Breadcrumbs

Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Contact Information

Waitomo Glowworm Caves
39 Waitomo Caves Road, RD 7, Private Bag 501, Waitomo, Hamilton 3977
-38.260821,175.103538
Phone: 07 878 8228
Fax: 07 878 8388
www.waitomo.com

Accessibility Report

Summary

Silver

The Waitomo Glowworm Cave is situated at the main visitor centre. A drop off/pick up zone is directly in front of the ticket sales area, along with two accessible parks. The main carpark has a steep grade back to the visitor centre. If possible, you are encouraged to drop off any visitors that would struggle with the steep grade and have a member of your party park the vehicle in the main carpark. If this is not possible, then you may park in the mobility parking spaces for the duration of your visit. Guided Tours will take visitors through the cave. Tickets can be purchased at the main visitor centre or at the i-Site in the village. Access to the Cave is via the left of the ticket purchasing area on level 3 (ground level from the drop off zone and accessible carparks). A waiting area is next to the café where the tour guide will greet you all and guide you through the cave. The path inside the caves is mostly concrete. There are steps inside the cave. The cave tour finishes with a boat trip with a path from the jetty to the retail shop/restaurant area. The guides are very considerate in making sure everyone is safely escorted through the caves, and sets the pace so everyone goes through the cave together. There are two accessible toilets at the main visitor centre. One is between the small theatre and the café, on the right-hand side as you head towards the waiting area, and the other is situated beside the retail shop on Level 2.

View the full accessibility report for Waitomo Glowworm Caves.

Ratings by Access Group

The Be. Welcome Assessment rates the accessibility of the organisation in each of the following 5 access groups, as well as providing an overall rating:

Overall Rating
Silver 70%
Vision
Silver 71%
Hearing
Bronze 69%
Mobility
Silver 70%
Parents
Silver 72%
Learning & Intellectual
Silver 72%

Vision

Silver

These are the features that the business provides to create a positive accessible experience for customers or visitors with a vision impairment.

  • Getting ready to go:

    • The website:

      • www.waitomo.com
      • You will find information on all caves as well as extra services such as Black Water Rafting on the website. Videos of the Glowworm Cave and the Ruakuri Cave is available on each specific web page while images showing the caves are available for all caves. Information on pricing is available, with combo deals offered under the Deals tab. You can also book a Trilogy Tour through the website, which includes Waitomo Caves, Hobbiton Movie Set, and Te Puia.
    • Brochures:

      • Waitomo Glowworm Caves have brochures available in English, Chinese, French, German, Korean, Japanese, and Spanish. They contain information on all facilities available within the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Tour information is also included with times that the tours take, along with combo tour deal pricing. There are plenty of tourism websites that contain information and feedback on the Waitomo Caves. These include Trip Advisor, Expedia, Google Travel Guide, and is listed as one of the top things to do in New Zealand by Lonely Planet.
      • There are plenty of tourism websites that contain information and feedback on the Waitomo Caves. These include Trip Advisor, Expedia, Google Travel Guide, and is listed as one of the top things to do in New Zealand by Lonely Planet.
  • Arriving and Getting In:

    • Bus Stop:

      • Access to the Waitomo Caves by bus is mostly through Tourist Charter Buses. Most buses will drop off in front of the Visitor Centre in the drop off zone, and then park across the road in the bus stop. Most tour buses have tours which include the Waitomo Caves. Intercity also stops at the Waitomo Township (i-Site) as part of its daily service to New Plymouth.
      • The bus stop is located on Waitomo Caves Road
      • The bus stop is for tourist buses only.
      • There is seating and shelter at the bus stop.
    • Car parking:

      • There are two accessible carparks available directly outside the main visitor centre with kerb ramp access at the back of the carparks. There is no time limit for the accessible parks, however where possible, visitors are requested to drop off passengers and move the vehicle to the main carpark across the road, if possible. The main carpark has a very steep grade back to the visitor centre. An underpass is available to cross the road safely and access the visitor centre through the Retail Shop. To access the underpass, you will still need to use part of the steep graded entrance, with the underpass to the right of the entrance, approximately halfway up the incline.
      • There is accessible car parking.
      • The accessible parking is easy to find and well sign posted.
      • There is no shelter over the accessible car parking.
    • Drop off/pick up zone:

      • A drop off zone is situated to the left of the accessible parks if arriving from the Waitomo Township. It is separated from the accessible parks by a traffic island. The drop off zone is not for parking. Tour buses often use this drop off zone, before moving to the bus stop across the road.
      • The drop off/pick up zone is located within 200 metres of the organisation's entrance.
      • There is shelter over the drop off/pick up zone.
      • There is a kerb curb cut to the pavement or the environment is level.
    • Drop off/pick up zone signage:

      • As with the accessible parks, the drop off zone is not signed. A traffic island splits the road with accessible parks on the right of the island, and the drop off zone is on the left.
    • Kerb Side:

      • A kerb ramp for the accessible parks is at the rear of the second parking space. a flush cutting through the traffic island allows access across the drop off zone to a kerb ramp onto the footpath along the side of the drop off zone. For access from the driver's side at the front carpark, flush marking and an edgeline delineate the live traffic lane and the parking zone.
      • There is a kerb ramp for changes in level between the car park and footpath.
    • The identified accessible route to the site:

      • The accessible route between the accessible parks and the ticket area is clear of obstacles and is a short distance (less than 200m). There are no steps, ramps, doorways or bollards along the accessible route. At busy times there may be a number of people gathered at the front as they wait for their tour guides to the Aranui Cave and Ruakuri Cave.
      • The accessible route to the site has a minimum width of 1200mm.
      • There are ground tactile indicators installed to help navigate to the main entrance.
    • The main entrance into the site:

      • There are no steps, ramps, doorways or bollards at the main entrance to the visitor centre. A large space is available with three ticket sales booths to purchase tickets. This space is also used as a waiting area for tours of the other caves available. At busy times there may be a number of people gathered at the front as they wait for their tour guides to the Aranui Cave and Ruakuri Cave.
    • Main entrance signage:

      • A large sign identifying the Waitomo Glowworms Cave Visitor Centre is situated to the left of the main entrance. There is signage next to the toilets to show the direction to the Glowworm Cave, once you have purchased your tickets. Ticket prices are displayed next to the ticket sales booths.
  • Getting around within the site:

    • Customer Service:

      • The customer service team are very helpful in explaining the type of facilities and services they provide. They are trained to ensure a great experience for everyone. There is plenty of staff available throughout the visitor centre to guide customers to the correct locations so you will not miss your tour. A customer feedback portal is available near the retail shop for compliments/concerns or ideas to improve access at the Waitomo Caves.
      • There are staff available to help with any access enquiries.
      • All support animals are welcomed on premises (e.g. guide, hearing or mobility dogs etc).
    • Communicating Accessibly:

      • There are guided tours available upon request.
      • Tours are provided in other languages
      • There are interpreters available on site.
      • THL have trained some tour guides to be acredited guides through the caves.
      • There is information available on DVDs.
      • The Waitomo Caves brochure is available in 8 different languages.
    • Menus:

      • There are two eating options available at the visitor centre. A cafe is situated at the waiting area for the Waitomo Glowworm Cave (level 4 - ground floor). Coffee, drinks and small snack items are available. Bench seating or bar stool are located here. A coffee menu is available behind the servery. All food items for sale have price tags displayed in front of them. A restaurant is located downstairs on level 2. This is a more fomalised environment where you can order off the menu, or from the display items. this is assessed in Waitomo Glowworm Caves - Restaurant and Function Centre. A menu for the restaurant is also available at the cafe on level 4.
      • A large print menu is available upon request.
    • Pricing Information:

      • Price tags have large print.
    • The identified accessible route within the site:

      • The accessible route throughout the visitor centre is accessible. A lift is available behind the Cafe to access the restaurant and retail shop on level 2. The Glowworm Cave is not accessible for access visitors with mobility needs such as wheelchairs. The cave has steps throughout which need to be negotiated as well as steps from the boat jetty back to the visitor centre. For access visitors without the need of a mobility device like a wheelchair, the cave is accessible. The tour guide is able to safely guide their party through the cave safely and at a pace that allows everyone in the party to keep together and not be rushed. The guide is able to assist with access visitors through the cave and ensure everyone has a great experience.
      • The width of the accessible route within the site is less than 1200mm.
      • Any permanently fixed objects are detectable by a person using a cane.
      • There are facilities and services within the site that are not immediately accessible from this accessible route.
      • Lighting levels on this accessible route offer good visibility and viewing.
      • There are steps along the accessible route within the site.
      • The layout suggests a welcoming physical environment (e.g. mobile floor stands provide unimpeded travel, or outdoor environment surfaces are well maintained).
    • Signage within the site:

      • There is signage around the visitor centre directing visitors to the Glowworm Cave, Restaurant and retail shop. It has good colour contrast with white text on a black background. The signage for direction to the lift and the toilets is small and could be difficult to see. The accessible toilet on level 4 is situated on the right-hand side just before the cafe. The lift is situated behind the cafe on level 4, and on level 2 the lift is in the staff only area, but is available for access visitors to use.
    • Sensory options:

      • The cave does not have artificial lighting inside the cave so visitors can enjoy the glowworms. The tour guide is trained to guide people through the cave safely, and will identify any potential obstacles. Just let the tour guide know if you are a little unsure and they will make the cave experience enjoyable. The cave is prone to echo due to natural waterways and sounds through the cave. If hearing is a concern, please let the tour guide know so they can manage this when explaining features in the cave. The visitor centre is designed to use as much natural lighting as possible. The building reflects the natural environment surrounding the centre. There is minimal background noise so the natural wildlife around the centre is undisturbed.
    • Surfaces:

      • The surface in the visitor centre comprises of a mixture of concrete and timber. The surfaces have been designed to promote the separation between access to the cave and around the visitor centre. The access to the cave entrance is concrete. Inside the cave, the path is mostly concrete to provide a secure, stable surface. Just bear in mind that the environment is a natural cave, so the path may be damp in some places. The caves are regularly maintained to minimise any slipping potential.
      • The floor surface covering is plain and clear.
      • Tactile indicators are not installed on the accessible route
    • Lifts:

      • A lift is available for public use between levels 2 to 4. The accessible toilet on level 4 is situated on the right-hand side just before the cafe. The lift is situated behind the cafe on level 4, and on level 2 the lift is in the staff only area, but is available for access visitors to use.
      • All controls (i.e. landing controls, alarm and emergency telephone) are located within a reachable range.
    • Stairs or Steps:

      • There are steps in the cave and back to the visitor centre at the end of the cave tour. Inside the cave, most steps are constructed of aluminium or alloy, and have a grip pattern. All steps have at least one handrail available. The steps back to the visitor centre are constructed of timber and have a handrail on the left-hand side going up the stairs.
      • There is a handrail located on at least one or both sides of the stairs.
    • Accessible Reception/ Counter / Ticket Sales

      • The ticket sales area is located at the entrance to the visitor centre on level 4 (ground floor). A large area is available with three ticket sales counters. Prices of the tours are located beside each ticket sales counter. The foyer where the ticket sales are located also doubles as a waiting area for the Aranui and Riakuri Caves, so it can become a little busy. The foyer is large and caters for this amount of people.
      • There is a counter located on the accessible route.
      • The counter is accessible and has a clear space of 1200mm x 1200mm in front.
      • EFTPOS terminals are reachable and usable.
      • There is a telephone available for the access customer to use.
    • Cafe/Restaurant/Bar Area:

      • These premises are licensed.
      • There is an accessible outdoor area.
      • The cafe/restaurant/bar area is on a single level.
      • There is a level accessible entry into the cafe/restaurant/bar area.
      • The entrance is clearly illuminated.
      • Electronic payment devices (eg EFTPOS terminals) are reachable and usable for all access customers.
      • Hard flooring surfaces appear to have a slip resistant surface
      • The floor surface covering is plain and clear.
      • Natural and artificial lighting levels avoid glare and sudden, abrupt changes in intensity
      • Reflective and polished surfaces are minimised.
      • The cafe is located on level 4 (ground floor) at the waiting area for the Glowworm Cave tour. There are small snack food items for sale along with coffee and cold drinks. A restaurant is available on level 2 and this is assessed in Waitomo Glowworm Caves. There are two accessible toilets available at the visitor centre. One is located on level 4 (ground floor) between the ticket sales area and the cafe. The other is located on level 2 by the Retail Shop. Both toilets are greater than the minimum size, and are well set up. The accessible toilet on level 4 also has an accessible shower with an adjustable shower rose and an L shape shower seat 840 long x 370 and 530 wide. The Retail Shop is located on level 2 with the restaurant. The way the building is designed, the Retail Shop is at the exit as you head back to the main carpark via the underpass.The shop is full of gift items to purchase. All displays have large price tags located with them.
      • Staff are identifiable with a uniform or name badge.
    • Cafe/Restaurant/Bar Accessible Toilet:

      • There are two accessible toilets available at the visitor centre. One is located on level 4 (ground floor) between the ticket sales area and the cafe. The other is located on level 2 by the Retail Shop. Both toilets are greater than the minimum size, and are well set up. The accessible toilet on level 4 also has an accessible shower with an adjustable shower rose and an L shape shower seat 840 long x 370 and 530 wide.
      • An accessible toilet is located next to the gift shop.
      • All gender accessible toilets for the cafe/restaurant/bar are in a self-contained compartment with full privacy.
      • All gender accessible toilets are located so access is not via an area restricted to one sex.
      • The toilet pan offers a stable base to transfer from.
      • The accessible toilet is a minimum of 1600mm wide x 1900mm long.
    • Retail Shop:

