The Waitomo Caves are in the King Country, a region located in the west of the central North Island.
The caves can be reached in just under three hours from Auckland, or around two hours from Rotorua, and your journey will take you through some of New Zealand’s prime farming country.
Driving Distances to Waitomo Caves
Auckland to Waitomo - 220 km (136 miles)
Rotorua to Waitomo - 160 km (100 miles)
Wellington to Waitomo - 435km (270 miles)
Travelling as part of an organised tour is a great way to visit Waitomo Caves. Local guides will provide you with a fascinating insight into the history of the King Country region, and travelling up high in a touring coach will also give you excellent views across the rolling hillside, something often missed by car. Several coach companies operate daily tours to Waitomo including New Zealand's largest, GreatSights New Zealand.
Highly regarded and rated by Qualmark, New Zealand tourism’s official mark of quality, GreatSights offers an excellent range of sightseeing day tours to Waitomo Caves. Tours depart daily from Auckland and Rotorua. Glowworm Express tours travel direct to the Caves, while other tour options incorporate other tourist attractions, such as Rotorua and the Hobbiton movie set. Find sightseeing day tour options on the GreatSights New Zealand website.
InterCity Coachlines operates New Zealand's most comprehensive bus network and provides daily services from Auckland or Rotorua to Waitomo Caves. Travel can be purchased as bus only option or you can choose to add on a tour of the caves and other extras. Find great deals on travel options on the InterCity website.
If you’re making your way around New Zealand independently, be sure to check out InterCity’s range of New Zealand bus passes for travellers on a budget.
Flexipass is one of the most popular and used by students, backpackers and regular travellers alike. The pass is based on hours of travel and provides access to InterCity’s entire national network as well as sightseeing day trips to all the main attractions. Another popular transport pass is Flexitrips which also provides nationwide bus travel. Passes are valid for 12 months, giving you the freedom to travel where you want and at your own pace.