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Waitomo Wander, Waikato

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Waitomo WanderBeginner

Submitted by Mike Tennent

Info Info
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Trail Information






Te Kuiti

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Undulating, small hills only

Native bush
Open farmlands


1:40 (Slow)
1:20 (Moderate)
0:50 (Fast)



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Starting at the rugby ground opposite the info centre, head to the back of the park behind the club rooms where you will see the ubiquitous green sign pointing to the start of the trail. Just follow the signs for Waitomo Trail all the way to the main Caves centre... there you will reach a tunnel under the road... go through that and immediately on the other side you will see the continuation of the Waitomo Trail off to the right.

Follow this for about 100m until you come onto the road with the car park on your left.... head about 80 metres along and go through the archway on your left and follow the trail along the river, through the farmland and then along the rivers through the bush some more.

Eventually you will come to one of the main car parks and look for the entrance to the Ruakuri Bush Walk... head into the trail and take the left turn that says “Natural tunnel viewing platform” and follow this trail. You will pass one trail turning very sharply right... ignore that for now. You will then come to a T intersection... go either way as it loops back to the same point. Take the time to savour the views and snap a few pics, because you will see some amazing stuff!

Then when you are heading back from the T section, this time veer left at the trail that you passed before and follow this past some more amazing caves and views to the start of the trail. Then retrace your steps to the start - with a couple of options.

When you get back to a section where there is farmland on your right, you will you climb quite a few steps. Watch out on the top section of this part for an unformed track off to the left. Follow this a few metres into a lovely small cave with a couple of natural pillars.

The next option is near the end where you can veer left to a lookout on a hill overlooking the town and the surrounding countryside.

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Features of interest

Wonderful section through and into caves, and around some amazing land formations

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 10%

Technical Single Track: 10%

Moderate Single Track: 30%

Easy Single Track: 48%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 0%

Gravel Road: 0%

Sealed Road: 2%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    The start is in the rugby park immediately opposite the Waitomo i-Site Information Centre. The entrance is at the back behind the club rooms.

    Plenty of parking in the area.

    18 km

    17 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Pretty hard to get lost on this one


    Windproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries.

    Plenty of water... not sure how drinkable.... but never far from civilisation

    Muddy through the farm area in winter and after lots of rain

    Low caves, mud, steps and some rocks

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