Ruakuri Cave
Ruakuri Cave
4.5
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
About
Duration: 1-2 hours
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The area
Best nearby
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Attractions
2 within 10 kms
See what travellers are saying
  • Trek59814460001
    4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Unexpected delight
    What an unexpected delight this cave was. Would definitely recommend going to Ruakuri cave. It's an easy ( & long) guided walk. The spiral ramp access to the cave is a sight in itself. The numerous cave formations & glow worms are spectacular!
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 31 May 2023
  • Scoot D
    Albany, Australia74 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Raukuri glow worm cave tour
    Absolutely amazing, our tour guide, Alisha, was brilliant. We were early and we’re able to adjust our tour without any issues at all. Alisha is very knowledgeable and managed the group extremely well. Caves were also amazing
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 25 June 2023
  • LSQRD1
    Kent, Ohio815 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great formations and awesome glowworms
    This was a great experience; the cave has some neat formations and you have great views of some glowworms. The guide showed us the threads the use to catch prey and it was very interesting. Plus you can take pictures--the tour moved at a leisurely place with loads of time for photos. This cave is just down the road from Waitomo and well worth the visit.
    Visited June 2023
    Written 20 August 2023
  • AzRat
    Arizona1,991 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Much better experience than Waitomo Cave - get the combo ticket
    July 2023 - After a frustrating experience at Waitomo Cave (other tourists who annoyingly talked and joked while the guide was talking) I was glad to have booked the combo tour which included the Ruakuri Cave. The cave visitor center is a 5 minute drive from the Waitomo Cave complex. The combo tickets can be timed to minimize the time between tours or allow a longer break in between. This tour exceeded my expectations! Small group of only 9 people and our delightful guide Eline. This is a climate controlled 'live' cavern with very nice stalagmites and stalactites, upclose views of glowworms with photography permitted, and some interesting other cavern features. I really likes Eline's presentation and cavern knowledge. Excellent glowworms sighting in the absolute darkness! During the tour we could occasionally hear Blackwater tour below us in the cave river but it actually added to the thrill of being deep underground. The total package was so much more than Waitomo Cave. Worth the time and effort to do both experiences but if you only have time for one I'd recommend the Ruakuri Cave.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 28 September 2023
  • Cat J A
    Melbourne, Australia393 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Don’t overlook this one
    This cave was the second in the package but proved to be the best. After entering the cave via a spectacular spiral we were deep in the caves exploring so many impressive sights including glow worms and fossils. Never felt crowded or rushed and so many photo opportunities here. Our guide was friendly and informative and the small group tour meant we had plenty of space to move about. A highlight was looking deep down into the cave to watch the brave souls tubing through the waterways. We left by cleansing ourselves with cave water before ascending up the spiral walkway. Definitely a highlight of our day at Waitomo.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 30 September 2023
  • KJD
    Leander, Texas6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wonderfully Authentic and immersive, not for small children
    If you have visited other cave formations in the states (i.e. TX and NM), this one will truly impress you. The guide was amazing. The spiral down in the entrance felt like we were under Gotham and Bane was watching below. The duration makes it a dream for cave enthusiasts, historians, scientists but it is not suitable for children that can still be picked up. They cried and cried due to the darkness and distance, do not take them. There are special moments when the few lights highlighting the formations are off and you must let your eyes adjust to see glow worms or hear the adventure rafting tours in the water below you. Also, Don't bring a backpack, not allowed and you will need wiggle and bend down to get through tight spaces at times. Overall a wonderful experience for adults and more authentic than the other cave experience out of the combo purchase --- The more popular, shorter Waitomo Glowworm cave. Don't miss this.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 14 November 2023
  • Caroline L
    Melbourne, Australia86 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Mesmerising!
    Not to be missed when visiting the north island of NZ. The boat ride through the caves, with the glowworms above, was simply mesmerising. Everyone stayed quiet and absorbed the serene experience. Prior to that, we had a guided tour with an informative tour guide. We learnt about the formations and the glowworms.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 3 December 2023
  • Elaine Walsh
    Minster on Sea, United Kingdom5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    An amazing experience made better by an amazing tour guide
    We visited the caves as part of our North Island tour on our way back to Palmerston North. Checking in was quick and easy when you follow the instructions! Staff were polite and friendly. Our tour guide Rueben was fantastic, he was very welcoming, polite, friendly and very knowledgeable. He made our experience so very good. The caves themselves are well preserved and look after the natural environment! The whole experience was amazing! Thank you
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled with friends
    Written 27 January 2024
  • Janet T
    8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent cave tour
    Excellent walking tour of caves. Booked this as fall back as we couldn’t get into glow worm caves and so pleased this was the tour we did. Our guide was really informative and shared some much about the science of the rock formations and glow worms as well as the history of how the caves were explored and opened to tourists. A great plus on this tour is the opportunities and time to take photos. We did the black water rafting tour later on the same day which was enhanced by the information we had learned in the morning.
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 29 February 2024
  • wambie
    12 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Unforgettable memories
    You can't go to waitomo and miss this amazing experience. We had so much fun and Kai our guide was so amazing taking pics for everyone. The entire tour goes for 90 minutes but he made it go so fast with all the fun we had a long the way and the amazing displays natural of the cave
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 9 March 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles937 reviews
Excellent
682
Very good
198
Average
40
Poor
14
Terrible
3

