Black Water Rafting. © Hamilton Waikato

Five picks for a weekend in Waitomo

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Get outdoors and experience the underground and overground delights of Waitomo.

1. Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari

Savour the sound of native birdsong while strolling through pristine native bush. Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari is an ecological reserve surrounded by the world’s longest pest-proof fence. The peak of Maungatautari provides panoramic views and a chance for a well-deserved rest after mastering mountain and mud. Stop in at the visitor centre to learn about the volunteers and their efforts that make the sanctuary possible.

2. Ruakuri Caves

After ascending the highest peak in Waitomo, it’s only fitting to descend into the darkest cave. Float along the underground river that runs through the Ruakuri Caves and gaze at the display of glowworms that give the impression of a starry night sky.

3. Marokopa Falls

A short 10 minute bush walk will take you to a viewing platform overlooking the 30m-high Marokopa Falls. The spectacular falls are particularly beautiful – and particularly loud – after it has rained. Which it does quite a bit in Waitomo.

Marokopa Falls, Waitomo, Waikato

A post shared by Images Abound Photography (@imagesabound) on Sep 6, 2017 at 12:04am PDT

4. Mangapohue Land Bridge

The Mangapohue Land Bridge is a spectacular limestone arch, spanning the Mangapohue Stream. It’s the only rock formation still standing of what was once a mammoth cave system. The short walk also leads to fossils preserved in the limestone – a tell-tale sign of its age.

NZ nature, just can't beat it. Constantly in awe in my own country 🌱 #beauty #PureNewZealand #DestinationNZ

A post shared by Erica Sinclair (@ericaphotog) on Jun 26, 2017 at 1:30am PDT

5. Lost World Cave

Venture into Waitomo’s spectacular Lost World Cave to discover another world. Beginning with a 100m abseil through the cavernous space that takes around 20 minutes, the experience is not for the faint-hearted. Lush New Zealand bush, massive caverns and glowworms abound.

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