Waitomo Caves  LbNA # 8271

Placed DateApr 1 2004
CountyOther International
LocationTe Kuiti, North Island, New Zealand, INT
Found By beelenz
Last Found Mar 15 2009
Hike Distance?

NOTE: Waitomo Caves Letterbox reported alive & well on March 11/09.


The Glowworm Cave of Waitomo has been a major tourist attraction for well over a century. These small glowing (bioluminescence) insects really do glow and the guided limestone cave tour and the boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto are two activities (wrapped into one) not to be missed.

The New Zealand glowworm is the larval stage (9 months of a 11 month life cycle) of a small fungus-gnat (similar in appearance to a mosquito) which emits a light to attract its food. Glowworms are quite prevalent in damp conditions with an overhanging wall and with a good food source, but are most visible and spectacular in caves.

The glowworm builds its nest of mucus and silk in the shape of a hollow tube attached to the cave roof by many silky threads. About 20 to 30 additional silky threads hang from the bottom of the tube and midges and other flying insects are attracted to the glowworm light and become trapped in the sticky lines. The glowworm can then draw in the silky line to access the insects and devour its prey.

In addition to the Glowworm Cave of Waitomo, there are numerous other glowworm caves in the area along with an abundance of activities ranging from the sublime to the extreme.

Vistors to the area should check out the ‘Waitomo Museum of Caves’, the ‘Altura Gardens & Wildlife Park’, the ‘Shearing Shed’ with its unique German angora rabbits and the more adventurous ‘Blackwater’ trips.

Waitomo has a long and rich Maori history complimented in the early 1900s by farming and tourism.

The town of Waitomo Caves offers interesting activities and is certainly worth the trip.

The Waitomo Caves Letterbox resides on the SE boundary of the property of the charming and historical Waitomo Caves Hotel and the neighbouring ranch.

Consistent with the charm of the Hotel, a successful Letterbox search will provide you with good reason to strum your guitar.


Start in the parking lot in front of the Waitomo Caves Hotel (sign on Hotel says Waitomo Hotel). At the SE end of the parking lot (toward where you entered the Hotel property), there are two separate short paths (both with railings) leading up to a grass patio several metres above the parking lot and protected by shrubs & plants. Once you get to the patio, you will see an old water well and an old cement birdbath.

Look up towards the far corner of the grass patio and you will see a trail leading into the beech tree bush. Head to the start of the trail and go 10 paces along the path.

On your left, you will see a bench step leading up and over the fence and into the adjoining farm field beside the trail. Hop over the fence and immediately turn left. Take 3 paces along the fence line and you will be beside a large beech tree on the trail side of the fence.

The Waitomo Caves Letterbox is hidden in the crotch of the two main trunks of the tree. The Letterbox is protected by several sticks jammed between the tree and the fence. Several old rotten cut pieces of wood are against the fence offering further protection for the Letterbox.

Find this Letterbox and enjoy the accompanying guitar music (in your mind).

Please ensure that the Letterbox is well hidden once you have found it and signed in. You may have to find some new pieces of wood and/or short cut logs, both of which are plentiful in the farm field.

Thank you for helping maintain the integrity of this hiding site.

We hope you enjoy the search, the glowworm caves, the various adventures and the beautiful area of the Waitomo Caves.

Please contact us by email at peter@brill.ca to let us know you
found this box and the condition it is in, plus any other comments
you may have. We look forward to hearing from you.

Happy Letterboxing!