Mouzouris
Detroit, MI1,617 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
We did it after the glowworm cave which is 5min drive away so make sure you don’t plan them too close apart as we almost missed this one. The experience is pretty cool and a little better than the glowworm in my opinion but they are so different so I would recommend doing both if you’re there anyway. Highly recommended.
Written 13 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AndyAquila
Lyme Regis, UK641 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
This trip is much more about the caves themselves, and the glow-worms are almost an incidental addition to the beauty of the structures inside the earth. The story behind this cave system is interesting, and the very knowledgeable guide talked a lot about both the history going back millennia and much more recent events.
Well worth doing, but if you want to see more glow-worms go by boat.
Written 27 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Julia @Scrumptious Solent
Southampton, UK2,427 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
Surprisingly great tour! We booked the Waitomo caves trip and this tour was included in the combo ticket booked by our travel agent. It’s a small group tour of about 20 people which takes around ninety minutes. You walk down an amazing spiral into the caves and the tour guide then leads you through the various caves. You see glowworms on this trip and also people floating through the cave rivers on inner tubes!

The time passed really quickly and the guide had lots of interesting facts about the caves history and structure to pass on.

You visit about 1.5km of the total 5km cave length and the experience is really impressive!

Make sure you visit the toilets at the reception centre before crossing the road and descending the path down to the cave entrance.

Unlike the Waitomo caves you CAN take photos on this trip!
Written 18 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kerri T
3 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
We received a very warm welcome and our tour guide was very personable, knowledgeable and engaging. The tour of the cave itself was amazing, from the spiral walkway to the perfect lighting all the way through. A totally awesome experience which deserves 5 stars however the incessant crying of a young baby in our group ruined the overall experience for me. Certainly no reflection of the tour operator, our guide or the incredible cave itself but nonetheless an unwanted distraction which ruined the beauty and serenity of such a magical place. An option for an adults only tour would be highly recommended.
Written 16 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Craig T
Gold Coast, Australia69 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
It was a lovely scenic drive from Rotorua through the farmlands of the Waikato.
The hosts made us very welcome when we arrived.
Our tour guide was very informative and knowledgeable about the caves and their history.
The walking track is well laid out with just enough light for you to see where you're going. There were regular stops with ample time to take photos, the photo areas are a bit cramped but as long as your fellow guests are accommodating and didn't hog the prime spot you could get some good photos. Some spots on the track were a bit low, but nothing we couldn't handle.
Very pleasant surprise on our trip.
Written 16 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

wambie
12 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
You can't go to waitomo and miss this amazing experience. We had so much fun and Kai our guide was so amazing taking pics for everyone. The entire tour goes for 90 minutes but he made it go so fast with all the fun we had a long the way and the amazing displays natural of the cave
Written 10 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Janet T
8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
Excellent walking tour of caves. Booked this as fall back as we couldn’t get into glow worm caves and so pleased this was the tour we did. Our guide was really informative and shared some much about the science of the rock formations and glow worms as well as the history of how the caves were explored and opened to tourists. A great plus on this tour is the opportunities and time to take photos. We did the black water rafting tour later on the same day which was enhanced by the information we had learned in the morning.
Written 29 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Whyhellothere2024
Wellington, New Zealand27 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
Pros: first tour of the day, stunning stalactites and curtain rocks, glow worms, and an amazing entrance. Super knowledgeable and responsive guide, small group of 16, went at a good pace.

