Waitomo Caves - Any Good?



  • Looking for something to do with the wife, Mr 7 and Miss 5 whilst in NZ for a couple of weeks that we haven't done before.

    Thoughts on WC? As they ain't cheap ...



  • @MajorRage said in Waitomo Caves - Any Good?:

    Looking for something to do with the wife, Mr 7 and Miss 5 whilst in NZ for a couple of weeks that we haven't done before.

    Thoughts on WC? As they ain't cheap ...

    I enjoyed it when I went but it's been years. If you happen to be travelling up near Paihia these caves are worth a try. Small family run operation but good close up view of the glow worms and our guide was very knowledgeable

    https://kawiticaves.co.nz/



  • I was thinking about going north, as haven't taken the family up those ways. But it's a long drive from the Bay and it'll be during the Xmas holiday season. Traffic jam central.



  • Pretty overpriced, but everything in NZ is nowadays!

    My mum volunteers at the kiwi house and that’s still worth a look, plus the caves and maybe black water rafting and it’s still a fun day or two - just bring your wallet.

    Get an ice cream at ‘big azz ice creams’ (i.e., the red apple on state highway 3). Stoked in Te Kuiti has pretty reasonable food (for that area at least) and their sister place in Waitomo (Huhu cafe) is also pretty good - get the Rewena bread!!



  • @canefan said in Waitomo Caves - Any Good?:

    @MajorRage said in Waitomo Caves - Any Good?:

    Looking for something to do with the wife, Mr 7 and Miss 5 whilst in NZ for a couple of weeks that we haven't done before.

    Thoughts on WC? As they ain't cheap ...

    I enjoyed it when I went but it's been years. If you happen to be travelling up near Paihia these caves are worth a try. Small family run operation but good close up view of the glow worms and our guide was very knowledgeable

    https://kawiticaves.co.nz/

    Second that. Went with ms boo jr about 5 years ago.

    If going North can recommend Waipoua Forest and Tane Mahuta, the Treaty House, Cape Reinga, and The Tutu out of Kaitaia (to the sand dunes and gum fields above Ahipara).

    Plenty other stuff too. You could probably add in a cruise in the BoI (we tried dolphin cruise about 20 years ago but the weather was crap), Whangaroa? Gumdiggers Park (is ok)? Kauri Kingdom (looks like it's called Ka Uri now)? Puketi (more kauris).

    Doesn't really help with the original question does it ... ?



  • @MajorRage said in Waitomo Caves - Any Good?:

    it'll be during the Xmas holiday season. Traffic jam central.

    Hill Street intersection. We can catch up, I'm likely to be there as that is where I spend my time.

    Waitomo is Nz's Dan yr Ogof for me. I always drove past them and it became a joke, but have done both now. Waitomo was actually pretty good but you know what it costs...



  • Better to go up the West Coast as @booboo suggests then loop back down the east.

    I haven't been to the Kawiti caves in a long time, but you could then head to Ruapekapeka which isn't too far off.

    Paihia is ok, Russell better but both very touristy.

    Sadly the driving thing is a pain, in part due to the roads (quality and topography) and then the other people...but that's all over NZ.



  • He said it will be during Xmas holidays. Going north means dealing with half of Auckland ruining what, at other times, are lovely spots. Just don't.

    Sounds corny, but for less money than fuel, tickets etc etc and something the kids would probably enjoy more just go buy a kick ass chilly bin full of nice food and drink, find a nice spot at the beach, go early and set the kids loose. You'll enjoy the relaxation and they will enjoy the freedom. With the saved money you could even arrange a ride there and back so can enjoy a bevvy or two.



  • Fly up to Great Barrier from Tauranga. It also gets crowded over summer, but its all relative. I've been there bin the first week in Jan and its still easy and laid back.

    Not the cheapest option but avoid all the traffic, go off grid and it is a stunningly beautiful part of the country



  • To answer the question: I think it is well worth it. We did the main cave + Ruakuri cave and the family (at that time kids were 10 and 7) loved it.

    The boat ride in the main cave was superb. Just got to get there Indian tourists to shut the fuck up and stop using their phone torches to "see" where they're going. Which I did.



  • Kamahi track/Goblin Forest if you are around the Taranaki area?



  • Aren't some of the Northland tracks etc closed to protect from Kauri disease? Could be worth checking what is open if you are going to drive all that way.



  • @Paekakboyz think those are in the Waitakeres, nothing on DOC about Tane Mahuta...



