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Aranui Cave

Home > Rotorua > Adventure | Animals and Wildlife | Day Trips | Escape the City
by Reductio ad absurdum (subscribe)
I walk around Adelaide with a camera and a tripod. www.edmundkhoophotography.com Getty Images: https://tinyurl.com/ycg9zne3
Published January 11th 2016
Visit an interesting cave in a forest reserve
Two hours drive west of Rotorua, near Te Kuiti and only five minutes drive from the popular Waitomo and Ruakuri glow worm caves is Aranui Cave. It was named after a local Maori man, Ruruku Aranui, who discovered the cave system. In 1910, his dog chased a pig into the then unexplored cave and he subsequently returned to map out the cave by candlelight. Over the ensuing years the cave was developed into a tourist attraction.

Aranui Cave New Zealand Rotorua Te Kuiti Waitomo Weta stalactities stalagmites
Aranui Cave Stalactites


Unlike some of the other caves in the area, photography is permitted in Aranui cave. There are no glow worms in this particular cave, as the absence of running water results in too few insects in the air for glow worms to prey upon. There are however colonies of cave weta clinging to shadows on the walls.

Aranui Cave New Zealand Rotorua Te Kuiti Waitomo Weta stalactities stalagmites
A Cave Weta


Upon entering the cave, strategically positioned lighting illuminates and transilluminates countless stalactites, stalagmites, palisades, flowstones, straws, pools of clear water and columns. Twinkling droplets cast ripples over glassy pools of water. Walkways are present and guides conduct regular tours throughout the day while explaining the various features of the cave and its history.

Aranui Cave New Zealand Rotorua Te Kuiti Waitomo Weta stalactities stalagmites
Aranui Cave Stalactites


The Aranui cave is open from 10:00am to 3:00pm 7 days a week and closed on Christmas Day. Tours depart from a small park near the entrance and cost $46 NZD for adults and $21 NZD for children. A family pass (2 adults and 2 children) costs $115 NZD.

Two and three cave deals with Waitomo and Ruanui caves are also available.

Aranui Cave New Zealand Rotorua Te Kuiti Waitomo Weta stalactities stalagmites
Aranui Cave


If you're looking to visit a cave with an interesting history and where photography is permitted, the Aranui cave tour is well worth a visit.

Aranui Cave New Zealand Rotorua Te Kuiti Waitomo Weta stalactities stalagmites
Beautiful Speleothems

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Why? To visit a magnificent cave where photography is permitted
When: 10am to 3pm 7 days a week
Where: Near Te Kuiti, 2 hours drive west of Rotorua
Cost: The tour costs $46 NZD for adults and $21 NZD for children. A family pass (2 adults and 2 children) costs $115 NZD.
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