      • Level 2, next to the restaurant.
      • The shop is on a single level.
      • There is a level accessible entry into the shop.
      • Electronic payment devices (eg. EFTPOS terminals) are reachable and usable.
      • Hard flooring surfaces appear to have a slip resistant surface
      • The floor surface covering in the shop is plain and clear.
      • Retail shop staff are easily identified by a name badge or uniform.
      • The Retail Shop is located on level 2 with the restaurant. The way the building is designed, the Retail Shop is at the exit as you head back to the main carpark via the underpass.The shop is full of gift items to purchase. All displays have large price tags located with them.
    • Accessible Toilets:

      • There are two accessible toilets available at the visitor centre. One is located on level 4 (ground floor) between the ticket sales area and the cafe. The other is located on level 2 by the Retail Shop. Both toilets are greater than the minimum size, and are well set up. The accessible toilet on level 4 also has an accessible shower with an adjustable shower rose and an L shape shower seat 840 long x 370 and 530 wide.
      • The accessible toilet is located between the entrance and Cafe on Level 4.
      • All gender accessible toilets are in a self-contained compartment with full privacy.
      • The toilet seat lid can act as a back rest.
      • The toilet pan provides a stable base to transfer from.
      • The accessible toilet is a minimum of 1600mm wide x 1900mm long.
    • Places of assembly, entertainment and recreation:

      • A small theatre is situated between the ticket sales area and the cafe on level 4. It is next to the accessible toilet. A shot movie plays on a 15-minute loop explaining the history of the Waitomo Valley and the creation of the cave tours. The movie uses a mixture of Maori and English. There are English subtitles for the Maori speaking sections of the movie.
      • Meeting rooms are on the accessible route.
      • Entertainment areas are on the accessible route.
      • There is level access and floor space for wheelchair users to be seated with the general audience.
      • There is direct access to an accessible toilet.
    • Designated Accessible Areas:

      • There is a waiting area at the cafe for the tour to the Glowworm Cave. Bench seating and bar stools are available. However, the bench seating does not have a back rest or armrests. A small grassed area is available for assistance dogs along the path to the cave. This does have a barrier so people do not go in this area.
      • There is a grassed area for support animals (e.g. guide, hearing or mobility dogs).
  • Getting out safely:

      • The tour guides are fully trained and experienced at managing their tour group in an emergency. Regular training is provided so the guides can minimise the safety risks. The tour guides carry radio backup to keep in constant with the main visitor centre.
      • The emergency exits are accessible and hazard free.
      • There are visual fire alerting devices.
      • There are audible fire alerting devices.
      • Assembly areas (e.g. evacuation point) are on the accessible route.

Hearing

Bronze

These are the features that the business provides to create a positive accessible experience for customers or visitors who are Deaf or have a hearing impairment.

  • Getting ready to go:

    • The website:

      • www.waitomo.com
      • You will find information on all caves as well as extra services such as Black Water Rafting on the website. Videos of the Glowworm Cave and the Ruakuri Cave is available on each specific web page while images showing the caves are available for all caves. Information on pricing is available, with combo deals offered under the Deals tab. You can also book a Trilogy Tour through the website, which includes Waitomo Caves, Hobbiton Movie Set, and Te Puia.
    • Brochures:

      • Waitomo Glowworm Caves have brochures available in English, Chinese, French, German, Korean, Japanese, and Spanish. They contain information on all facilities available within the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Tour information is also included with times that the tours take, along with combo tour deal pricing. There are plenty of tourism websites that contain information and feedback on the Waitomo Caves. These include Trip Advisor, Expedia, Google Travel Guide, and is listed as one of the top things to do in New Zealand by Lonely Planet.
      • There are plenty of tourism websites that contain information and feedback on the Waitomo Caves. These include Trip Advisor, Expedia, Google Travel Guide, and is listed as one of the top things to do in New Zealand by Lonely Planet.
  • Arriving and Getting In:

    • Bus Stop:

      • Access to the Waitomo Caves by bus is mostly through Tourist Charter Buses. Most buses will drop off in front of the Visitor Centre in the drop off zone, and then park across the road in the bus stop. Most tour buses have tours which include the Waitomo Caves. Intercity also stops at the Waitomo Township (i-Site) as part of its daily service to New Plymouth.
      • The bus stop is located on Waitomo Caves Road
      • The bus stop is for tourist buses only.
      • There is seating and shelter at the bus stop.
    • Car parking:

      • There are two accessible carparks available directly outside the main visitor centre with kerb ramp access at the back of the carparks. There is no time limit for the accessible parks, however where possible, visitors are requested to drop off passengers and move the vehicle to the main carpark across the road, if possible. The main carpark has a very steep grade back to the visitor centre. An underpass is available to cross the road safely and access the visitor centre through the Retail Shop. To access the underpass, you will still need to use part of the steep graded entrance, with the underpass to the right of the entrance, approximately halfway up the incline.
    • Drop off/pick up zone:

      • A drop off zone is situated to the left of the accessible parks if arriving from the Waitomo Township. It is separated from the accessible parks by a traffic island. The drop off zone is not for parking. Tour buses often use this drop off zone, before moving to the bus stop across the road.
      • The drop off/pick up zone is located within 200 metres of the organisation's entrance.
      • There is shelter over the drop off/pick up zone.
      • There is a kerb curb cut to the pavement or the environment is level.
    • Drop off/pick up zone signage:

      • As with the accessible parks, the drop off zone is not signed. A traffic island splits the road with accessible parks on the right of the island, and the drop off zone is on the left.
    • Kerb Side:

      • A kerb ramp for the accessible parks is at the rear of the second parking space. a flush cutting through the traffic island allows access across the drop off zone to a kerb ramp onto the footpath along the side of the drop off zone. For access from the driver's side at the front carpark, flush marking and an edgeline delineate the live traffic lane and the parking zone.
    • The identified accessible route to the site:

      • The accessible route between the accessible parks and the ticket area is clear of obstacles and is a short distance (less than 200m). There are no steps, ramps, doorways or bollards along the accessible route. At busy times there may be a number of people gathered at the front as they wait for their tour guides to the Aranui Cave and Ruakuri Cave.
    • The main entrance into the site:

      • There are no steps, ramps, doorways or bollards at the main entrance to the visitor centre. A large space is available with three ticket sales booths to purchase tickets. This space is also used as a waiting area for tours of the other caves available. At busy times there may be a number of people gathered at the front as they wait for their tour guides to the Aranui Cave and Ruakuri Cave.
    • Main entrance signage:

      • A large sign identifying the Waitomo Glowworms Cave Visitor Centre is situated to the left of the main entrance. There is signage next to the toilets to show the direction to the Glowworm Cave, once you have purchased your tickets. Ticket prices are displayed next to the ticket sales booths.
  • Getting around within the site:

    • Customer Service:

      • The customer service team are very helpful in explaining the type of facilities and services they provide. They are trained to ensure a great experience for everyone. There is plenty of staff available throughout the visitor centre to guide customers to the correct locations so you will not miss your tour. A customer feedback portal is available near the retail shop for compliments/concerns or ideas to improve access at the Waitomo Caves.
      • There are staff available to help with any access enquiries.
      • All support animals are welcomed on premises (e.g. guide, hearing or mobility dogs etc).
    • Communicating Accessibly:

      • There are guided tours available upon request.
      • Tours are provided in other languages
      • There are interpreters available on site.
      • THL have trained some tour guides to be acredited guides through the caves.
      • There is information available on DVDs.
      • Information can be sent out via email.
      • The Waitomo Caves brochure is available in 8 different languages.
    • Menus:

      • There are two eating options available at the visitor centre. A cafe is situated at the waiting area for the Waitomo Glowworm Cave (level 4 - ground floor). Coffee, drinks and small snack items are available. Bench seating or bar stool are located here. A coffee menu is available behind the servery. All food items for sale have price tags displayed in front of them. A restaurant is located downstairs on level 2. This is a more fomalised environment where you can order off the menu, or from the display items. this is assessed in Waitomo Glowworm Caves - Restaurant and Function Centre. A menu for the restaurant is also available at the cafe on level 4.
    • The identified accessible route within the site:

      • The accessible route throughout the visitor centre is accessible. A lift is available behind the Cafe to access the restaurant and retail shop on level 2. The Glowworm Cave is not accessible for access visitors with mobility needs such as wheelchairs. The cave has steps throughout which need to be negotiated as well as steps from the boat jetty back to the visitor centre. For access visitors without the need of a mobility device like a wheelchair, the cave is accessible. The tour guide is able to safely guide their party through the cave safely and at a pace that allows everyone in the party to keep together and not be rushed. The guide is able to assist with access visitors through the cave and ensure everyone has a great experience.
      • The width of the accessible route within the site is less than 1200mm.
      • There are facilities and services within the site that are not immediately accessible from this accessible route.
      • Lighting levels on this accessible route offer good visibility and viewing.
      • The layout suggests a welcoming physical environment (e.g. mobile floor stands provide unimpeded travel, or outdoor environment surfaces are well maintained).
    • Signage within the site:

      • There is signage around the visitor centre directing visitors to the Glowworm Cave, Restaurant and retail shop. It has good colour contrast with white text on a black background. The signage for direction to the lift and the toilets is small and could be difficult to see. The accessible toilet on level 4 is situated on the right-hand side just before the cafe. The lift is situated behind the cafe on level 4, and on level 2 the lift is in the staff only area, but is available for access visitors to use.
    • Sensory options:

      • The cave does not have artificial lighting inside the cave so visitors can enjoy the glowworms. The tour guide is trained to guide people through the cave safely, and will identify any potential obstacles. Just let the tour guide know if you are a little unsure and they will make the cave experience enjoyable. The cave is prone to echo due to natural waterways and sounds through the cave. If hearing is a concern, please let the tour guide know so they can manage this when explaining features in the cave. The visitor centre is designed to use as much natural lighting as possible. The building reflects the natural environment surrounding the centre. There is minimal background noise so the natural wildlife around the centre is undisturbed.
    • Surfaces:

      • The surface in the visitor centre comprises of a mixture of concrete and timber. The surfaces have been designed to promote the separation between access to the cave and around the visitor centre. The access to the cave entrance is concrete. Inside the cave, the path is mostly concrete to provide a secure, stable surface. Just bear in mind that the environment is a natural cave, so the path may be damp in some places. The caves are regularly maintained to minimise any slipping potential.
    • Lifts:

      • A lift is available for public use between levels 2 to 4. The accessible toilet on level 4 is situated on the right-hand side just before the cafe. The lift is situated behind the cafe on level 4, and on level 2 the lift is in the staff only area, but is available for access visitors to use.
      • All controls (i.e. landing controls, alarm and emergency telephone) are located within a reachable range.
    • Stairs or Steps:

      • There are steps in the cave and back to the visitor centre at the end of the cave tour. Inside the cave, most steps are constructed of aluminium or alloy, and have a grip pattern. All steps have at least one handrail available. The steps back to the visitor centre are constructed of timber and have a handrail on the left-hand side going up the stairs.
      • There is a handrail located on at least one or both sides of the stairs.
    • Accessible Reception/ Counter / Ticket Sales

      • The ticket sales area is located at the entrance to the visitor centre on level 4 (ground floor). A large area is available with three ticket sales counters. Prices of the tours are located beside each ticket sales counter. The foyer where the ticket sales are located also doubles as a waiting area for the Aranui and Riakuri Caves, so it can become a little busy. The foyer is large and caters for this amount of people.
      • There is a counter located on the accessible route.
      • The counter is accessible and has a clear space of 1200mm x 1200mm in front.
      • EFTPOS terminals are reachable and usable.
      • There is a telephone available for the access customer to use.
    • Cafe/Restaurant/Bar Area:

      • These premises are licensed.
      • There is an accessible outdoor area.
      • The cafe/restaurant/bar area is on a single level.
      • There is a level accessible entry into the cafe/restaurant/bar area.
      • Electronic payment devices (eg EFTPOS terminals) are reachable and usable for all access customers.
      • Hard flooring surfaces appear to have a slip resistant surface
      • Natural and artificial lighting levels avoid glare and sudden, abrupt changes in intensity
      • Reflective and polished surfaces are minimised.
      • The cafe is located on level 4 (ground floor) at the waiting area for the Glowworm Cave tour. There are small snack food items for sale along with coffee and cold drinks. A restaurant is available on level 2 and this is assessed in Waitomo Glowworm Caves. There are two accessible toilets available at the visitor centre. One is located on level 4 (ground floor) between the ticket sales area and the cafe. The other is located on level 2 by the Retail Shop. Both toilets are greater than the minimum size, and are well set up. The accessible toilet on level 4 also has an accessible shower with an adjustable shower rose and an L shape shower seat 840 long x 370 and 530 wide. The Retail Shop is located on level 2 with the restaurant. The way the building is designed, the Retail Shop is at the exit as you head back to the main carpark via the underpass.The shop is full of gift items to purchase. All displays have large price tags located with them.
      • Staff are identifiable with a uniform or name badge.
    • Cafe/Restaurant/Bar Accessible Toilet:

      • There are two accessible toilets available at the visitor centre. One is located on level 4 (ground floor) between the ticket sales area and the cafe. The other is located on level 2 by the Retail Shop. Both toilets are greater than the minimum size, and are well set up. The accessible toilet on level 4 also has an accessible shower with an adjustable shower rose and an L shape shower seat 840 long x 370 and 530 wide.
      • An accessible toilet is located next to the gift shop.
      • All gender accessible toilets for the cafe/restaurant/bar are in a self-contained compartment with full privacy.
      • All gender accessible toilets are located so access is not via an area restricted to one sex.
      • The toilet pan offers a stable base to transfer from.
      • The accessible toilet is a minimum of 1600mm wide x 1900mm long.
    • Retail Shop:

      • Level 2, next to the restaurant.
      • The shop is on a single level.
      • There is a level accessible entry into the shop.
      • Electronic payment devices (eg. EFTPOS terminals) are reachable and usable.
      • Hard flooring surfaces appear to have a slip resistant surface
      • Retail shop staff are easily identified by a name badge or uniform.
      • The Retail Shop is located on level 2 with the restaurant. The way the building is designed, the Retail Shop is at the exit as you head back to the main carpark via the underpass.The shop is full of gift items to purchase. All displays have large price tags located with them.
    • Accessible Toilets:

