Find buses Rotorua to Waitomo Caves with InterCity. The journey from Rotorua to Waitomo Caves takes approximately two hours 25 minutes and departs from the Rotorua i-SITE located at 1167 Fenton St at 7.45am. 

During your Rotorua to Waitomo Caves bus trip you can enjoy an informative commentary from a local driver guide and take an optional guided tour of the Waitomo Glowworm Caves when you arrive.

On this 45-minute tour you will learn how formations like the Catacombs, the Pipe Organ and the Banquet Chamber got their names; stand in the Cathedral, the largest of the caverns with excellent acoustics; and look into the Tomo – a 16-metre vertical shaft created by an ancient waterfall – to see the Waitomo River far below.

The highlight of the tour is a boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto. This cavern is illuminated by thousands of tiny glowworms, their twinkling lights creating a breathtakingly beautiful effect as you glide along the underground river below.

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About Waitomo Caves

The Waitomo Caves were discovered in the late 1800s by local Māori chief Tane Tinorau, who owned the land on which they were located. Tinorau and surveyor Fred Mace explored the caves together in 1887, floating in on a raft of flax flower stalks. Tinorau later found an entrance to the caves on land, which is the same entry point used today.

The caves were opened to tourists in 1889, with local Māori acting as guides. Many of the staff working at the caves today are direct descendants of Chief Tane Tinorau and his wife Huti, as the cave and its lands were returned to his family in 1989, following a period of government administration.

You can visit Waitomo Caves on a day tour fromRotorua and take a 45-minute guided tour of the caves, including an incredible boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto.

Or try the Black water rafting tours from Rotorua. This  includes travel to and from Waitomo, the three-hour Black Labyrinth cave tubing tour in the Ruakuri Caves, plus a delicious lunch of fish and chips.

You can also combine two of the North Island's most popular attractions with a Hobbiton and Waitomo day tour.

To learn more about the caves visit