Waitomo Journals

The Black Waters of Waitomo

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A March 2006 trip to Waitomo by stomps

Waitomo Glowworm Caves Photo, Waitomo, New Zealand More Photos
Quote: A day excursion to Waitomo to see its renowned glowworms.

The Black Waters of Waitomo

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Overview

Waitomo Glowworm Caves Photo, Waitomo, New Zealand
Quote:
Waitomo is a little town on the west side of the North Island of NZ. It's about a 2 1/2-hour drive from Auckland and a 2-hour drive from Rotorua, the two nearest big tourist destinations. Waitomo is most well known for its glowworms, which are actually larva that live in the roofs of underground, water-filled caves, but are much more exciting than simply being bugs--when you go through the caves and look up, you feel like you are looking up at galaxies of stars, albeit, slightly green ones.Waitomo is not a huge town, and indeed seems to have much more underground than above ground. There's nothing wrong with this, however; the town offers plenty of cave-related activities that, as long as yo...Read More

Waitomo Glowworm Caves

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Attraction | "Waitomo Wanderer"

Waitomo Glowworm Caves Photo, Waitomo, New Zealand
Quote:
This bus service acts essentially as a shuttle to get people from their home base in Rotorua to Waitomo for a day trip. I was very easily able to book this at the Rotorua Information Centre, and was picked up promptly at 7:45am the morning of my trip, from just outside my hostel (the bus makes a loop of all major accommodation in Rotorua). This bus even operates on major holidays (except, I'm assuming, Christmas), since the day I chose to travel was Easter Sunday.This bus does not include any activities in Waitomo itself; it is $40 one way or $65 round trip from Rotorua. The round-trip is open, so you can go all in one day, like I did, or go and come back a few days later after you've exhaus...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 25, 2006

Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Waitomo Caves Road
Waitmo, New Zealand
64 7 878 8227

The Big Dog & The Big Sheep

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Attraction | "The Big Dog & The Big Sheep"

The Big Sheep Photo, Waitomo, New Zealand
Quote:
On the way back from Waitomo on the Waitomo Wanderer, we had a pit stop in the little township of Tirau. We immediately realized that the people of Tirau appeared to have taken a page out of the book of the Australians, who seem to love the idea of giant animals or fruits (the Big Pineapple near Noosa, the Big Prawn in Ballina near Byron Bay). This was because when the bus stopped, we looked out the window and saw a large building in the shape of a dog, and as soon as we turned our heads, we were staring at a giant sheep.I vaguely remembered having seen these on our road trip from Auckland to Wellington, but our tour guide told us a lot more about them this time. Apparently, a couple decided...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 27, 2006

Waitomo Glowworm Caves

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Attraction | "Waitomo Museum"

Waitomo Glowworm Caves Photo, Waitomo, New Zealand
Quote:
After my black-water rafting trip, I was dropped off in front of the visitor centre in the middle of town. I had a good 3 hours to kill before my bus left for Rotorua, which was just short enough of a time to stop me from doing any more tours through the caves. I decided to take a wander through the visitor centre, and once I got bored of that, I went into the museum.The museum had a very large gift shop, although it was mainly filled with typical NZ souvenirs that I had seen in every other gift shop along my way. After snapping up a few postcards of the glowworms I saw but couldn't take pictures of, I went into the museum. It was free for me, since I was given a voucher with my black-water ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 27, 2006

Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Waitomo Caves Road
Waitmo, New Zealand
64 7 878 8227

Legendary Black Water Rafting Co.

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Attraction

Quote:
The $90 trip I took with the Legendary Black Water Rafting Co (BWRC) was worth the trip to Waitomo on its own. I thoroughly enjoyed everything about this trip. It started with meeting at the BWRC headquarters, located on the way into town on Highway 37. Once our group got together, which in my case consisted of a group of 30-something friends from Auckland and me, we were given wetsuits to get into. This, in itself, was rather amusing, with one of the ladies in the group insisting that our male guide help her into it. After the wetsuit, we got some more great that made us look really cool--old, beaten-up gym shorts for over our wetsuit (so they get beat up on rocks, not the wetsuit itself) and big Wel...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 27, 2006

Legendary Black Water Rafting Co.
585 Waitomo Caves Road
Waitomo, New Zealand
+64 (7) 878 6219

Legendary Black Water Rafting Co.

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Attraction | "Legendary Black Water Rafting Co. pt 2"

Quote:
This is a continuation of my Legendary Black Water Rafting Co review.Just being in the caves was exciting in itself. Part of the time, we had to walk, through fairly low-roofed caverns. We were very careful to make sure that we did not damage the rocks or the overhangs we were walking by, since the companies do everything they can to preserve the caves in their natural beauty. The other part of the time, we were either in knee-deep water or actually floating in our tubes.One of the most exciting parts was jumping backwards over waterfalls into the water below. There was just that element of danger in it, where you didn't actually know where you were jumping to—you just hoped that y...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 27, 2006

Legendary Black Water Rafting Co.
585 Waitomo Caves Road
Waitomo, New Zealand
+64 (7) 878 6219