together.. meant you could hear the following tour as well as hearing your own. Made it feel cramped and rushed and decidedly unmagical .. Plus no photos or videos allowed in the cave (I understand the reason - just making people aware).
      Written May 25, 2024
    • Tigerram
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      A must see example of large limestone caves, glow worms and lovely boat ride in the dark caves.
      We arrived earlier than our expected time slot and they were kind enough to give us an earlier time slot as it is not that busy at this time of year. We were guided into the cave by Charley and she is very informative, funny and attentive ( plus a very good singing voice which she demonstrated to our delight in the cathedral cavern). The entire tour is magical, including the walk tour inside the cave plus the boat ride to see the glow worms. Our guide apologised on behalf of a tour group before us as they were very loud during the boat trip which kinda of ruined a bit of our boat trip. Nevertheless, it is still wonderful to witness the natural formation and the wonderful creatures that lit up the cave. Total tour time is around 1hr. (Could be difficult for those with nyctophobia)
      Written May 18, 2024
    • Go43270330027
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Nature in all its splendor!
      Nothing short of amazing and just brought me to tears. Have gratitude and respect for places like this. Aotearoa is heaven, if your going to visit i highly recommend witnessing these caves. Mahalo!
      Written May 7, 2024
    • jennybradford1975
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Magical!!!
      This tour was magical. Such a fun adventure with couples on holiday in New Zealand. We were there in May and it was not crowded making it that much more enjoyable. We were able to even get on an earlier tour than we expected.
      Written April 30, 2024
    • OnAir18643286226
      0 contributions
      3.0 of 5 bubbles
      Disappointed for non-flying “ 瑩火蟲”.
      We were rather disappointed. For the “瑩火蟲”, we expected them to be flying all over, but these are stationary “worms”! And not allow to take photos/videos.
      Written April 29, 2024
    • Libby S
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Luminescent beauty.
      Absolutely beautiful. Seeing is believing. The best tourist attraction I’ve experienced in NZ. Friendly guide and well run tour. The glow worms and stalagmites are a sight to behold.
      Written April 26, 2024
    • f0ndes
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Nature's Magic
      The Waitomo Glowworm Caves were mesmerizing. Gliding through the darkness with thousands of tiny lights above us felt like something out of a fairytale.
      Written April 22, 2024
    • 566barbarajp
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Spectacular experience.
      The guide was fun as well as informative. The cave was spectacular and the quiet environment made it even more special. We were able to spend time just taking it all in.
      Written April 22, 2024
    • Natwhal
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Great experience - definitely recommend!
      Amazing experience - excellent tour guide. Not only great to see the glow worms but also to see all the stalagmites and stalactites too. And our tour guide sang us a Maori song in the cave that had incredible acoustics!
      Written April 22, 2024
    • Z4753UIstephanies
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Unique experience
      Thus was a truly unique and special experience. Our guide, Ashton, was very knowledgeable and friendly, providing a memorable experience for us.
      Written April 18, 2024
    • Mouzouris
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Pretty cool
      We really enjoyed this tour. Very enjoyable and relaxing. We booked this one for 12pm and the Ruakuri cave tour for 1pm which we didn’t know they are NOT located at the same place. Ruakuri is a short 5min drive that if the ticket person wouldn’t squeezed us on the 11:45 tour we probably wouldn’t have made it. Just in case you’re planning doing both don’t book them that close. The only negative thing I think is that it was kind of hard to hear/understand the tour guide as of he was too far ahead of us (we were at the end). Still recommend it and worth seeing.
      Written April 13, 2024
    • 597bethp
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Something you’ve never seen before!
      This was truly a magical and almost spiritual tour. A step into Maori history and culture! The caves are phenomenal, the glow in darkness will take your breath away and the scenery all feel like a dream. Our guide was fantastic and had a beautiful singing voice that she shared with a short traditional song while inside the cave. Make sure you have tickets before you arrive bc this was a highly sought after experience!
      Written April 10, 2024
    See all 5,798 reviews
    These reviews are the subjective opinions of Tripadvisor members and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

    Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

    Popular mentions

    4.5
    4.5 of 5 bubbles45 reviews
    Excellent
    32
    Very good
    10
    Average
    0
    Poor
    1
    Terrible
    2

