One of the most popular destinations on New Zealand’s North Island is the town of Taupo. Calling it a place where you can enjoy outdoor recreation is the understatement of the century, and there is no shortage of things to do, see and explore in the town itself and around Lake Taupo. However, that doesn’t mean that you are stuck in Taupo for your entire holiday. Whether you are visiting Taupo from Auckland or you flew in from Sydney, it can be fun to get away on a little road trip. The perfect destination is Waitomo, which is home to some of the most amazing caves you could imagine. Click here in order to get some great deals on cars to make the two-hour journey to Waitomo, and then use this guide to plan your trip and uncover the excitement of the Waitomo Caves.


Start Your Journey in Taupo
If you are already in Taupo, then you probably have an idea of what to expect from this incredible destination. If not, then you have a lot to look forward to. Although Waitomo is a wonderful place to visit, don’t leave Taupo without spending a few days exploring the area and having a blast. The Aratiatia Dam is a must-see landmark, but the more natural water attraction of Huka Falls is also something to add to your itinerary. If you love adrenaline-pumping sports, then get excited. Taupo is home to recreational activities like skydiving, bungy jumping, sailing, jet boats and hiking through secluded terrain, which means that there really is something for everyone. Lovers of art and history can learn about the Maori people at the Pureora Forest Park or visit the Lake Taupo Museum and Art Gallery. Only once you have seen all that there is to see in Taupo should you load up your car and get ready for a road trip to the caves of Waitomo.

Hit the Road to Waitomo
The journey from Taupo to Waitomo will take just under two hours by car, but the trip will fly by thanks to the stunning scenery along the way. The start of your drive will be along the perimeter of Lake Taupo, which allows you to take in views of the water. If you want to break up the drive into two sections, the tiny village of Mangakino is the ideal midway stop. Mangakino isn’t a big tourism destination, and just 1,000 people call the town their home. However, it is situated along the Waikato River as well as several hydro-electric lakes and dams. Water sports are popular, but even a quick stop at the charming cafe can be fun.


Explore the Caves of Waitomo and Be Amazed
Believe it or not, the most exciting attractions in Waitomo are all underground. There are three distinct caving areas in Waitomo, and each is famous for a different reason. The most popular are the Glow Worm Caves, which are illuminated by thousands of glow worms. Guests come through in boats along the cave’s waterways, and if you look up, you will see the breathtaking natural display of twinkling lights thanks to the glowing worms. Another of the famed caves in Waitomo is Aranui Cave, which is the smallest in the area and doesn’t have any water features. However, Aranui Cave is worth a visit thanks to the amazing stalactites and stalagmites that decorate both the ceiling and the floor of the cave. The final cave of Waitomo, Ruakuri Cave is culturally significant because of its previous use as a Maori burial ground.

Discover Other Attractions and Landmarks in Waitomo
Although the caves are the biggest reasons to visit Waitomo, there is more to see and do above ground if you have the time. For a rush, try rafting down the Black River on a guided tour. There are also a handful of hikes, and the cafes and restaurants cater to the many travellers that pass through each year. Stick around and chat to the locals about the area to get a real feel for the culture.

Since the journey takes less than two hours, it makes sense to head to Waitomo from Taupo if you have the chance. Spend an afternoon touring one of the caves, or spend a full weekend exploring the scenic area. Visit the Waitomo website for more information that can help you plan your trip.