This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Waitomo.
Waitomo's only reason for existence is its caves -- and what a good reason that is! These extensive caves sparkling with suspended glowworms aren't one of New Zealand's major tourist attractions for no reason. They offer a marvelous sight and unique black water rafting adventure. But popular they are indeed. Busloads of tourists get spilled out here from Waitomo hostels every day of every month. There is no real off season, but winters surely will let you see more glowworms than people while summers might not. But there are also some above-ground sights that are worth noticing, such as lovely walking tracks and some shows worth seeing. Other than those attractions, Waitomo doesn't offer too much; there is a general store with a small selection of groceries and supplies and some restaurants and cafes.
Though it is smallish, the huge attractiveness of its attractions still offers budget travelers a choice when looking at Waitomo hostels. There are options right in the centre of town (if you want to call this a town that is), which are convenient for those who waltz in by public transport as this is where the buses stop. But there are also options along the main road, which are all on their own set in the greenery, one of them conveniently located within one of the blackwater rafting providers. Dorm prices are pretty steep here compared to other places and accommodation is often fully booked throughout the summer months. Guests of Waitomo hostels do get value for their money, though. The hostels in Waitomo are amongst the best-rated in all of New Zealand (which might be because of travelers writing their reviews under the influence of blackwater-rafting-adrenaline-dopamine rush).
Written by local enthusiast for Waitomo hostelsgagalichen