Black Water Rafting Experience Waitomo Caves Tour

Waitomo Caves, New Zealand
Black Water Rafting Waitomo Caves Tour

From US$103.43

Select Date and Travelers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 5 hours
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Go Waitomo black-water rafting (cave tubing) for a memorable adventure in the Waitomo Caves. Choose a 3-hour Labyrinth experience that takes you floating underground on an inner tube, including a small waterfall jump. Or upgrade to the 5-hour Black Abyss for an exhilarating abseil (rappel) down limestone walls; instruction and equipment included. The resident glowworms, stalactites and stalagmites will amaze you! Finish with a hot shower, soup and bagel.
  • Fun and exhilarating, this caving adventure will have you floating, squeezing and leaping over cascading underground waterfalls
  • Choose between the Labyrinth tour, a 3-hour cave tubing adventure or the 5-hour Black Abyss tour for the ultimate thrill
  • Includes all necessary equipment
  • Wetsuits and footwear will be provided

What's Included

  • Abseiling techniques training (if option chosen)
  • The use of equipment such as tubes, wetsuits, boots, helmets, abseiling devices (if option chosen) and safety equipment
  • Complimentary hot shower
  • Entry to Waitomo Cave Museum
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel pickup and drop off
  • Food and drinks, unless specified

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting point

  • The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co, Waitomo
    585 Waitomo Caves Road, Waitomo Caves 3977, New Zealand

    Departure Point: The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co, 585 Waitomo Caves Road, Waitomo 3977 Return point: Returns to original departure point

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

What To Expect

Start your black-water tubing adventure in Waitomo. An expert guide ensures you’re properly equipped with gear — including wetsuit and inner tube — and offers some technical instruction before you descend into the underground network at Waitomo Caves. 

If you choose The Labyrinth, you’ll experience walking and caving along with a small waterfall jump. Upgrade to The Black Abyss and start your invigorating journey with a rappel into the subterranean playground with your guide while suited up in helmet, boots and safety equipment. (See options below.)

Prepare to be awed by a magnificent display of glowworms in addition to stalactites and stalagmites that decorate the cavern walls as you traverse through the black water. At the end of your exhilarating journey through Waitomo’s vaulted limestone galleries, enjoy a hot shower, hearty soup and bagel.

The Labyrinth (3 Hours)Float on your inner tube through the remarkable underground river system at Waitomo Caves. Ride a stream that twists and turns through a canyon, and tumble down a hidden waterfall and rock slide before emerging into the sun-dappled Waitomo forest.

The Black Abyss (5 Hours)Those with a moderate level of fitness can up the ante on this Waitomo tubing adventure. After abseiling training and practice with your guide, you’ll rappel 121 feet (37 meters) into the black water–filled abyss. Enjoy adrenaline-fueled fun as you clamber down, float through the canyon and scramble up waterfalls before resurfacing into daylight.

The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co.

3 hours Admission Ticket Free

Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Admission Ticket Free

Ruakuri Cave

5 hours Admission Ticket Free

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Due to high demand and limited capacity if you are late or miss your scheduled tour time your ticket(s) are forfeited and non refundable. New bookings will incur the full tour cost and are subject to availability
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • You must check in 30 minutes before the tour departs
  • Please note: the minimum age for following tours are:
  • The Black Abyss: 16 years of age
  • The Labyrinth: 12 years of age
  • Near public transportation
  • Please note: the Black Labyrinth tour is a beginner level caving adventure, almost anyone can give it a go!
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • Bring swimwear & a towel
  • All participants on this tour must weigh at least 45 kilograms
  • Water temperature is approximately 10 degrees Celsius
  • 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.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Traveler Photos

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Featured review
Super friendly and fun tour guides who were a blast to be with. This tour was so much more fun and interactive than simply walking through a cave, they get you abseiling/rappelling, zip lining, jumping off ledges into water, and free climbing up waterfalls! Oh, and the glowworms were incredible! My only warning would be to avoid going in the winter if you get cold easily - the wetsuits helped some but the cave water (that you spend a LOT of time in and around) was frigid!!