      • There are two accessible toilets available at the visitor centre. One is located on level 4 (ground floor) between the ticket sales area and the cafe. The other is located on level 2 by the Retail Shop. Both toilets are greater than the minimum size, and are well set up. The accessible toilet on level 4 also has an accessible shower with an adjustable shower rose and an L shape shower seat 840 long x 370 and 530 wide.
      • The accessible toilet is located between the entrance and Cafe on Level 4.
      • All gender accessible toilets are in a self-contained compartment with full privacy.
      • The toilet seat lid can act as a back rest.
      • The toilet pan provides a stable base to transfer from.
      • The accessible toilet is a minimum of 1600mm wide x 1900mm long.
    • Places of assembly, entertainment and recreation:

      • A small theatre is situated between the ticket sales area and the cafe on level 4. It is next to the accessible toilet. A shot movie plays on a 15-minute loop explaining the history of the Waitomo Valley and the creation of the cave tours. The movie uses a mixture of Maori and English. There are English subtitles for the Maori speaking sections of the movie.
      • Meeting rooms are on the accessible route.
      • Entertainment areas are on the accessible route.
      • There is direct access to an accessible toilet.
    • Designated Accessible Areas:

      • There is a waiting area at the cafe for the tour to the Glowworm Cave. Bench seating and bar stools are available. However, the bench seating does not have a back rest or armrests. A small grassed area is available for assistance dogs along the path to the cave. This does have a barrier so people do not go in this area.
      • There is a grassed area for support animals (e.g. guide, hearing or mobility dogs).
  • Getting out safely:

      • The tour guides are fully trained and experienced at managing their tour group in an emergency. Regular training is provided so the guides can minimise the safety risks. The tour guides carry radio backup to keep in constant with the main visitor centre.
      • The emergency exits are accessible and hazard free.
      • There are audible fire alerting devices.
      • Assembly areas (e.g. evacuation point) are on the accessible route.

Mobility

Silver

These are the features that the business provides to create a positive accessible experience for customers or visitors with a mobility impairment.

  • Getting ready to go:

    • The website:

      • www.waitomo.com
      • You will find information on all caves as well as extra services such as Black Water Rafting on the website. Videos of the Glowworm Cave and the Ruakuri Cave is available on each specific web page while images showing the caves are available for all caves. Information on pricing is available, with combo deals offered under the Deals tab. You can also book a Trilogy Tour through the website, which includes Waitomo Caves, Hobbiton Movie Set, and Te Puia.
    • Brochures:

      • Waitomo Glowworm Caves have brochures available in English, Chinese, French, German, Korean, Japanese, and Spanish. They contain information on all facilities available within the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Tour information is also included with times that the tours take, along with combo tour deal pricing. There are plenty of tourism websites that contain information and feedback on the Waitomo Caves. These include Trip Advisor, Expedia, Google Travel Guide, and is listed as one of the top things to do in New Zealand by Lonely Planet.
      • There are plenty of tourism websites that contain information and feedback on the Waitomo Caves. These include Trip Advisor, Expedia, Google Travel Guide, and is listed as one of the top things to do in New Zealand by Lonely Planet.
  • Arriving and Getting In:

    • Bus Stop:

      • Access to the Waitomo Caves by bus is mostly through Tourist Charter Buses. Most buses will drop off in front of the Visitor Centre in the drop off zone, and then park across the road in the bus stop. Most tour buses have tours which include the Waitomo Caves. Intercity also stops at the Waitomo Township (i-Site) as part of its daily service to New Plymouth.
      • The bus stop is located on Waitomo Caves Road
      • The bus stop is for tourist buses only.
      • There is seating and shelter at the bus stop.
    • Car parking:

      • There are two accessible carparks available directly outside the main visitor centre with kerb ramp access at the back of the carparks. There is no time limit for the accessible parks, however where possible, visitors are requested to drop off passengers and move the vehicle to the main carpark across the road, if possible. The main carpark has a very steep grade back to the visitor centre. An underpass is available to cross the road safely and access the visitor centre through the Retail Shop. To access the underpass, you will still need to use part of the steep graded entrance, with the underpass to the right of the entrance, approximately halfway up the incline.
      • There is accessible car parking.
      • The accessible parking is easy to find and well sign posted.
      • There is no shelter over the accessible car parking.
    • Drop off/pick up zone:

      • A drop off zone is situated to the left of the accessible parks if arriving from the Waitomo Township. It is separated from the accessible parks by a traffic island. The drop off zone is not for parking. Tour buses often use this drop off zone, before moving to the bus stop across the road.
      • The drop off/pick up zone is located within 200 metres of the organisation's entrance.
      • There is shelter over the drop off/pick up zone.
      • There is a kerb curb cut to the pavement or the environment is level.
    • Drop off/pick up zone signage:

      • As with the accessible parks, the drop off zone is not signed. A traffic island splits the road with accessible parks on the right of the island, and the drop off zone is on the left.
    • Kerb Side:

      • A kerb ramp for the accessible parks is at the rear of the second parking space. a flush cutting through the traffic island allows access across the drop off zone to a kerb ramp onto the footpath along the side of the drop off zone. For access from the driver's side at the front carpark, flush marking and an edgeline delineate the live traffic lane and the parking zone.
      • There is a kerb ramp for changes in level between the car park and footpath.
    • The identified accessible route to the site:

      • The accessible route between the accessible parks and the ticket area is clear of obstacles and is a short distance (less than 200m). There are no steps, ramps, doorways or bollards along the accessible route. At busy times there may be a number of people gathered at the front as they wait for their tour guides to the Aranui Cave and Ruakuri Cave.
      • The accessible route to the site has a minimum width of 1200mm.
    • The main entrance into the site:

      • There are no steps, ramps, doorways or bollards at the main entrance to the visitor centre. A large space is available with three ticket sales booths to purchase tickets. This space is also used as a waiting area for tours of the other caves available. At busy times there may be a number of people gathered at the front as they wait for their tour guides to the Aranui Cave and Ruakuri Cave.
    • Main entrance signage:

      • A large sign identifying the Waitomo Glowworms Cave Visitor Centre is situated to the left of the main entrance. There is signage next to the toilets to show the direction to the Glowworm Cave, once you have purchased your tickets. Ticket prices are displayed next to the ticket sales booths.
  • Getting around within the site:

    • Customer Service:

      • The customer service team are very helpful in explaining the type of facilities and services they provide. They are trained to ensure a great experience for everyone. There is plenty of staff available throughout the visitor centre to guide customers to the correct locations so you will not miss your tour. A customer feedback portal is available near the retail shop for compliments/concerns or ideas to improve access at the Waitomo Caves.
      • There are staff available to help with any access enquiries.
      • There are wheelchairs available.
      • A manual wheelchair is available if required.
      • All support animals are welcomed on premises (e.g. guide, hearing or mobility dogs etc).
    • Communicating Accessibly:

