Piripiri Cave Walk

Piripiri Cave Walk - Waitomo

Piripiri Cave Walk



5 Rankers Reviews

4 Face-to-Face

18 Waitomo

Your Nature Guide

Marios Gavalas's avatar

Marios Gavalas

Author And Researcher

Nau mai, haere mai

Nau mai, haere mai

I'm Marios, delivering the best of Aotearoa's nature walks to your device.

I've personally walked hundreds of New Zealand's tracks and spent months in libraries uncovering interesting information on New Zealand/Aotearoa. And you'll find a slice of that research on this page - enjoy!


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600 m return | 5 minutes return

This is an impressive cave with straws and speleothems on ceiling.


The reserve is signposted 27.5 km from Waitomo. There’s a small parking area with picnic tables.


The stepped track climbs and descends to a bluff at the cave entrance. A stepped structure then descends into the bowels of the carpacious cavern. Take a torch. It’s cold, wet and dark inside.

Return via the same track.


Caves such as this are formed like other limestone caves. The limestone here, as elsewhere, is the compacted remains of a reef system which once lay in shallow warm waters. Subsequent tectonic uplift has resurfaced the rock, which is mainly composed of calcareous matter, derived from the shellfish, fish and coral organisms. Limestone is susceptible to dissolving once water passing through it has an acid makeup, usually derived from absorption of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This percolating groundwater decomposes the limestone, creating fissures and cracks streams can later exploit to form cave systems.

Speleothems are formed from the dissolved calcite being deposited as it drips from the cave roof. The carbon dioxide dissolved in the water is released to the cave atmosphere and the increased calcium load is precipitated onto the cave walls and ceilings. These processes give rise to the amazing subterranean artwork on display. Straws, stalactites and stalagmites drip from the cavern ceiling.


Feature Value Info


North IslandWaikatoWaitomo


  • Walking
  • Free


Mark's avatar



Ranking: 6/10

Cool little cave to walk down into (stairs built). Not sure if there are more caves in the area to explore or not.

Reviewed over 5 years ago

Thank You - to the thousands of travellers that have contributed to our Top Voted NZ Activities Map - it's free from Rankers.

Duncan Mallison's avatar

Duncan Mallison

United Kingdom

Ranking: 7/10

Near the caves there are various free walks to view some of the limestone scenery. The Marokopa Falls, Mangapohue Natural Bridge and Piripiri Caves.

Reviewed over 9 years ago and experienced in February 2012

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Peter W.'s avatar

Peter W.

New Zealand

Ranking: 7/10

Not a lot to see. A stiff uphill climb of good steps, then similar descent to cave entrance. Cave isn't much, but a steep wooden stepped descent into it's bowels. There are some small stalactites. No glow worms, and fortunately or unfortunately, no bats. But it is free, and that's worth the visit. The bush walk was nice. TAKE A TORCH - the more powerful the better to see into the recesses of the cave.

Reviewed almost 10 years ago

Michelle Booty's avatar

Michelle Booty


Ranking: 8/10

Nice to go into a cave, take a torch and have no fear!!

Reviewed over 10 years ago

DOC Managed

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Nick Morrison's avatar

Nick Morrison

Rankers owner