Cons: the whole cave experience is marketed as being accessible - and it’s simply not. After meeting at the sign in cabin, the tour charges off at speed down a shingle gravel road, which simply isn’t accessible for wheel chairs, or for those with mobility issues. My mum walks with a stick, and another man on the tour was also struggling to get down the hill. I had to walk ahead and ask the guide to slow down and accommodate their needs. A rollator would have to be carried.

Once in the cave, things appeared to get easier, but not always the case. Next issue was the metal grating walkways in much of the cave, which is not suitable for anyone walking with sticks or poles - they go straight through them. A wide based stick (like the ones with a large square base attachment) would be a work around. There are railings throughout 80% or the caves, but not throughout. Low lighting throughout would be a trip hazard for some. I made my mum walk at the front of the group, so she set the pace, and wasn’t trailing at the back. At the end of the tour, I had to drive down to the cave entrance as they were not able to get up the steep hill to the car park.

Don’t get me wrong, the cave experience was beautiful and the guide was super responsive when we spoke out, but we shouldn’t have had to. Inaccessible experiences like this which are mis-sold are a huge disappointment for both the disabled person and their carer/family, who end up shouldering the pressures of having to make things work, and the hurt and frustration it causes. This isn’t my first rodeo of accessibility disappointment and won’t be my last, but I’d hope for better here in Aotearoa.
Written 23 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ned
3 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Family
We visited Ruakuri Cave in January 2024 and highly recommend it, with some caveats. We've been to Waitomo Caves a couple of times before, but chose Ruakuri this time because we were travelling with my 80yo mum who is not very mobile - wheelchair access was a key reason we chose Ruakuri as she would not be able to manage Waitomo and the boat trip. The cave itself is amazing - all the usual cave formations as well as running water and glimpses of the river below. There are glow worms - not as many as Waitomo but still impressive and you get very close. Our guides - Alex and Kelly - were brilliant, very knowledgeable and friendly. We made the booking having established that a wheelchair was available - however, it was not suitable. It's wonderful that there is wheelchair access, and wonderful that a wheelchair is available, but on the way back my mum had to get out and walk on a couple of occasions as it was too difficult to push the wheelchair uphill on sections of the path. The wheelchair had a brake that was only accessible from the front , which means I couldn't use it (the path is too narrow to get around the wheelchair to get to the brake). But the biggest problem was the handles - they had no grips or surface to push against and in the end we needed help pushing the wheelchair up the spiral ramp. It's a shame that a wheelchair accessible cave really isn't accessible with the wheelchairs that are on site - we enjoyed our visit but half way through we all wished we hadn't started the tour.
Written 11 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cate S
Seattle, WA5 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Friends
Family friendly tour. Couples with young children will probably enjoy this tour with lots of time spent around Stalactites and limestone formations and plenty of time with questions for the kiddos to answer such as "what does this look like" and plenty of time to hear all of their responses. I think the kids on the tour probably had a fun time but as a couple of middle-age adults without kids, there were moments that felt like a bit too much dawdling time. The cave is full of interesting formations but as far as viewing glowworms goes, the glowworm portion of the tour was pretty brief and in only in a small area, and for some reason, the tour guide had the lights on the majority of the time in that section of the cave so it seemed like less than a minute that you get to see the glowworms. The young man leading the tour was friendly and fairly knowledgeable and the spiral staircase down to the cave was unique; however, in the end, the tour felt overly expensive for what it was and moved at a bit of a slow pace, except for when viewing glowworms.
Written 2 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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