      • There are guided tours available upon request.
      • Tours are provided in other languages
      • There are interpreters available on site.
      • THL have trained some tour guides to be acredited guides through the caves.
      • The Waitomo Caves brochure is available in 8 different languages.
    • Menus:

      • There are two eating options available at the visitor centre. A cafe is situated at the waiting area for the Waitomo Glowworm Cave (level 4 - ground floor). Coffee, drinks and small snack items are available. Bench seating or bar stool are located here. A coffee menu is available behind the servery. All food items for sale have price tags displayed in front of them. A restaurant is located downstairs on level 2. This is a more fomalised environment where you can order off the menu, or from the display items. this is assessed in Waitomo Glowworm Caves - Restaurant and Function Centre. A menu for the restaurant is also available at the cafe on level 4.
    • The identified accessible route within the site:

      • The accessible route throughout the visitor centre is accessible. A lift is available behind the Cafe to access the restaurant and retail shop on level 2. The Glowworm Cave is not accessible for access visitors with mobility needs such as wheelchairs. The cave has steps throughout which need to be negotiated as well as steps from the boat jetty back to the visitor centre. For access visitors without the need of a mobility device like a wheelchair, the cave is accessible. The tour guide is able to safely guide their party through the cave safely and at a pace that allows everyone in the party to keep together and not be rushed. The guide is able to assist with access visitors through the cave and ensure everyone has a great experience.
      • The width of the accessible route within the site is less than 1200mm.
      • There are facilities and services within the site that are not immediately accessible from this accessible route.
      • Lighting levels on this accessible route offer good visibility and viewing.
      • There are steps along the accessible route within the site.
      • The layout suggests a welcoming physical environment (e.g. mobile floor stands provide unimpeded travel, or outdoor environment surfaces are well maintained).
    • Signage within the site:

      • There is signage around the visitor centre directing visitors to the Glowworm Cave, Restaurant and retail shop. It has good colour contrast with white text on a black background. The signage for direction to the lift and the toilets is small and could be difficult to see. The accessible toilet on level 4 is situated on the right-hand side just before the cafe. The lift is situated behind the cafe on level 4, and on level 2 the lift is in the staff only area, but is available for access visitors to use.
    • Sensory options:

      • The cave does not have artificial lighting inside the cave so visitors can enjoy the glowworms. The tour guide is trained to guide people through the cave safely, and will identify any potential obstacles. Just let the tour guide know if you are a little unsure and they will make the cave experience enjoyable. The cave is prone to echo due to natural waterways and sounds through the cave. If hearing is a concern, please let the tour guide know so they can manage this when explaining features in the cave. The visitor centre is designed to use as much natural lighting as possible. The building reflects the natural environment surrounding the centre. There is minimal background noise so the natural wildlife around the centre is undisturbed.
    • Surfaces:

      • The surface in the visitor centre comprises of a mixture of concrete and timber. The surfaces have been designed to promote the separation between access to the cave and around the visitor centre. The access to the cave entrance is concrete. Inside the cave, the path is mostly concrete to provide a secure, stable surface. Just bear in mind that the environment is a natural cave, so the path may be damp in some places. The caves are regularly maintained to minimise any slipping potential.
    • Lifts:

      • A lift is available for public use between levels 2 to 4. The accessible toilet on level 4 is situated on the right-hand side just before the cafe. The lift is situated behind the cafe on level 4, and on level 2 the lift is in the staff only area, but is available for access visitors to use.
      • All controls (i.e. landing controls, alarm and emergency telephone) are located within a reachable range.
    • Stairs or Steps:

      • There are steps in the cave and back to the visitor centre at the end of the cave tour. Inside the cave, most steps are constructed of aluminium or alloy, and have a grip pattern. All steps have at least one handrail available. The steps back to the visitor centre are constructed of timber and have a handrail on the left-hand side going up the stairs.
      • There is a handrail located on at least one or both sides of the stairs.
    • Accessible Reception/ Counter / Ticket Sales

      • The ticket sales area is located at the entrance to the visitor centre on level 4 (ground floor). A large area is available with three ticket sales counters. Prices of the tours are located beside each ticket sales counter. The foyer where the ticket sales are located also doubles as a waiting area for the Aranui and Riakuri Caves, so it can become a little busy. The foyer is large and caters for this amount of people.
      • There is a counter located on the accessible route.
      • The counter is accessible and has a clear space of 1200mm x 1200mm in front.
      • There is no access space at the service or reception counter.
      • EFTPOS terminals are reachable and usable.
      • There is a telephone available for the access customer to use.
    • Cafe/Restaurant/Bar Area:

      • These premises are licensed.
      • There is an accessible outdoor area.
      • The cafe/restaurant/bar area is on a single level.
      • There is a level accessible entry into the cafe/restaurant/bar area.
      • Self service items can be reached from a seated position
      • There is a service bench running the full length of the self servery to the checkout.
      • Electronic payment devices (eg EFTPOS terminals) are reachable and usable for all access customers.
      • Hard flooring surfaces appear to have a slip resistant surface
      • Natural and artificial lighting levels avoid glare and sudden, abrupt changes in intensity
      • Reflective and polished surfaces are minimised.
      • Staff are identifiable with a uniform or name badge.
      • The cafe is located on level 4 (ground floor) at the waiting area for the Glowworm Cave tour. There are small snack food items for sale along with coffee and cold drinks. A restaurant is available on level 2 and this is assessed in Waitomo Glowworm Caves. There are two accessible toilets available at the visitor centre. One is located on level 4 (ground floor) between the ticket sales area and the cafe. The other is located on level 2 by the Retail Shop. Both toilets are greater than the minimum size, and are well set up. The accessible toilet on level 4 also has an accessible shower with an adjustable shower rose and an L shape shower seat 840 long x 370 and 530 wide. The Retail Shop is located on level 2 with the restaurant. The way the building is designed, the Retail Shop is at the exit as you head back to the main carpark via the underpass.The shop is full of gift items to purchase. All displays have large price tags located with them.
    • Cafe/Restaurant/Bar Accessible Toilet:

      • There are two accessible toilets available at the visitor centre. One is located on level 4 (ground floor) between the ticket sales area and the cafe. The other is located on level 2 by the Retail Shop. Both toilets are greater than the minimum size, and are well set up. The accessible toilet on level 4 also has an accessible shower with an adjustable shower rose and an L shape shower seat 840 long x 370 and 530 wide.
      • An accessible toilet is located next to the gift shop.
      • All gender accessible toilets for the cafe/restaurant/bar are in a self-contained compartment with full privacy.
      • All gender accessible toilets are located so access is not via an area restricted to one sex.
      • There is a horizontal grab rail on the inside of the toilet swing door
      • The toilet pan offers a stable base to transfer from.
      • The accessible toilet is a minimum of 1600mm wide x 1900mm long.
      • The washbasin is reachable from the toilet seat.
    • Retail Shop:

