Bookings are essential as numbers on each tour are restricted to 15 people.
Ruakuri, or 'den of dogs' as it literally translates into the English language, was first discovered by local Maori between 400 and 500 years ago. It takes its name from the wild dogs that made their home in the cave entrance.
Newly reopened after an interval of 18 years, Ruakuri cave offers a captivating blend of Waitomo's most compelling subterranean experiences. In any one sightseeing tour, your guide will bring you up close to glowworms, elaborate cave formations, underground rivers, myths, legends and sacred Maori sites.
Your journey begins at The Long Black Cafe where your guide will meet you. From there you will be transported to Ruakuri Cave, where you will enter and begin a spiral descent from ground level via an incredible drum entrance and walkway. You then continue on a 1.6 kilometre guided tour underground. Ruakuri is New Zealand's longest guided underground walking tour and an experience that must be seen to be believed. It will leave you open-mouthed, awe-struck and humbled by the sheer majesty of nature.
WAITOMO GLOWWORM CAVES
The Waitomo glowworm, Arachnocampa luminosa, is unique to New Zealand. Thousands of these tiny creatures radiate their unmistakable luminescent light as our expert guides provide informative commentary on the Caves' historical and geological significance.
Over your 45 minute guided tour, you'll take in the spectacular Glowworm Cave with its majestic and ornate cave decorations, the deep limestone shaft known as the Tomo and the equally magnificent Cathedral cavern where New Zealands own opera diva Kiri Te Kanawa once performed. Your tour guide will deliver an informative and entertaining commentary, sharing stories, cultural legends and the natural wonders of this living masterpiece.
Your visit concludes with a brief, yet remarkably moving, boat trip through the Glowworm Grotto.