ROTORUA – WAITOMO (via Cambridge)
Travel Distance is approximately 166kms (103 miles).
Allow at least 2 hours & 45 minutes drive time (not including stops).
Part of the Thermal Explorer Highway.
After enjoying a hearty breakfast in Rotorua, prepare yourself for a change of scenery as you continue on your self-drive journey along the Thermal Explorer Highway into New Zealand’s horse racing capital… Cambridge.
From Cambridge you will enjoy an ever-changing rural spectacle of Waikato countryside, including lush farmland and towering forests before arriving at the magical limestone glowworm caves in Waitomo.
Some notable stops along the route to Waitomo include:
The quaint township of Cambridge is also referred to as the ‘Town of Trees’ and is located in the heart of the Waikato’s affluent horse breeding district. Meander the village and enjoy the relaxed country atmosphere, lovely tree lined streets and a lovely selection of well preserved heritage buildings. At the village you can shop for antiques and art, attend a horse show and enjoy the local restaurants.
The Waitomo region is famous for ancient limestone caves and is one of New Zealand’s most popular natural tourist attractions while providing loads of adventure in the form of caving, blackwater rafting, abseiling, horseriding quad-biking and much more.
Highly recommended Waitomo Caves tourist attractions include…
Otorohanga Kiwi House & Native Bird Park – Here is your opportunity to view a huge range of reptiles and indigenous birds of New Zealand. Take a guided walk through displays of wetland areas, birds of prey, forest birds, tuatara, geckos and see a Kiwi!
Ruakuri Caves – Welcome to a spiritual world of mystery and intrigue as you delve down into the caves on a guided journey of natural wonders, including glowworms, stalactite straws, flowstone and majestic underground formations.
Billy Black’s Kiwi Culture Show – The hour long “Kiwi Culture Show” is a popular visitor attraction at Woodlyn Park, showcasing Kiwi humour combined with audience participation for a truly fun-packed show. Don’t miss the demonstrations of tree felling, live explosions, the famous dancing pig, a kiwi bear, sheep shearing and farm dogs working.
Waitomo Museum of Caves – This award winning museum is ‘must’ for all visitors before doing a Waitomo Cave tour. Popular with all the family, learn about caves and geological marvels through interactive displays, giant fossils, multi-media shows and much more.
Black Water Rafting – Imagine going down into spectacular caves and navigating through underground networks with streams, hidden waterfalls and rocky chutes on a guided tour with a black tube! Sounds crazy but incredibly popular with all ages.
Waitomo is fast developing a name for great eco-tourism, outdoor adventure and dramatic scenery. Accommodation and dining options continue to increase ensuring a wide variety of services are available to meet most budgets and expectations.
New Zealand Itineraries: North Island Suggested Itineraries
Our modern self-drive travel Itineraries have routes specifically for the North Island as well as the South Island, ranging from 5 to 11 days, plus there are some travel routes that take in both the North and South Island’s. Our range of travel itineraries include information regarding travel distances and time to ensure that you can make the best of your time in New Zealand, no longer how short your visit!
- 5 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Rotorua, Rotorua – Taupo, Taupo – Waitomo Caves and Waitomo Caves – Auckland
- 6 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Coromandel, Coromandel – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Rotorua and Rotorua – Auckland
- 6 Day Itinerary (route 2): Auckland – Dargaville, Dargaville – Kaitaia, Kaitaia – Paihia, Paihia – Whangarei and Whangarei – Auckland
- 7 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Rotorua, Rotorua – Taupo, Taupo – Napier and Napier – Wellington
- 8 Day Itinerary: Wellington, Wellington – Masterton, Masterton – Wellington, Wellington – Nelson, Nelson – Blenheim and Blenheim – Christchurch
- 9 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Coromandel, Coromandel – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Gisborne, Gisborne – Napier, Napier – Taupo, Taupo – Rotorua, Rotorua – Waitomo Caves and Waitomo Caves – Auckland
- 9 Day Itinerary (route 2): Auckland – Whangarei, Whangarei – Paihia, Paihia – Hokianga, Hokianga – Auckland, Auckland – Rotorua, Rotorua – Taupo, Taupo – Waitomo Caves and Waitomo Caves – Auckland
- 11 Day Itinerary: Auckland – Whitianga, Whitianga – Tauranga, Tauranga – Rotorua, Rotorua – Gisborne, Gisborne – Napier, Napier Taupo Napier, Napier – Wellington, Wellington – New Plymouth, New Plymouth – Waitomo and Waitomo Caves – Auckland