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possible to do Waitamo Glow Worms and hike Taranaki Falls

Houston, Texas
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possible to do Waitamo Glow Worms and hike Taranaki Falls

Hi TA Community.

We'll be traveling to NZ in a few weeks, arrive in Auckland Wednesday and will stay over night. Next day we plan to see Waitamo. My questions are:

1. Is it possible to do the following in one day: see Waitamo glow worms and also make a drive down Tongariro National Park to do a 1-2 hour hike at Taranaki Falls?

2. If so, should we stay the night near Tongariro or drive to Taupo to spend the night?

Thanks in advance!! All suggestions are much appreciated!

Christchurch, New...
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1. Re: possible to do Waitamo Glow Worms and hike Taranaki Falls

If you are planning to stay Thursday night at Waitomo and Friday in TNP, then you could probably do it.

Say you do the Waitomo Cave itself at 9am, you could be on your way to Whakapapa by 10 am. It is around 2 hr so you'll have all afternonn in TNP.

If you are asking about doing Akld-Waitomo-TNP + Taranaki Falls in one day I'd say no!

Vero Beach, Florida
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2. Re: possible to do Waitamo Glow Worms and hike Taranaki Falls

Waimato has extraordinary above-ground scenery. I feel guilty about leaving early to see the Hamilton Garden, admittedly a fine but utterly different attraction.

California
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3. Re: possible to do Waitamo Glow Worms and hike Taranaki Falls

I agree David. We were enthralled with Ruakuri Tunnel bushwalk, Mangapohue Natural Bridge, Piripiri Cave, and Marokopa Falls - all within a short drive.

Houston, Texas
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4. Re: possible to do Waitamo Glow Worms and hike Taranaki Falls

I didn't know about the other places around Waitamo. I was only focused on the glow worm caves. How long does it take see Ruakuri Tunnel bushwalk, Mangapohue Natural Bridge, Piripiri Cave, and Marokopa Falls? A guided tour needed?

And if I see some of the other caves and falls after the glow worm tour, would I have enough time to drive to Taupo where we'll be spending the night?

Thank you!

Ankeny, Iowa
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5. Re: possible to do Waitamo Glow Worms and hike Taranaki Falls

You do not need a guided tour to see the other things around Waitomo. The Ruakuri Bush walk takes about 45 minutes to an hour and is just outside of town. The Piripiri Cave, Marokopa Falls and Natural Bridge are all about 5-15 minute walks one way to get to each of them. They are 26-2kilometers outside of town. The drive out to them is on a narrow curvy road with a lot of truck traffic so takes longer than you think to get there. It took us all morning to visit all of them.

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6. Re: possible to do Waitamo Glow Worms and hike Taranaki Falls

Irongrl is correct. To get to Ruakuri Tunnel, travel 1km west from the heart of Waitomo to the roundabout. Turn left onto Tumutumu Rd for 2.5km and then turn right into the carpark for Aranui Cave. You could do this and the 45-minute cave tour and be on your way to Taupo for the night.

If you wanted to include Mangapohue NB, the cave, and the falls, you should stay the night at Waitomo.

Edited: 08 May 2017, 18:31
7. Re: possible to do Waitamo Glow Worms and hike Taranaki Falls

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