"How to get to the Waitomo Caves" Top 5 Page for this destination Waitomo Caves Favorite Tip by Kakapo2
Waitomo Caves Favorites: 8 reviews and 4 photos
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The problem with the Waitomo Caves is that they do not really lie on the direct tourist routes and are a detour at most times – despite not being really far away from some of the main centres.
Auckland is about 200 kilometres or a 2.5 hours drive north of Waitomo.
Hamilton is the nearest centre, just a one hour drive away.
To/from Rotorua, Taupo and Mt. Ruapehu it takes about 2 hours.
There are some back country roads leading to the Caves but the easiest way is to approach them on SH 3, whether from the south or north, and then turn onto SH 37 at Hangatiki (SH 37), between Te Kuiti and Otorohanga. Waitomo is well sign-posted.
You can also join the hordes of tourists who take bus tours, mainly from Auckland but also from Rotorua, but you are better off and more flexible if you have your own transportation.
To give you an idea how much the bus tours cost (price as April 2011):
Ex Rotorua NZ$ 181 with Great Sights
Ex Auckland NZ$ 218 with Great Sights
Also day tours that go from/to Auckland/Rotorua via the Waitomo Caves.
Travelling to Waitomo by public transport is a bit of a mission. Well, not if you intend a return trip to Auckland or Rotorua.
BTW When a bus company lists the i-site at Waitomo township as the bus stop it is at the Waitomo Caves.
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