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“Great place to spend multiple days...”

Kiwi Cave Rafting Backpackers
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Kiwi Cave Rafting Backpackers
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great place to spend multiple days...”
Reviewed 10 November 2013 via mobile

This family owned and operated facility is priceless. From the moment I arrived to the moment I left something in the air made me feel like home. I received a larger room at no extra price and enjoyed the amenities. Nothing over the top but clean and well maintained. The hostel is unlike the hustle bustle of others and isn't full of long-term annoyances. The owner even came back to let someone in who had locked their keys in the room. The bed was comfy, the recliners amazing, tv entertaining, kitchen & bathroom clean, and the water fresh. On top of all this the caves were amazing and worth doing. Simon was our guide and made everyone feel safe and relaxed as we made our way thru this oh her world. He was funny and helpful throughout the experience. I'd recommend staying two nites at least and doing the tour in between. There is also a few caves up the road you can walk around at nite to see the glow worms on the side. Only areas for improvement would be internet and allowing one to bring camera on tour.

Cheers guys, thanks for making an American feel at home!

Stayed November 2013, travelled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank Eric J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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25 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
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  • Cleanliness
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Tel Aviv, Israel
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2012

We had the best time black water rafting and exploring the caves with Rap Raft nRock! At first we were a little confused at the which company to go with, but in the end we decided to go with RRR because they provide a bit of everything - Assailing, rafting, exploring, glow worms - and also because they were the most affordable. I must say, that although we didn't try the other companies, this was the best experience I could imagine and for the best price.
We got very lucky because of off-season and had our own personal guide for just the two of us! This gave us much more flexibility and time to explore the caves. The whole way through was super fun. I thought I would be more scared of the assailing but it turned out to be super fun and our guide made me feel super safe. Once in the cave, we first rafted down the water, with our head lights off enjoying the view of the glow worms above - amazing! Then we challenged ourselves and went through a few crevices and channels within the cave. Because it was just the three of us, we moved fast and had time to enter deep into different cave channels. We enjoyed some hot tang and chocolate inside ;)
Overall a great challenge, loads of fun and a great time.

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank Andersara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Somerset
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 February 2012

I thought that the times spent in the caves was great fun. The abseil down into the gorge was spectacular as were the glow worms. The black water rafting was a bit tame to say the least, more like being on a lazy river ride. Be warned if you are claustrophobic that the guide will make you squeeze through some tight spaces. The hardest thing was getting out of the cave which involved a 20m climb up a slippery rock face. This was quite difficult and certainly put my fear of heights to the test. You will require a decent level of fitness to complete this. The photos cost $20 but were not of the best quality. All in all it was an excellent trip. We also stayed at the on site hostel for the night. This was very basic to say the least. Whilst generally clean we did notice some cobwebs in our room. The bed was also very uncomfortable. The one positive thing about the hostel was that the shower was very powerful. Although I would highly recommend the caving experience I would not stay at the hostel again. Whilst cheap, you definitely get what you pay for.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank amiabledwarf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Napier, New Zealand
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 February 2012

I gave my husband a voucher which still had 6 months to run, however staff charged him extra as the price had increased. I think this is very wrong, and will not be recommending anyone to use rap and raft. What bad buisness sense, come on Rap n Raft, there is too much competition out there to start doing underhand things like that!

Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank fatgirlslim40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Level Contributor
30 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Minky C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Altadena, California
Level Contributor
30 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
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
Helpful?
2 Thank sln6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank rleckey92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Kiwi Cave Rafting Backpackers

Property: Kiwi Cave Rafting Backpackers
Address: 95 Waitomo Caves Road, Waitomo Caves 3977, New Zealand
Region: New Zealand > North Island > Waikato Region > Waitomo Caves
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 5 Speciality Lodging in Waitomo Caves
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 3
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