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Waitomo Glowworm Caves | New Zealand |

Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Before continuing our journey South from Rotorua, we had one more thing to see – the glowworm caves. It was on my list but I was doubting the choice – we’ve seen the glowworm cave near Brisbane, do we really want to do this again?

If you happen to have a similar thoughts in your head, stop right now. The answer is yes, you want to see this one. It’s a natural cave (not man-made stuff like the one in Queensland), it’s really big and it’s fun.

We also had a great guide on the day of our visit. We walked around in a small group, learned about the history and geology of the place and then had a boat tour in complete darkness with thousands of glowworms glowing over our heads. Amazing view!

Note: Photography is strictly forbidden, even non-flash. Bring warmer clothes, it’s much colder in the caves. Keep quiet and listen to your guide, they have many interesting stories to share. If you can sing prepare a song to sing in the cave (our group managed only some Aussie chants and the guide had to sing for us).

Tickets: adult $48, children (4-14) $21. For more details and bookings go to


The way South

Our next stop – on the South side of the Lake Taupo, was about 170km/2 hours away if we were driving the shortest way. But our gps decided for us it will show us some less popular routes. As a result we were driving between green hills on a road full of lichens that looked like it’s used very very rarely… (we didn’t see any other car there and even the cows looked at us surprised they see someone)

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Coffee stop (see the map below for the exact location)

First 30 minutes or so of the drive from Rotorua to Waitomo was the same as the one we did a day before to Hobbiton. We noticed then a small cafe there and decided to visit it the next day. It welcomed us with a cozy sofas near the fireplace (which was great, we felt very cold that morning). So instead of a quick take away, we stayed there and enjoyed the warmth.

Coffee (NZ$7.8 for two flat whites) was not too good, but very friendly lady that served it to us and the fireplace made the experience worth mentioning.

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Lunch (see the map below for the exact location)

Next to the Waitomo Caves ticket booths is a shop with souvenirs and a cafe. Thinking it’s a very touristy and slightly overpriced place, we decided to head back to the main road and find something else. Bosco Cafe caught our attention.

2 coffees, chicken burger and pasta of the day later we were very happy with our choice. Coffee was great, food flavoursome and really well done (we paid NZ$37.80). On top of that the place itself looked friendly and they also offer a free WiFi (you need to ask for the pass-code).

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Well fed and caffeinated we continued our way South, straight into very dark skies – so close to Mordor now….


The Map

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    River Birches, our stay near Taupo | New Zealand | | a matter of taste - food & travel bloga matter of taste – food & travel blog
    December 18, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    […] two big days of sightseeing (Hobbiton and Waitomo) it was time to head near Lake Taupo, relax, eat a great dinner and wake up the next day ready to […]

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