  • Alternative to Waitomo. Off the beaten track, Raglan to the south, quieter Port Waikato to the North. A family run operation.

    http://nikaucave.co.nz/

    In the same area - http://adventurewaikato.co.nz/



  • If you are going to Waitomo it's only a 70 min drive north to Kawhia and the local version of Hot Water Beach. You won't have the huge crowds of Coromandel but the kids might enjoy the natural hot water pools.

    https://www.waikatonz.com/destinations/waitomo-caves-and-surrounds/kawhia-hot-water-beach/



  • I have been to that Kawhia beach. Look for the post and dig in line. Annoying when you go to far left of it.



  • http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/life-style/leisure/2925932/In-the-glow-of-Karapiro
    i dont know if this is still running but we used to go up the pokaiwhenua years ago and it was serously good.



  • @gt12 said in Waitomo Caves - Any Good?:

    Pretty overpriced, but everything in NZ is nowadays!

    My mum volunteers at the kiwi house and that’s still worth a look, plus the caves and maybe black water rafting and it’s still a fun day or two - just bring your wallet.

    Get an ice cream at ‘big azz ice creams’ (i.e., the red apple on state highway 3). Stoked in Te Kuiti has pretty reasonable food (for that area at least) and their sister place in Waitomo (Huhu cafe) is also pretty good - get the Rewena bread!!

    Thanks - thats great advice. I made peace with the cost already.

    @Snowy said in Waitomo Caves - Any Good?:

    @MajorRage said in Waitomo Caves - Any Good?:

    it'll be during the Xmas holiday season. Traffic jam central.

    Hill Street intersection. We can catch up, I'm likely to be there as that is where I spend my time.

    Waitomo is Nz's Dan yr Ogof for me. I always drove past them and it became a joke, but have done both now. Waitomo was actually pretty good but you know what it costs...

    Yeah, going north looks like a bit of a dumb idea really. Spend enough time in traffic on the M25.

    @Crucial said in Waitomo Caves - Any Good?:

    He said it will be during Xmas holidays. Going north means dealing with half of Auckland ruining what, at other times, are lovely spots. Just don't.

    Sounds corny, but for less money than fuel, tickets etc etc and something the kids would probably enjoy more just go buy a kick ass chilly bin full of nice food and drink, find a nice spot at the beach, go early and set the kids loose. You'll enjoy the relaxation and they will enjoy the freedom. With the saved money you could even arrange a ride there and back so can enjoy a bevvy or two.

    Thats happening the other 13 das, don't worry. Well, that and hacking my way around Te Puke golf club.

    @dogmeat said in Waitomo Caves - Any Good?:

    Fly up to Great Barrier from Tauranga. It also gets crowded over summer, but its all relative. I've been there bin the first week in Jan and its still easy and laid back.

    Not the cheapest option but avoid all the traffic, go off grid and it is a stunningly beautiful part of the country

    Often wanted to go there. Idea somewhat ruined tho by my uncle going there on a fishing trip and stating it had the unfriendliest bunch of locals he's ever encountered. He's quite a placid bloke too!

    @NTA said in Waitomo Caves - Any Good?:

    To answer the question: I think it is well worth it. We did the main cave + Ruakuri cave and the family (at that time kids were 10 and 7) loved it.

    The boat ride in the main cave was superb. Just got to get there Indian tourists to shut the fuck up and stop using their phone torches to "see" where they're going. Which I did.

    Thanks @NTA, good useful advice!

    @Bovidae said in Waitomo Caves - Any Good?:

    If you are going to Waitomo it's only a 70 min drive north to Kawhia and the local version of Hot Water Beach. You won't have the huge crowds of Coromandel but the kids might enjoy the natural hot water pools.

    https://www.waikatonz.com/destinations/waitomo-caves-and-surrounds/kawhia-hot-water-beach/

    Went to Kawhia as a kid. Hated it. Will never go back.



  • Went to Waitomo Caves a couple of months ago and it was pretty good. My kids enjoyed as well. Agree it’s overpriced, but not unexpected.



  • @ACT-Crusader said in Waitomo Caves - Any Good?:

    Went to Waitomo Caves a couple of months ago and it was pretty good. My kids enjoyed as well. Agree it’s overpriced, but not unexpected.

    Overpriced, but the experience is unique. Grab the opportunity I'd say, not sure you get it anywhere else sensibly.


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