Explore Waitomo’s Ruakuri Bush Walk

Department of Conservation —  04/11/2014

Conservation Week runs from 1–9 November. To celebrate this we have asked DOC staff to share with us their favourite local conservation spots to visit.

erana-stevens-profileErana Stevens, Partnerships Ranger, Te Kuiti

My favourite local place is the Ruakuri Bush Walk in the Ruakuri Scenic Reserve and I’d love more people to come and visit!

Waitomo is known as the land of glow worms, but look a little closer and you’ll see a hobbit-like landscape, with limestone formations linking seamlessly into the bush.

Footbridge over a a river in the Ruakuri Scenic Reserve. Photo: Peter Nijenhuis | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Crossing the footbridge to the Ruakuri Scenic Reserve

This walk is only 40 minutes, and during that time you’ll transport yourself through the bush and into a “limestone-filled” wonderland of caves, rock cuttings, stalagmites and stalactites and other formations, collectively known as karst.

Exploring the limestone formations along the way is what makes this track so special. I love wandering past a quiet stream one minute, and then seeing the same water thundering through a small canyon the next.

It’s also a neat place to visit at night, and sometimes you’ll see glow worms, as well as get a new appreciation of the rock formations by torch-light.

Hole in a limestone rock formation. Photo: Tim Bradley | CC BY-NC 2.0.

Limestone formation

We have put a lot of time and effort into this site, and were recently awarded a Green Flag for excellence in sustainable management and safety.

I love this place because it’s easy to access and suitable for a wide range of ages and physical abilities, and because it’s so different from a conventional bush walk.

Ruakuri Reserve. Photo: Tim Bradley | CC BY-NC 2.0.

Ruakuri Stream

If you’re in Waitomo and looking for something quite different from the rest, come and check out the Ruakuri Bush Walk.

Celebrate Conservation Week

Discover the world where you live this Conservation Week—find a local conservation spot on the DOC website.

One response to Explore Waitomo’s Ruakuri Bush Walk


    Great article thanks!

    Are there any pest issues at Ruakuri Scenic Reserve? Do you have any pest control plans in place?