      • Level 2, next to the restaurant.
      • The shop is on a single level.
      • There is a level accessible entry into the shop.
      • Electronic payment devices (eg. EFTPOS terminals) are reachable and usable.
      • Hard flooring surfaces appear to have a slip resistant surface
      • Retail shop staff are easily identified by a name badge or uniform.
      • The Retail Shop is located on level 2 with the restaurant. The way the building is designed, the Retail Shop is at the exit as you head back to the main carpark via the underpass.The shop is full of gift items to purchase. All displays have large price tags located with them.
    • Accessible Toilets:

      • There are two accessible toilets available at the visitor centre. One is located on level 4 (ground floor) between the ticket sales area and the cafe. The other is located on level 2 by the Retail Shop. Both toilets are greater than the minimum size, and are well set up. The accessible toilet on level 4 also has an accessible shower with an adjustable shower rose and an L shape shower seat 840 long x 370 and 530 wide.
      • The accessible toilet is located between the entrance and Cafe on Level 4.
      • All gender accessible toilets are in a self-contained compartment with full privacy.
      • The toilet seat lid can act as a back rest.
      • The toilet pan provides a stable base to transfer from.
      • The accessible toilet is a minimum of 1600mm wide x 1900mm long.
      • The washbasin is reachable from the toilet seat.
    • Places of assembly, entertainment and recreation:

      • A small theatre is situated between the ticket sales area and the cafe on level 4. It is next to the accessible toilet. A shot movie plays on a 15-minute loop explaining the history of the Waitomo Valley and the creation of the cave tours. The movie uses a mixture of Maori and English. There are English subtitles for the Maori speaking sections of the movie.
      • Meeting rooms are on the accessible route.
      • Entertainment areas are on the accessible route.
      • There is level access and floor space for wheelchair users to be seated with the general audience.
      • There is direct access to an accessible toilet.
    • Designated Accessible Areas:

      • There is a waiting area at the cafe for the tour to the Glowworm Cave. Bench seating and bar stools are available. However, the bench seating does not have a back rest or armrests. A small grassed area is available for assistance dogs along the path to the cave. This does have a barrier so people do not go in this area.
      • There is a grassed area for support animals (e.g. guide, hearing or mobility dogs).
  • Getting out safely:

      • The tour guides are fully trained and experienced at managing their tour group in an emergency. Regular training is provided so the guides can minimise the safety risks. The tour guides carry radio backup to keep in constant with the main visitor centre.
      • The emergency exits are accessible and hazard free.
      • There are audible fire alerting devices.
      • Assembly areas (e.g. evacuation point) are on the accessible route.

Parents

Silver

These are the features that the business provides to create a positive accessible experience for customers or visitors with young children.

  • Getting ready to go:

    • The website:

      • www.waitomo.com
      • You will find information on all caves as well as extra services such as Black Water Rafting on the website. Videos of the Glowworm Cave and the Ruakuri Cave is available on each specific web page while images showing the caves are available for all caves. Information on pricing is available, with combo deals offered under the Deals tab. You can also book a Trilogy Tour through the website, which includes Waitomo Caves, Hobbiton Movie Set, and Te Puia.
    • Brochures:

      • Waitomo Glowworm Caves have brochures available in English, Chinese, French, German, Korean, Japanese, and Spanish. They contain information on all facilities available within the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Tour information is also included with times that the tours take, along with combo tour deal pricing. There are plenty of tourism websites that contain information and feedback on the Waitomo Caves. These include Trip Advisor, Expedia, Google Travel Guide, and is listed as one of the top things to do in New Zealand by Lonely Planet.
      • There are plenty of tourism websites that contain information and feedback on the Waitomo Caves. These include Trip Advisor, Expedia, Google Travel Guide, and is listed as one of the top things to do in New Zealand by Lonely Planet.
  • Arriving and Getting In:

    • Bus Stop:

      • Access to the Waitomo Caves by bus is mostly through Tourist Charter Buses. Most buses will drop off in front of the Visitor Centre in the drop off zone, and then park across the road in the bus stop. Most tour buses have tours which include the Waitomo Caves. Intercity also stops at the Waitomo Township (i-Site) as part of its daily service to New Plymouth.
      • The bus stop is located on Waitomo Caves Road
      • The bus stop is for tourist buses only.
      • There is seating and shelter at the bus stop.
    • Car parking:

      • There are two accessible carparks available directly outside the main visitor centre with kerb ramp access at the back of the carparks. There is no time limit for the accessible parks, however where possible, visitors are requested to drop off passengers and move the vehicle to the main carpark across the road, if possible. The main carpark has a very steep grade back to the visitor centre. An underpass is available to cross the road safely and access the visitor centre through the Retail Shop. To access the underpass, you will still need to use part of the steep graded entrance, with the underpass to the right of the entrance, approximately halfway up the incline.
    • Drop off/pick up zone:

      • A drop off zone is situated to the left of the accessible parks if arriving from the Waitomo Township. It is separated from the accessible parks by a traffic island. The drop off zone is not for parking. Tour buses often use this drop off zone, before moving to the bus stop across the road.
      • The drop off/pick up zone is located within 200 metres of the organisation's entrance.
      • There is shelter over the drop off/pick up zone.
      • There is a kerb curb cut to the pavement or the environment is level.
    • Drop off/pick up zone signage:

      • As with the accessible parks, the drop off zone is not signed. A traffic island splits the road with accessible parks on the right of the island, and the drop off zone is on the left.
    • Kerb Side:

      • A kerb ramp for the accessible parks is at the rear of the second parking space. a flush cutting through the traffic island allows access across the drop off zone to a kerb ramp onto the footpath along the side of the drop off zone. For access from the driver's side at the front carpark, flush marking and an edgeline delineate the live traffic lane and the parking zone.
      • There is a kerb ramp for changes in level between the car park and footpath.
    • The identified accessible route to the site:

      • The accessible route between the accessible parks and the ticket area is clear of obstacles and is a short distance (less than 200m). There are no steps, ramps, doorways or bollards along the accessible route. At busy times there may be a number of people gathered at the front as they wait for their tour guides to the Aranui Cave and Ruakuri Cave.
    • The main entrance into the site:

      • There are no steps, ramps, doorways or bollards at the main entrance to the visitor centre. A large space is available with three ticket sales booths to purchase tickets. This space is also used as a waiting area for tours of the other caves available. At busy times there may be a number of people gathered at the front as they wait for their tour guides to the Aranui Cave and Ruakuri Cave.
    • Main entrance signage:

      • A large sign identifying the Waitomo Glowworms Cave Visitor Centre is situated to the left of the main entrance. There is signage next to the toilets to show the direction to the Glowworm Cave, once you have purchased your tickets. Ticket prices are displayed next to the ticket sales booths.
  • Getting around within the site:

    • Customer Service:

