Our Rotorua Waitomo Day Tour gives you the best of New Zealand Nature and Maori Culture in one fabulous day…

Just a few hours south of Auckland lie some of New Zealand’s most unique places: Geothermal and Maori culture-rich Rotorua and the majestic and awe-inspiring Waitomo Caves.

Rotorua Waitomo Day Tour

Experience Maori culture, boiling mud pools, geysers, Kiwi birds, and glow-worm caves in one memorable day.


We make an early start from Auckland, driving through the Bombay Hills and then along the picturesque Waikato River, enjoying rolling hills and lush farmland on our way to Rotorua.

Arriving in Rotorua it is soon apparent that this is a unique region where geothermal activity is evident from the steam appearing on the hills, the parks and the lakefront.  A local guide takes us through Te Whakarewarewa Maori Village. Here we experience the unique ways Maoris have adapted to live in Rotorua with ample natural hot water springing from the ground which they use for cooking and for bathing.  At the village we have a traditional Maori Hangi lunch, witness the thermal activity and geysers of the Whakarewarewa thermal valley and experience an authentic Maori Culture performance including the Maori Haka an ancient type of war dance or challenge, these days used in important ceremonies and celebrations.

We then continue our tour of Rotorua to experience thermal activity up close in Kuirau Park. This is a public park within the city limits but unlike city parks elsewhere in the world, this one is dotted with mud pools and steam vents reminding us that Rotorua has some unexpected treasures. We then drive by the historic lakeside Maori settlement of Ohinemutu and continue on through the picturesque and historical Government Gardens.

Our trip to Rotorua weaves together the fascinating Geology, rich Maori Culture and Colonial beginnings of this region that make Rotorua a unique destination.

Waitomo Caves

We then leave Rotorua and head west. As an option we can visit the Otorohanga Kiwi House to see New Zealand’s famous but shy flightless bird. Kiwis are nocturnal so they might be asleep when we visit!

We continue on to Waitomo Valley, gateway to the spectacular Waitomo Caves. Under the farmland of the Waitomo area lies a network of caves, sinkholes and underground rivers. The caves were carved by underground streams shaping the soft limestone over thousands of years. Many of the caves have amazing stalactites and stalagmites built gradually over centuries from minerals contained in water that trickles through the caves. But what makes these caves truly unique is the the glow worm, Arachnocampa luminosa. These little creatures are unique to New Zealand. Thousands of them line the cave walls radiating their unmistakable luminescent light like little, tiny fairy lights.

During your tour, a local expert guide provides a fascinating commentary on the Waitomo Caves’ history and geology as you explore the caves on foot and by boat. The gentle boat ride takes you silently down a peaceful underground stream lit only by the millions of tiny glow-worms lining the walls and roof of the cave. Truly awe-inspiring.

Waitomo was one of New Zealand’s original tourist destination. Its popularity has endured and you’ll soon understand why. Lonely Planet calls the Waitomo Caves a ‘must do’.

We make our way back to Auckland through more picturesque countryside. Join us on this spectacular sightseeing tour and experience New Zealand’s unique cultural heritage and its natural wonders in one memorable day.

Rotorua Waitomo Day Tour – Highlights

  • Te Whakarewarewa Maori Village with a guided tour
  • Maori culture show including the Haka
  • Traditional Maori Hangi lunch
  • Kuirau Park with its boiling mud pools
  • The picturesque historical settlement of Ohinemutu
  • Lake Rotorua and Government Gardens
  • Kiwi House at Otorohanga – Optional $10 extra charge
  • Waitomo Glow worm cave tour with subterranean boat journey

Tour Information:

Operates: Daily except 25th & 26th December

Price: $385 per person
(Children 3-12 years: $225)
All prices in New Zealand dollars

Price includes free pick-up from central Auckland hotels, admissions and hangi lunch. Other refreshments at own expense.

Times: Central Auckland 6.30am to 7.30pm

Note: Optional – Otor0hanga Kiwi House $10 extra charge

If you haven’t seen a tour to match exactly what you are looking for, visit our private tours – we’re sure to be able to design an Auckland tour to suit you perfectly.

Ka Kite Ano (see you soon),
The Milestone Tours team