Discover nature's interior decorations !
A guide will take you along safe boardwalks into narrow chambers to see the finest cave formations of all the caves in Waitomo. The high chambers, magnificent limestone formations and the pale brown, pink and white shades of the huge stalactites in the Aranui Cave are truly spectacular
As you enter, the first cavern in the Aranui Cave is called the Butcher Shop and was named this following the discovery by the local Maori pig-hunter Ruruku Aranui. Other key points of interest include the Cathedral Majestic, The Temple of Peace and the Eastern Scene in Aladdins Cave. Aranui Cave is home to one of the largest stalactites, which is estimated to be 2.5 metric tons and 6 meters long.
Just inside the entrance to Aranui is a colony of cave wetas - large insects unique to New Zealand, which date back to the dinosaur age. Wetas are closely related to the cricket and locust and the word literally translates from Maori as the 'ugly one' or the spiny one.
Cave wetas differ from other wetas in the size of their limbs and antennae, in relation to their bodies. They have very long legs and antennae, to help them find their way around their dark habitat. They do have eyes but these are only really used to avoid light. Leaving the Aranui Cave at night they will forage on the forest floor for food. If there is a full moon, they will not leave the shelter of the cave as there is too much light.
Children below 4 years old are free of charge.
Family Pass is for 2 adults and 2 children.
Bring comfortable walking shoes and a warm jacket.
Aranui cave has no wheelchair access and is therefore not suitable for visitors with mobility problems.
This tour operates with a maximum group size of 20 persons.
15-minute wilderness trek
All our card payments are protected by thawte to give you peace of mind.
Location and direction
Waitomo Glowworm Caves Visitor Center
Alternative Meeting Point:
The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co.
Aranui Cave Departure Times:
Daily between 09:30 to 16:30 with departures every 30 minutes from October to February.
Daily between 10:00 to 14:00 and 15:30 with departures every hour from March to September.
Duration: Approximately 45 minutes.
Price & Options
Photography and video recording are allowed inside the Aranui Cave.
Smoking, bringing of food, drinks or pets are not permitted inside the cave. Management reserves the right to refuse entry to the caves.
This activity is not wheelchair accessible.
Proof of age for children between ages 4 and 14 years old.
Sweatshirt / light jacket
A complimentary shuttle bus runs, however due to limited capacity during peak season may require some customers to self-drive to the cave entrance, 5 kilometers from the visitor center.
The activity schedule is subject to change or cancellation due to weather or traffic conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Any cancellations made between 1 business days (09:00:00 local time) to business days (09:00:00 local time) prior to the activity will be subject to a charge of 100% of the total amount.
Any cancellations made after the booking confirmation date will be subject to a charge of 100% of the total amount.
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