Rotorua and Waitomo Caves Day Trip from Auckland

Auckland Central, New Zealand

From US$263.26

Select Date and Travelers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 13 hours (approx.)
  • Pickup offered
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Take in two of New Zealand’s top attractions in one day on this Rotorua and Waitomo Caves day trip from Auckland. Visit Rotorua with a guide and take in key sites including Te Puia and the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute. After lunch, admire fine views over Lake Rotorua on route to the famous Waitomo Caves. During your boat ride, gain insight into the caves’ geological significance and marvel at the luminescent glow worms illuminating the dark caves.
  • Rotorua and Waitomo Caves small-group tour from Auckland
  • Discover top sites of interest in Rotorua such as Te Puia and the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute
  • Enjoy sweeping views over Lake Rotorua
  • Take a boat ride through the Waitomo Caves — widely considered New Zealand’s top attraction
  • Gain insight into the caves’ geology and watch as the glowworms illuminate the cave walls
  • Tour includes pickup and drop-off from your Auckland hotel

What's Included

  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Transport by air-conditioned minivan
  • Live commentary on board
  • Local taxes
  • Cafe Lunch (vegetarian and gluten-free options available)
  • Luxury minibus , leather seating - extra legroom
  • Morning and afternoon tea (additional expense)
  • Personal expenses

Meeting And Pickup

Pickup points

Select a pickup point

Start time

06:25 AM

Pickup details

We pickup for free at all Central Auckland accomodation, hotels, apartments, etc. We only go to the hotels/accomodation which are booked for that day. We also offer a subsidised shuttle service for people staying our of the city centre to bring them to meet the tour coach. Please liaise with us re where you are to be picked up. It is essential you get in contact with this information as soon as possible. Guaranteed departure - WE HAVE BEEN FORCED TO TEMPORARILY SUSPEND OUR POLICY “We guarantee to travel for one person” due to low numbers and sustained losses caused by Covid19. Until further notice we will need a minimum of 4 people (or price equivalent) to run tours We promise quality and personal service in spacious vehicles

What To Expect

New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute

30 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Lake Rotorua (Pass By)

Te Puia

2 hours Admission Ticket Included

Waitomo Glowworm Caves

1 hour Admission Ticket Included

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking, unless booked within 1 day of travel. In this case confirmation will be received as soon as possible, subject to availability
  • Small-group tour
  • Infant meals not included
  • Infant seats are required by law in NZ in private vehicles for children under 7 years. We recommend the same standard be applied for your child's safety and have them available in all vehicles.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Infant seats available
  • Most travelers can participate
  • Tour is not suitable for children under 2 years to travel with group - private tours can be arranged on request
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

Traveler Photos

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Featured review
All of it great scenery, comfortable bus, tour guide was very good and the attractions were fantastic.


