A must-see! This walk is Waitomo’s most interesting uncommercialized attraction. It’s an intriguing 30-45min. path that contours in a maze-like fashion through a limestone wonderland…caves, grottos, and tunnels interspersed between bridges, streams, and waterfall canyons.
This is definitely one of NZ’s best short walks!! The path does feature a lot of staircases, but all the steps are worth it. You’ll be wonderfully confused which way is which as the path zigzags back and forth between tunnels, bridges and viewpoints… following streams that seem to flow in circles. You’ll feel lost, but you can’t really be lost because signs will always point you back to the carpark. A neat extra for venturesome folks is to rockhop your way down to, and then into, the curving stream tunnel to see the exit route as well as some limestone stalactite stuff.
This loop is technically the end portion of the Waitomo Walkway that starts in the village, but the Walkway is pretty boring (except maybe the lookout above the glowworm cave carpark.) Do the Ruakuri loop and save your time and energy for elsewhere.