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Kiwi Cave Rafting Backpackers
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Waitomo Caves Hotel(Waitomo Caves)
US$90
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Reviewed 29 January 2012

we went as a large group of friends and couldnt get into some of our other black water rafting choices. As a rulle i dislike absailing and rockclimbing as im super scared of heights but i didnt want to miss out on the rafting and glowworms. Our guide was very easy going and turns out it was all good once your on the rope and cant see the ground :P the bit of caving was good as there was a tunnel that us fatties could fit thoough so i didnt have to try and fit through one of the tiny tunnels, get stuck, freak out and ruin the tour :D the glow worms were Amazing and through all of the tunnels, it was spectacular with the lights out and floating on the tubes with the only light coming from the worms. I was thrilled to see an eel, pity it wasnt the friendly one that can be patted, the other half of our group got to pat him though.

the rockclimbing looked worse than it was and was achieveable for someone of my size and fitness (large, short and not very). unfurtunately we didnt get a lot of good photos as they were blurry or had water over the lens but thats how it usually is with underwater cameras.

I left feeling very pleased with myself having done the rockclimbing caving and absailing along with the rafting and worms!!

really good value for money!!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank Minky C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 January 2012

This is totally worth going to do. My husband was sort of iffy about it, but when we were done he was totally happy I talked him into it. I tried to decide between the various cave tours and ended up going with Rap, raft, n rock because they were reasonably priced and seemed to do all the activities that the other tours mentioned.
We stayed the night elsewhere in Waitomo and arrived at the office for our tour at 745am. Simon greeted us very cheerfully and once the others for our tour arrived (3 others), we set off to the cave area to get dressed. you need to bring a bathing suit to wear under your clothes. make sure to bring dry clothes to put on afterward along with a towel. We had to wear thick wet suits, and gumboots. We then drove a bit farther to get to the actual cave. After practicing rappelling on flat ground we descended into the cave. This was so cool. I have done a lot of rappelling but going down into a cave with an underground river is a new experience. I recommend going slow and enjoying the view. We were quite lucky because we cam after a week of rain so the river at the bottom of the cave was high, but not too strong. Apparently in the summer the river gets quite low and it's not so much tubing down it as it is floating very very slowly. Once we were all at the bottom we hiked up river, over a cable crossing the river, through some tight squeezes and into a large glow worm cavern. The thing about the squeezes is that they were not required to get through the cave, it was just some added fun along the way. And they didn't make you do them if you didn't want to. there was one where you had to fully submerge under water and I chose not to do it because I didn't want to get cold, but my husband did it and said it was no big deal and fun.
IN the glow worm cavern it was quite amazing because you saw some glow worms on the ceiling but they react to loud noises (the vibrations) and glow brighter. Once they glow bright it lights up the whole cave where it was almost pitch black before. The we tubing down the river, like I said the current was pretty fast and it was a lot of fun. Some more squeeze, a break for hot drinks and chocolate and then hiked back up the river to the exit. the last bit was a rock climb back out the entrance, not challenging except you were basically climbing in rainboots. Overall it was a lot of fun. Our guide Simon was really funny and very knowledgeable about caving. I would definitely recommend this experience! The time flew by and I wished it were longer. I also wished there were a few more squeezes or that it was a bit more challenging (because I am small I fit through them all quite easily). Back at the changing rooms we showered and them drove back tot he office for hot soup and a slide show of the pictures our guide took. They were not the best quality pictures, but they only charged $20 for a cd which included some extra stock pictures of the cave. I think it was a good deal overall and a great experience.

Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
2  Thank sln6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 September 2011

My sister and I happened to drive past the sign for rap raft 'n' rock when we were campervanning through the north island of nz and popped in to enquire. It was late afternoon so we booked ourselves in to do the five hour expedition the next day and parked up in a camp site down the road for the night. The whole day was brilliant, incredible value for our money and lovely lovely people who are so passionate about the caves and know what they're talking about as they take you on the tour. It was spectacular. And you feel amazing afterwards. Couldn't recommend this any higher. Don't miss this, it's incredible.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank rleckey92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2011

We decided to stay here as a quick stop over after a match in New Plymouth as it was close to the Waitomo Caves. We were welcomed by a very helpful and friendly receptionist. It is shared accomodation but that only applies to the living area and bathroom. The rooms are separate and overall the place is very clean. Bring your own food as there is nothing around the area unless you have a car. Cannot fault this place and well worth staying if your looking for a cheap and clean place to stay.

  • Stayed: September 2011
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1  Thank oel159
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2011

My previous experience of caving had been in a dry bat cave walk in Thailand, and a short swim in a wet cave in Laos, neither of which required any gear or technique to enjoy. My boyfriend and I were looking for something exciting, adventurous and memorable to do to end the North island leg of our trip and this experience certainly exceeded our expectations!
We did the 5hr caving expedition with this company and it was an amazing experience! The staff were warm, friendly and totally professional yet charismatic and up for a good laugh, Mark was our group leader and was fab! Me and my partner (from UK) joined a group of 3 travellers (from US) and a single guy travelling (Ireland) to form the 6 taken on the trip. Everything was explained clearly and with safety in mind but what I loved was that they just get on with on it and you soon find you are doing highly adventurous stuff that is literally out of this world!
We rapelled 27m down a beautiful shaft, waded up river against fairly strong currents (it had been raining lots), saw the mesmeric glowwoms in mass and up close! Blackwater rafted, traversed a cable suspended over the water, squeezed through a short narrow hole and even submerged to get through another hole (these were optional), all before climbing back up to the surface!
The trip was ram packed with acivities and was so affordable compared to other tour/adventure companies. Our group made a effort to bond from the start so there was alot of wise cracks and team work at times and the photos taken by our guide Mark were well worth the $20 fee to remember this spectacular event and everyone who participated. They even throw in an extra 45 photos of the caves and wildlife.
In my opinion this is a must do for anyone with adventure in mind and you dont need to be experinced in caving to do it. It was the highlight from our trip and we are still buzzing about it! If you are going to cave go with Rap, Raft and Rock!

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Mariabandita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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