14 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 14 reviews
We enjoyed looking at the...
Bronwen_D, May 2023
We enjoyed looking at the Maori arts and crafts, the geysers, the lunch was exceptional and we especially loved the glow worm cave boat ride.
Narelle_K, Apr 2023
All of it great scenery, comfortable bus, tour guide was very good and the attractions were fantastic.
Frustrated expectations
Our expectations were frustrated. Too long trips (8h in a disconfortable van, out and back to Auckland), troughout boring and repetitive landscapes, to see few and quick atractions. Despite the interesting guided tour at Te Puia, if you wish to have true contact with the Maori culture, for sure this tour is not a good pick.
Response from Host, Apr 2023
I am sorry you did not enjoy your day and found the scenery boring. I am also not sure why you found the van uncomfortable as we have so many reviews to the opposite. We carry far less people in the vehicles than most and create extra legroom by putting in one less row of seats than normal. Te Puia is run by the Māori Trust and a full Māori board who do the best they can to represent Māori traditions and modern Māori life. New Zealand is a much larger country than most people realise and round trip Auckland, Rotorua, Waitomo is around 550km. We strongly recommend a minimum of 2 day tours to keep the travel to a minimum and to be able experience more. About 15% of our customers choose longer tours and we get great reviews from people who travel less distance in a day and have more quality time to explore and also to add activities such as a cultural show. I hope you enjoyed the rest of you time in NZ
Great Day of Exploration
Mel_C, Apr 2023
We had a wonderful experience. The informed tour guides made the long drive even more worthwhile infusing local information with detailed facts. The events at the Routora Mauri Arts and Crafts Institute were historic with gysers, mud ponds and national wildlife however the talented skills of the institute were beyond words. The trip to the caves was much more than promised as our group sang in the caves and watched the glowworks in action. You NEED to see this stuff.
Geysers and Glow Worms
Charvet_C, Apr 2023
I enjoyed both sites and both driver/ guides. You would join up with other groups traveling to see what you were going to see. I really came to NZ to see the glow worms, which I loved. Yet I am so glad that I was able to see the geysers. BYAS jstojak spent the day before at the war museum, so some of the Māori info was repeated. However, that was not the tours fault. Get ready for a long day filled with informative sights and dazzling glow worms! Tip: Don't sit in the very back. It is a bit bumpy.
Two amazing sites
CarmenG_L, Feb 2023
Amazing small group trip to view the Geothermal Reserve and the Te Puia geyser and mud pot valley. It was well guided and interesting (a very small Yellowstone). BTW, the lunch here was an excellent buffet. We then drove to the Waitomo Caves to experience the Caves and glowworms. The glowworms are unique and BEAUTIFUL. Well worth the long drive from Auckland.
Glow Worms and Geysers!
Gayle_T, Jan 2023
Excellent tour and driver/guide! Timely, friendly, helpful. Great tour to really interesting places. The glow worms in the caves are amazing; the bubbling mud and erupting geysers at Te Puia were spectacular, and the other stops along the way were all just great. A wonderful day - thanks!
Response from Host, Jan 2023
Thankyou for the great feedback
Bubbling Above And Glowing Beneath
Kim_M, Jan 2023
I really loved the Rotorua and Waitomo Caves Day Trip. The tour directors were very knowledgeable and made the tours fun. In Rotorua we visited the geysers, saw a kiwi and visited the Māori School of Crafts. We were given a delicious buffet lunch and had lots of time to shop for souvenirs. Waitomo Caves blew my mind with its beauty and is a must for anyone travelling to Auckland. I would definitely recommend these tours.
Response from Host, Jan 2023
I am glad that your 2 stop tour gave you enough time to see everything - I hope the rest of your time in NZ was just as interesting
Long but awesome day
Linda_M, Oct 2022
A fascinating day from start to finish. The van was comfortable and we appreciated the small group size which encouraged getting acquainted with fellow tourists from around the world. Both drivers were cordial and full of information. The geothermal sights at Rotorua were awesome, and the rain only enhanced the mystery. Viewing the craft training areas and talking with the craftspeople gave us a deeper appreciation for the skill and deep cultural learning that go into the stone and wood carvings and weddings of the Māori people. The caves and glow worms were a beautiful finish to a great day of exploration. Our only complaint is the long day of driving to reach the sites, but despite the rain the countryside was beautiful and our excellent drivers made good time. Big thanks to Chris for delivering my left behind jacket to our hotel!
A truly remarkable experience
David_S, Apr 2019
With all the choices for trips and only one day to do them we chose to do the Waitomo caves and Te Puia and the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute. The Waitomo caves were fascinating and so pleased we went. Although not the biggest caverns the Glowworms and our delightful guide "Y" made it truly special. We then drove to Te Puia to experince the thermal springs and geysers. We have a lovely buffet lunch and then explored the area. The geysers were inspirational! We were so caught up in watching the fascinating landscape we never made it to the Maori village, so we have something to do when we come back some day. Our tour guide Matt was great and a very safe driver which is certainly helpful as your spending a long day on the road but worth every minute. Thank you!
Response from Host, May 2019
Hi, Thank you for your review. Great to hear that our driver looked after you for your tour and was able to provide safe and professional driving as with all of our drivers they have many years of experience to be able to provide the best experience for you. Regards, Daniel
The scenery and caves were amazing...
Diane S, Mar 2018
The scenery and caves were amazing! This is a lovely day trip from Auckland!
Smooth booking , knowledgeable...
Ibijoke A, Dec 2015
Smooth booking , knowledgeable pilot, great views from the air. Highly recommended. Only drawback was the cost of getting there and back by taxi- helipad is not easily accessible by public transport.
What we saw was great however, we...
Patricia S, Nov 2015
What we saw was great however, we thought that if we kept our tours to two that we would spend more time at Rotorua. The tour company is called Flexi-Tour and they pride themselves on being flexible. We spend most of our time dropping off and picking up people who were doing other tours instead of spending more time at Rotorua. Would not have booked this tour if we had realized that we would not be spending more time at Rotorua and just more time in the van.

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