If you’re looking for free activities for kids around Waitomo, New Zealand, you won’t want to miss the Ruakuri Scenice Reserve! Within a 5 minute drive of the Waitomo Glowworm Caves is the Ruakuri Walk, with parking shared by the neighboring Aranui Cave (a dry cave with guided tours available).
The Ruakuri Track is 1 km loop that takes about 45 minutes with easy walking, and is a great place to go hunt for glowworms at night in the embankments off the left path at the entrance (free!).
We enjoyed the beautiful walk following the stream, and then as it winded around the limestone bluffs.
We met up with our friends, the Pearces, and our kids had a blast running up and down and all around!
I look forward (or I should say *Jared* looks forward) to the day when this 2 1/2 year old will walk on his own!
Children will love the small limestone caves that the path goes through!
The entire path was fairly well-shaded, making it a great place to walk on a hot sunny day.
The path climbs and descends, and at one time leads you to the Ruakuri Natural Bridge viewing platform (it’s very dark, so watch your footing). You’ll also have nice views of the stream running along the bottom.
Getting there: The track is 4 km from Waitomo Village. Head west from Waitomo Village and turn left at the roundabout into Tumutumu Road. Follow that road for about 2 km and turn right at the signposted access to Ruakuri car park.