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“Caving fun”

The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co.
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$104.90*
and up
Black Water Rafting Waitomo Caves Tour
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Waitomo’s Original Black Water Rafting Operator & Legendary for 30 Years! We’ve been sharing thrills and excitement for over 3 decades and have experienced guides who’ll take you safely through the stunning underworld of Ruakuri Cave. We will take you deep underground on the most unreal subterranean journey that’ll have you begging for more! After you’ve jumped off a few waterfalls and pushed yourself to the limits, warm up with a hot shower and treat yourself to some hot soup on bagels, on us. Black Labyrinth: The original Waitomo black water rafting tour that will have you exploring and tubing through mysterious Ruakuri Cave. Grab a group of mates, some rubber tubes, and let’s take you on an unreal underground adventure you will never forget. Black Abyss For the ultimate in adventure caving tours, look no further than the Black Abyss. You'll descend into the black, seemingly bottomless depths of Ruakuri Cave, zipline through a gallery of illuminating glowworms and climb underground.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed July 31, 2014

We had a wonderful visit to one of the outdoor highlights of New Zealand. well organized, safe and fun tour (maybe your bride may break a nail :). Must-do in the region. group was about 12 people. some waiting, but only in a few places.

Thank mikez1299
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"black abyss tour"
in 192 reviews
"black labyrinth"
in 185 reviews
"bagels"
in 195 reviews
"soup"
in 168 reviews
"flying fox"
in 102 reviews
"black water rafting"
in 153 reviews
"labyrinth tour"
in 63 reviews
"zip lining"
in 76 reviews
"jumping backwards"
in 50 reviews
"new zealand"
in 171 reviews
"glow worms"
in 572 reviews
"wet suits"
in 92 reviews
"climbing waterfalls"
in 18 reviews
"hot shower"
in 62 reviews
"great fun"
in 94 reviews
"a lot of fun"
in 59 reviews
"inner tubes"
in 27 reviews
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1,165 - 1,169 of 1,797 reviews

Reviewed July 25, 2014

Me and my mother did the Black Labyrinth tour, and had a great experience. Good guides, nice cave, and wonderful glow worms.

The photos they sold us afterwards, could have been of a better quality as we were not allowed to bring our own cameras. But I guess it's not the easiest place to take photos :)

1  Thank Linn M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RuakuriCave, Manager at The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co., responded to this reviewResponded July 30, 2014

Glad you had a great time - sorry for the photo quality. It is an ongoing battle against the conditions!
Thanks fro reviewing.
Logan

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2014

The self-proclaimed 'legendary' black water rafting company is the sole operator of a variety of tours through the privately owned Waitomo Cave system. The caves are impressive on their own, and the system has been thoroughly and carefully developed. Various activities can be done in the caves, from simple walks to hour-long canyoning trips.

However, two issues arise from this system.
First of all, the privatisation of the cave system has made the exploitation of these natural resources a commercial enterprise, rather than a system that supports the public domain. The prices reflect this. Without denoting the impressive caves, the prices are much steeper than equivalent attractions abroad.
Secondly, the over-organised nature of the attraction makes the visit a bit tacky. The guides are all super-friendly, but the overall impression is so polished and timed -that it takes away from the impressive caves. With plenty of canyoning experience, we chose to avoid the very expensive adventures and took the walk tour of two hours. Be aware that the proclaimed visit times denote the door-to-door timings -generally not the time spend in the caves themselves.

So, the 'legendary' denotation of the attraction is premature. Since 1988, the caves have been transferred to private ownership - with the Black Water Rafting Co. exploiting the natural sites. Although fees of course are needed to upkeep and protect the site, the fees should be considerably less - so that all people, with all budgets, can visit these natural sites that are in essence property of all mankind.

2  Thank JKaz87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RuakuriCave, Manager at The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co., responded to this reviewResponded July 30, 2014

Thanks for your review - happy to hear you found the caves impressive and guides friendly, though I think you may have been misinformed.
We object strongly to the term "exploitation" - the conservation and management of the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Aranui Cave and Ruakuri Cave is unrivalled and many cave operators around the world look to Waitomo for guidance. The development of infrastructure in caves is necessary to protect the cave. It is also done in a way to support commercial enterprise as well as "support the public domain" through funding of conservation projects, investing in the catchment, monitoring and reporting. Were you aware that the caves will be closed if the CO2 levels are too high? Protection of our resources is paramount.
All our timings advise the total time to allow, rather than detail every minute of the tour. It would be misleading to advertise 2 hours and then tack on ticketing, assembling & transport times.
The prices reflect the market demand and there are no equivalent attractions abroad to compare. Sold-out tours right through peak season would support this.
You had issue with the "Legendary" part of the name but not the "Black" or the "Rafting"? "Legendary" invokes history and originality - our company pioneered this activity commercially in 1987.
If you are not completely satisfied by joining organized tours - I suggest joining a caving club, for training and advice and more "authentic" adventures, though caving in the Netherlands will be somewhat limited.
I am happy to discuss these issues further with you or any Trip Advisor reader. Please email me: logan.doull@thlonline.com
Readers should be reminded that reviews are the opinion of the reviewer only. There are other sources of information available if required.
Thanks, Logan.

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Reviewed July 24, 2014

Hiking, floating, caves, even the cold water; loved every second of it. Would definitely go back in a heart beat. The guides were great and made the experience amazing for everyone!

Thank Rebecca L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RuakuriCave, Manager at The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co., responded to this reviewResponded July 30, 2014

Thanks Rebecca, we have several options for your return visit!
Logan

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 22, 2014

Did the 4 and 1/2 hoyur tour. The rapel and flying fox getting into the cave syatem was great. As there were only three of us, as compared to the usual eight due to it being winter, we were able to go deeper into the glow worm (Really glow maggots, but that is another story) caves. Very pretty. Also was able to jump off a waterfall. Once again fun. The best part was the end where we were able to climb out of the cave by climbing up two waterfalls. Once outside, tired, but the most fun I have had since underground cave tubing in Belieze.

Thank majcka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RuakuriCave, Manager at The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co., responded to this reviewResponded July 30, 2014

Sounds like you were on the Black Abyss (allow 5 hours) - there are often more options with smaller groups in Winter. It's a great adventure all year round!
Logan

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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