    Talia d
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Dec 2022
    What an amazing tour! First of all, the tour guide was amazing (I forgot his name but he carries sunglasses in the dark with him and described himself as 'the coolest tour guide ever') and provided so much information on the cave formations, history and the glow-worms. You're able to walk through the caves and be up-close to the glow-worms, the cave formations and fossils. Overall, this was an astounding experience and I am so glad we were able to visit!
    Written December 24, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Deborah L
    Melbourne12 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Mar 2020 • Family
    We booked to see the glow worms,but once we entered the caves and were gifted a knowledgeable tour by our guide we completely forgot about them and enjoyed the awesome sites before us. The personal history and family connections of the guide really added a depth to the tour we did not expect. Thank you for this memorable experience.
    Written March 11, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Kia Ora, Thank you for taking the time to place feedback and its great to hear you really enjoyed your time with us in Waitomo! Thank you for visiting and we hope to see you in the future. Nga mihi,
    Written March 13, 2020
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Catherine R
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Feb 2024 • Family
    Fabulous tour and well worth the money. Our guide (Wi ) was excellent , very knowledgeable and it was clear he was an experienced caver. He interacted in a way which interested people of all ages, he had a lovely sense of humour and was very accommodating to the range of fitness levels within the group. We had a great day and my friend from the UK was most impressed too. We will definitely recommend this tour to family , friends and overseas guests.
    Written March 23, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    omanNorfolk
    norfolk289 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jan 2020
    We did the hour and half tour and really enjoyed it. It is a tunnel like formation with some lovely photo ops. Seeing the glow worms and learning and seeing how they feed was very interesting. Our guide was very pleasant, but due to filing through the tunnels, some of the info didn't get to all of us
    Written February 14, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Kia Ora, Thanks for leaving such a great and informative review! We hope to see you again next time your in Waitomo. Nga mihi,
    Written February 29, 2020
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Renae
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Aug 2020 • Family
    The ticket price is worth it. I took my daughter, younger brother and nephew and they loved it as did I. Recommend this to everyone. Does say wheel chair accessible and pram, but do not reccomend it. Our tour guide was awesome, he was very informative with everything & was not a boring or dull moment at all. We went on Sunday the 2nd of August 2020. We were supposed to do the 1pm tour but someone pulled out of the 12.30 one and we were asked to join the 12:30 one. Glad we did because the tour guide was awesome. Sorry, forgot his name. The caves are beautiful and majestic. Was awesome and we plan on returning to go through the other caves. Also our group was awesome, heaps of laughs because of questions and answers during the tour. Thank you for a choice day Waitomo!
    Written August 2, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Diane Archer
    4 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jan 2020
    Visited the Ruakuri caves and then the Glow worm cave. Ruakuri was excellent - a very good guide, small group and fascinating cave. Did see some glow worms but main glow worms in second cave with boat trip BUT large group and noisy child made experience not as good as first tour. Boat tip was wonderful (noisy child was not allowed on boat)
    Written February 9, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Kia Ora, Thank you for taking the time to place feedback on us. We are glad you had a wonderful experience with us at the caves and are glad that you got to visit two of our caves, they all have their qualities! Thank you for visiting and we hope to see you again. Nga mihi,
    Written February 14, 2020
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    sfllovatt
    Sydney, Australia19 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Mar 2023
    We did this cave tour after the Glow worm tour, We booked separately as we did not see the combo options when we made our online purchase. So doing a combo trip is a must do. We had a great guide Pipin, who gave some great insights, kept us all together and gave us all a great experience under the hills of Waitomo. Well worth doing the dark walk - you really do get the sense of DARKNESS. Well worth the trip to Ruakuri caves and some great history insights as well.
    Written April 18, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    DaveSumnerSmith
    London, UK275 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Twice as good as the Waitomo Glow-worm Caves nearby.

    The guide at Ruakuri (Dan) was a genuine caving enthusiast (rather than just a tour guide), the caves were much more varied & interesting, the tour was longer AND you can take photos.

    There are fewer glow-worms & you don't get to ride in a boat, but it's all wheelchair accessible & highly recommended.
    Written December 12, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Laura J
    30 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jan 2024 • Couples
    We enjoyed the tour of the Ruakuri Cave. The guide was informative and knowledgeable. Improvements to the cave tour path such as automated lighting helped see the cave as traveled. There are other tours in the area however that we also enjoyed that we felt were of better value. The Ruakuri Cave is more about the formations with in the cave rather seeing the glow worms. If you are more interested in seeing glow worms then research what other tours offer. There are other tours which we also participated in that cost less and provided more views of glow worms and less views of various formations with in the caves.
    Written February 13, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Shiffy N
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We visited the cave with our 83-year-old dependent. The staff spotted that she needed help walking so provided us with a wheelchair which made all the difference for her mobility and ability to enjoy the cave - an opportunity she would've missed otherwise. Our guide Mac (Mak?) was excellent and highly accommodating of our needs. She even offered to push the wheelchair on multiple occasions. Highly recommend this experience for those traveling wheelchairs or prams. Much appreciate the customer centricity!
    Written January 10, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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    75-Minute Guided Ruakuri Cave Tour Waitomo provided by Waitomo Glowworm Caves

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