October 20th, 2015

What to do in Waitomo

There are stunning regions in New Zealand which in tourism terms, could be described as ‘underdeveloped’. For serious travellers, that’s a good thing. It means you’ll be away from mass market tourism in the more populated hotspots. The beautiful rural ‘King Country’ has much to offer. Here’s just a few tips on what to do in Waitomo.

 

Waitomo Caves

There are a number of different caving tours from Spellbound, to Black-Water-Rafting to 4 or 7 hour Abseiling tours. Could you imagine yourself doing this?

Waitomo Cave Abseil2

 

Kawhia Beach

Fabulous scenery, dramatic black-iron sand beaches, fishing, boat trips & the amazing Hot Water Beach (Te Puia Hot Springs) on Kawhia’s Ocean Beach. Remember, go at low tide – you’ll get a spade to dig your own hot pool!

 

Lord of the Rings

The Hobbiton Village is nearby (1.5 hrs drive), but hidden away, is the less known Mangaotaki Valley site  no jostling for space here. There is a company aptly named ‘Hairy Feet Waitomo‘ tours. This is a small group tour and if you’re a Tolkien fan, you’ll love it.

Hairy Feet Tours2

 

Marokopa Falls

A 20-minute return walk to the spectacular 36-metre waterfall, 2 kilometres past the Piripiri Cave off State Highway 37. The Marokopa Falls is one of the most beautiful in the country. Don’t forget your camera!

Marokopa Falls2

Otorohanga Kiwi House & Native Bird Park

Otorohanga Kiwi House & Native Bird Park – See New Zealand’s iconic kiwi birds, plus daily talks by the keeper and feeding displays (kiwi, kea & kaka, kakariki and longfin eels). Enjoy the great range of native birds & reptiles in a peaceful park setting.

Otorohanga Kiwi 2

 

Kamahi Cottage – Farmstay Accommodation

Waitomo has it’s own 5-star Farmstay located near the Waitomo Caves and the Village of Otorohanga. Liz and Evan run a farmstay style cottage in the Waikato area – rustic on the outside with soft comforts inside (a gourmet breakfast you’ll love). This was a great little find – a hidden gem owned by real New Zealanders in rural heartland.

Kamahi 5-star farmstay.3

 

Farm Tour

Evan from Kamahi cottage also takes visitors on a great scenic farm tour & drive through a family farm. ($50 per tour – subject to Evan’s availability). August to October are the months for new-born lambs.

Kamahi Cottage view2

 

Ed Hillary Walkway – Otorohanga

A ‘gallery’ of Kiwiana displays showcasing NZ’s popular culture, history, heroes and icons. A great free attraction right in Otorohanga’s main street.

 

Raglan

This charming seaside village is a famous hang-out for surfers and artist with a vibrant cafe scene. Classic NZ lifestyle.

 

 

These are just some of the ‘highlights’ for the Waitomo Caves area and the wider King Country. Staying a few days is highly recommended. You’ll be wowed by the beautiful North Island landscape, plus you’ll get plenty of space to enjoy some very special moments.

Happy Travelling!

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