What should you wear to the Waitomo Caves (ALL the Answers!)

What should you wear to the Waitomo Caves? (ALL the Answers!)

Exploring the Waitomo Caves is fun and adventurous, but the last thing you want is to come out of the tour with blisters on your feet or to sweat out of your skin.

Fear not, though. We can help you out here!

What should you wear to the Waitomo Caves? 

At the Waitomo Caves, wear warm clothes that are light and in layers, comfortable and flexible clothing that allows for movement. 

Wear shoes that can get wet and provide a good grip on slippery surfaces, and consider bringing a jacket or extra layer for that breezy draft inside the caves. 

Tips for Clothing in the Waitomo Caves 

  • Get comfortable clothes. Choosing breathable, lightweight clothing makes it easier to endure your cave touring adventure in the Waitomo Caves. 
  • Wear layers. The caves tend to be a little chilly, so layers are a great way to stay comfortable during the tour. Choose clothing that won’t restrict your movement too much, as you’ll likely need to bend, crouch and crawl in some areas. 
  • Choose layers wisely. For example, we recommend bringing a light jacket or hoodie as sometimes the caves can be quite cool, but it’s also easy to take off if you start to feel a bit humid in the caves. 

Tips for Shoes in the Waitomo Caves

Tips for Shoes in the Waitomo Caves
  • Put comfort and support first! You will be walking and exploring the caves, so choosing footwear that offers good traction will prevent you from slipping or falling. 
  • Bring extra socks in case your feet get wet or cold. 
  • Try hiking boots. Generally, hiking boots are a great option as they are designed for rugged terrain, and most hiking boots often have a built-in waterproofing layer. These shoes are also designed to be comfortable for long periods of walking.
  • Try comfortable sneakers. If you’re not planning on doing a lot of hiking during your Waitomo Cave tour or don’t have hiking shoes, comfortable sneakers can also be a good option. They will still offer some traction and support but do note that they aren’t quite as sturdy as hiking shoes.

What to Wear for Different Seasons at the Waitomo Caves

The weather and temperature will vary depending on when you visit Waitomo Caves. So here are some tips on what to wear depending on what season you visit:

Spring: Layers are your best friend! You may get chilly inside the caves, so wearing several lightweight items like long-sleeved shirts and a jacket will help keep you comfortable.

Summer: Temperatures inside the caves can range from cool to warm, so breathable, light clothing is best. Shorts and short-sleeved shirts are great for warmer days, while a light jacket can be helpful on cooler days.

Fall: Fall temperatures can vary significantly, so the best thing to do is dress in layers. Choose items that are lightweight and easy to take off or put on, like a long-sleeved shirt with a light jacket.

Winter: Make sure you wear lots of layers! Even though it may be cold, you’ll be doing a lot of walking, so dress in breathable items like long sleeve shirts, sweaters, and a warm coat.

Additional Items to Bring 

Depending on which cave tour you are doing, such as the black water rafting tour, you might want to bring your swim gear, such as a wetsuit, water shoes, and a towel. 

We also recommend bringing sunscreen, insect repellent, and a light hat for trekking through the forest to reach the cave entrance. 

What should you not wear while at the Waitomo Caves?  

You should not wear open-toed shoes or sandals to the Waitomo Caves as they won’t provide enough protection when walking through different terrains. Do not wear tight shirts or pants, as tight clothing is often made from unbreathable fabrics. 

Clothing You Shouldn’t Wear at the Waitomo Caves

Clothing You Shouldn’t Wear at the Waitomo Caves
  • Clothing that is too tight. It can impede proper circulation and limit movement, which can make it challenging to navigate the caves. This includes tight skinny jeans and body-hugging tops. 
  • Clothing that is too loose. It can get caught on rocks, stalactites or other cave objects and restrict movement. Additionally, avoid wearing clothing that is too long or baggy, as this can get caught on cave objects or get in the way. 
  • Clothing that is inappropriate for the temperature and climate in the Waitomo Caves (we’ve already provided tips for this).
  • Overly bright or reflective clothing. This can be disorienting during the darkest parts of the cave tour. 

Shoes You Shouldn’t Wear at the Waitomo Caves

Shoes You Shouldn’t Wear at the Waitomo Caves
  • High heels: High heels can make walking and balancing on uneven terrain difficult. 
  • Flats: Flats can also make walking and balancing on rough terrain difficult, especially in a cave with steps or uneven terrain.
  • Sneakers without proper ankle support: If you plan to do a lot of hiking on uneven terrain, choosing sneakers with adequate ankle support is essential. Running sneakers can be prone to ankle rolls, which can be a safety risk in a cave.
  • Flip flops: Flip flops are unsuitable for cave tours as they do not offer support or protection for the foot and can be easily lost or damaged.