Located in the Waikato region
IntroductionExplore classic limestone country and discover caves, waterfalls, gorges and natural bridges. Visit Opapaka pā, built and used by Ngati Hia in the late eighteenth century.
Find things to do and places to stay Waitomo area
Piripiri Cave is one of the few free caves open to the general public in the area.
From Waitomo village, this 46 km scenic drive takes you through karst country to the historic west coast settlement of Marokopa, with a further 5 km south down the coast to Kiritehere beach.
Turn off SH3 between Te Kuiti and Otorohanga onto SH37. Stop in Waitomo Village or continue onto Marokopa.
- There is a small general store in Waitomo where supplies may be bought.
- The evenings in Waitomo are crisp, so bring a jersey, and insect repellent is also recommended.
Dolines (enclosed depressions), karren (fluted outcrops), arches tunnels and caves are collectively known as karst. This special landscape is a feature of Waitomo, with the Waitomo Caves world famous for their beauty and abundance of glow worms.
The area includes the Ruakuri Caves and Bush Scenic Reserve – 114 ha of native bush and limestone formations.
Mangaokewa Scenic Reserve
The Mangaokewa Scenic Reserve is 3-4 minutes drive south of Te Kuiti on SH30.
There are short (20 min) and longer (1 hr 30 min) tramping tracks that cross the Mangaokewa stream.
The reserve has an area for about 30 certified self-contained campervans. No camping in tents or other vehicles allowed.
There are concerns about potential cultural and physical impacts of rock climbing in the area. Be respectful of local hapu and iwi, and avoid rock-climbing in the Mangaokewa Reserve.