Waitomo and the surrounding King Country is full of great free attractions - relaxed seaside villages along the stunning West Coast, breathtaking landscapes, charming rural towns and beautiful nature trails.
Ed Hillary Walkway Otorohanga
Otorohanga’s newest visitor attraction – a stunning arcade & gallery of “Kiwiana” displays, photo panels & story boards about New Zealand’s popular culture, icons & heroes; everything from Pavlova, No. 8 wire, the Anzacs & Sir Ed Hillary to Kiwi slang, the haka & Silver Fern.
Kawhia was one of the first settled areas in NZ - the Tainui people arrived in the 14th century & the first European in the 1820s. Visit the Kawhia Museum, the landing point of the Tainui waka (canoe) at the grove of sacred pohutukawa trees & Ocean Beach with its Hot Water Springs.
Kiwiana Displays Otorohanga
Walk though Otorohanga's main street and view the Kiwiana Gallery of entertaining & educational display boxes celebrating New Zealand's popular culture, Kiwiana icons, heroes & traditions. There are also Kiwiana murals, corrugated iron Kiwi sculptures and Kiwiana themed public toilets.
Mangapohue Natural Bridge
The Natural Bridge is a spectacular 17 metre-high limestone arch spanning the Mangapohue Stream - all that remains of an ancient cave system. A loop track (25 minutes return) passes under the bridge and continues over a farm trail. At night look out for magnificent glowworm displays!
Pureora Forest Park
Pureora has magnificent native forest walks including the Lagoon Track (30 minutes) Totara Track (30 minutes) Aratiki Track (3 hours) Nuffield Lodge (10 hours). Contact the Parks Ranger Station before undertaking any of the longer walks. 10 tracks are available within the forest park.
Stroll along the beach at Kiritehere south of the Kiritehere Stream to see sandstones containing fossilised clams, mussels & scallops. The rocks are unusually tilted in the same direction (evidence of seafloor movement following ancient earthquakes) & the surfing is a "best kept secret"!
Waikawau Beach Tunnel
THe Waikawau Beach tunnel was formed by 3 men using a pick & shovel. Finished in 1911, it opened the beach route for stock to reach Nukuhakere Station. It was built wide enough for the largest horned beast and high enough for a tall horseman.
Ruakuri Scenic Reserve
The Ruakuri Bushwalk is a beautiful loop track (30 minutes return) through limestone outcrops, caves, tunnels and native forest. The track descends into the Ruakuri Natural Tunnel - for sheer beauty & stunning glowworm displays take a torch and do an evening walk.
The Marokopa Falls are a short walk through native forest from a carpark on the Te Anga Road. A magnifient greywacke bluff with 35 metre high falls surrounded by lush forest, can be viewed from two platforms at the edge of the Marokpa River.