166 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 166 reviews
Best tour ever
Aditi_R, Sept 2023
It's the best tour I have done till today. Totally adventurous and everything was planned so well. Surely not to miss must do.
Awesome Caving Adventure
Aaron_K, Aug 2023
Super friendly and fun tour guides who were a blast to be with. This tour was so much more fun and interactive than simply walking through a cave, they get you abseiling/rappelling, zip lining, jumping off ledges into water, and free climbing up waterfalls! Oh, and the glowworms were incredible! My only warning would be to avoid going in the winter if you get cold easily - the wetsuits helped some but the cave water (that you spend a LOT of time in and around) was frigid!!
Fun in all weather!
Rachel_M, Apr 2023
This was the highlight to our rainy NZ North Island trip. Regardless of the weather and the cold, it was such a fun and thrilling experience. The staff were super friendly, knowledgeable and accommodating to my 5-month pregnant body.
Super cool way to experience the caves
Meixuan_G, Apr 2023
Abseiling down into the cave after clear training and instructions from Cieran (and help from Tim at the bottom), zip lining, tubing through the ice cold water to soft “waves” and sharing from Tim while staring up at the glow worms in the caves. The 2 snacks in between definitely helped keep our energy levels up as it was really really freezing. All in all a super fun experience!
Best caving trip
Clare_M, Apr 2023
This trip was amazing and the guides were really helpful. Hot chocolate and cockie while floating down stream while watching the glow worms! Awesome!
Awesome experience! LOVED IT ALL, even the cold water! :)
LEINAALA_M, Apr 2023
First time ever being underground on a tube! LOVED IT! Seeing the glow worms there was incredible! Really enjoyed this activity! Tour guides, Bea and Cally, were awesome! So much energy that you couldn't help but have a good time! Mahalo, ladies! Keep up the great work and continue to share your wonderful personalities!!!
What’s fun day!
Deanne_L, Mar 2023
Was an amazing experience. Our guides Cali and Astrid were fun and engaging making our trip that much better. I’d highly recommend this experience. So fun!
Adrenaline rush!!
Sallie_C, Mar 2023
Not what I expected. Didn’t realize we were in individual inner tubes. The adrenaline rush was like driving a NASCAR car, zip lining in Maui and riding the highest roller coaster all at once!! Yippee!
Not as advertised
ericacorin, Mar 2023
The experience is not exactly what is advertised. The majority of the experience is walking / crawling through a cave. Viewing the glow worms and floating is only a small fraction of the experience. If you are uncomfortable with small and tight spaces, please know there will be multiple times where you may be uncomfortable during this experience. While equipment is provided, the quality is subpar and not cleaned well.
What an amazing experience. A true Jewel
Joseph_I, Mar 2023
My partner and I didn't expect to enjoy this experience as much as we did. We went with the Abyss tour, and if you aren't claustrophobic and are of at least average physical abilities, you should choose NOTHING else! Our tour started off a bit chaotically as the guides seemed young and we weren't sure how safe our abseiling (rappelling) would be. Once the actual instruction started it was clear that our guide's age and jovial nature belied their impressive skills. We were put very much at ease. I won't spoil the tour for folks here, since it's an incredible experience but we found it adventurous and calming! Big thanks to Max, Lydia, and Becs for making this one of our most favorite things we did in New Zealand.
Looking for some extra glow in our lives
Ruth_K, Mar 2023
Just loved this tour. Most memorable experience... floating in darkness looking up at glowworms. Matt and Max were awesome guides :) Thank you
Easily the coolest thing I've ever done!
Nicole_H, Mar 2023
This is an experience like no other. To start out rappelling/abseiling down into the cave, swimming around to explore and then a lazy river-style float - completely amazing time. Our guides were the best - so fun and so knowledgeable about the area and the cave. I felt so safe and our entire group had so much fun getting to know each other and spending the day together. I recommended this to at least 5 other people while I was still in NZ!
A unique and once in a...
Courtney_A, Feb 2023
A unique and once in a lifetime experience. I had an amazing time. The guides were great. I highly recommend.
Great Experience and well led !
Peter_B, Feb 2023
Very experienced Hosts with great information on the caves and the glow worms ! Wetsuits made the experience very comfortable
Black Abyss review
Henry_W, Dec 2022
We attempted the Black Abyss package that promised even beginners are able to attempt and enjoy; but the experience taught us otherwise. The currents were a tad strong and we found ourselves struggling as novice swimmer/hiker. Photos taken of us in action are kind of limited, though the glow worms did not disappoint.
Action packed,...
kelly_n, Dec 2022
Action packed, challenging, great fun, very professional, awesome caves, floating along under glow-worms was very special. Bucket list experience!
Thrilling experience!
Amanda_M, Dec 2022
What an experience! My husband and I did this tour on our honeymoon. This included abseiling down into the cave, swimming aided by an tube upriver, then (mostly) floating downriver under a ‘sky’ of glow worms. Climbing back up out of the cave through 2 waterfalls and short hike back to the van. The tour company provides all equipment and instruction. They are very clearly experts at this experience. We had a blast and will never forget it! Recommend a good level of fitness for this; and I’m short and did have trouble at times scaling and touching the floor of the cave.
Excellent experience; missing photos
William_M, Dec 2022
Experience was great! Highlight of NZ. Only complaint is that I haven’t yet received a link to the photos the guide took of us during the trip (bring your own camera is not recommended since you’ll get very wet). Not sure if this because I booked through Viator rather than from the tour group directly
Our guides were...
Irene_H, Dec 2022
Our guides were incredible. Knowledgeable, accommodating, and looked out for everyone. Made the entire trip fun.
Glow worms are maggots
Jason_D, Nov 2022
More intense than expected but so fun! The guides were awesome. Memories: Riding down the water in the dark while viewing glow worms and jumping off ledges backwards with our floaters on our bum!