      • The customer service team are very helpful in explaining the type of facilities and services they provide. They are trained to ensure a great experience for everyone. There is plenty of staff available throughout the visitor centre to guide customers to the correct locations so you will not miss your tour. A customer feedback portal is available near the retail shop for compliments/concerns or ideas to improve access at the Waitomo Caves.
      • There are staff available to help with any access enquiries.
      • There are wheelchairs available.
      • A manual wheelchair is available if required.
      • All support animals are welcomed on premises (e.g. guide, hearing or mobility dogs etc).
    • Communicating Accessibly:

      • There are guided tours available upon request.
      • Tours are provided in other languages
      • There are interpreters available on site.
      • THL have trained some tour guides to be acredited guides through the caves.
      • The Waitomo Caves brochure is available in 8 different languages.
    • Menus:

      • There are two eating options available at the visitor centre. A cafe is situated at the waiting area for the Waitomo Glowworm Cave (level 4 - ground floor). Coffee, drinks and small snack items are available. Bench seating or bar stool are located here. A coffee menu is available behind the servery. All food items for sale have price tags displayed in front of them. A restaurant is located downstairs on level 2. This is a more fomalised environment where you can order off the menu, or from the display items. this is assessed in Waitomo Glowworm Caves - Restaurant and Function Centre. A menu for the restaurant is also available at the cafe on level 4.
    • The identified accessible route within the site:

      • The accessible route throughout the visitor centre is accessible. A lift is available behind the Cafe to access the restaurant and retail shop on level 2. The Glowworm Cave is not accessible for access visitors with mobility needs such as wheelchairs. The cave has steps throughout which need to be negotiated as well as steps from the boat jetty back to the visitor centre. For access visitors without the need of a mobility device like a wheelchair, the cave is accessible. The tour guide is able to safely guide their party through the cave safely and at a pace that allows everyone in the party to keep together and not be rushed. The guide is able to assist with access visitors through the cave and ensure everyone has a great experience.
      • The width of the accessible route within the site is less than 1200mm.
      • There are facilities and services within the site that are not immediately accessible from this accessible route.
      • Lighting levels on this accessible route offer good visibility and viewing.
      • There are steps along the accessible route within the site.
      • The layout suggests a welcoming physical environment (e.g. mobile floor stands provide unimpeded travel, or outdoor environment surfaces are well maintained).
    • Signage within the site:

      • There is signage around the visitor centre directing visitors to the Glowworm Cave, Restaurant and retail shop. It has good colour contrast with white text on a black background. The signage for direction to the lift and the toilets is small and could be difficult to see. The accessible toilet on level 4 is situated on the right-hand side just before the cafe. The lift is situated behind the cafe on level 4, and on level 2 the lift is in the staff only area, but is available for access visitors to use.
    • Sensory options:

      • The cave does not have artificial lighting inside the cave so visitors can enjoy the glowworms. The tour guide is trained to guide people through the cave safely, and will identify any potential obstacles. Just let the tour guide know if you are a little unsure and they will make the cave experience enjoyable. The cave is prone to echo due to natural waterways and sounds through the cave. If hearing is a concern, please let the tour guide know so they can manage this when explaining features in the cave. The visitor centre is designed to use as much natural lighting as possible. The building reflects the natural environment surrounding the centre. There is minimal background noise so the natural wildlife around the centre is undisturbed.
    • Surfaces:

      • The surface in the visitor centre comprises of a mixture of concrete and timber. The surfaces have been designed to promote the separation between access to the cave and around the visitor centre. The access to the cave entrance is concrete. Inside the cave, the path is mostly concrete to provide a secure, stable surface. Just bear in mind that the environment is a natural cave, so the path may be damp in some places. The caves are regularly maintained to minimise any slipping potential.
    • Lifts:

      • A lift is available for public use between levels 2 to 4. The accessible toilet on level 4 is situated on the right-hand side just before the cafe. The lift is situated behind the cafe on level 4, and on level 2 the lift is in the staff only area, but is available for access visitors to use.
      • All controls (i.e. landing controls, alarm and emergency telephone) are located within a reachable range.
    • Stairs or Steps:

      • There are steps in the cave and back to the visitor centre at the end of the cave tour. Inside the cave, most steps are constructed of aluminium or alloy, and have a grip pattern. All steps have at least one handrail available. The steps back to the visitor centre are constructed of timber and have a handrail on the left-hand side going up the stairs.
      • There is a handrail located on at least one or both sides of the stairs.
    • Accessible Reception/ Counter / Ticket Sales

      • The ticket sales area is located at the entrance to the visitor centre on level 4 (ground floor). A large area is available with three ticket sales counters. Prices of the tours are located beside each ticket sales counter. The foyer where the ticket sales are located also doubles as a waiting area for the Aranui and Riakuri Caves, so it can become a little busy. The foyer is large and caters for this amount of people.
      • There is a counter located on the accessible route.
      • The counter is accessible and has a clear space of 1200mm x 1200mm in front.
      • There is no access space at the service or reception counter.
      • EFTPOS terminals are reachable and usable.
      • There is a telephone available for the access customer to use.
    • Cafe/Restaurant/Bar Area:

      • These premises are licensed.
      • There is an accessible outdoor area.
      • The cafe/restaurant/bar area is on a single level.
      • There is a level accessible entry into the cafe/restaurant/bar area.
      • There is a service bench running the full length of the self servery to the checkout.
      • Electronic payment devices (eg EFTPOS terminals) are reachable and usable for all access customers.
      • Hard flooring surfaces appear to have a slip resistant surface
      • Natural and artificial lighting levels avoid glare and sudden, abrupt changes in intensity
      • Reflective and polished surfaces are minimised.
      • The cafe is located on level 4 (ground floor) at the waiting area for the Glowworm Cave tour. There are small snack food items for sale along with coffee and cold drinks. A restaurant is available on level 2 and this is assessed in Waitomo Glowworm Caves. There are two accessible toilets available at the visitor centre. One is located on level 4 (ground floor) between the ticket sales area and the cafe. The other is located on level 2 by the Retail Shop. Both toilets are greater than the minimum size, and are well set up. The accessible toilet on level 4 also has an accessible shower with an adjustable shower rose and an L shape shower seat 840 long x 370 and 530 wide. The Retail Shop is located on level 2 with the restaurant. The way the building is designed, the Retail Shop is at the exit as you head back to the main carpark via the underpass.The shop is full of gift items to purchase. All displays have large price tags located with them.
      • Staff are identifiable with a uniform or name badge.
    • Cafe/Restaurant/Bar Accessible Toilet:

      • There are two accessible toilets available at the visitor centre. One is located on level 4 (ground floor) between the ticket sales area and the cafe. The other is located on level 2 by the Retail Shop. Both toilets are greater than the minimum size, and are well set up. The accessible toilet on level 4 also has an accessible shower with an adjustable shower rose and an L shape shower seat 840 long x 370 and 530 wide.
      • An accessible toilet is located next to the gift shop.
      • All gender accessible toilets for the cafe/restaurant/bar are in a self-contained compartment with full privacy.
      • All gender accessible toilets are located so access is not via an area restricted to one sex.
      • There is a baby change station or separate parent room available.
      • There is a horizontal grab rail on the inside of the toilet swing door
      • The toilet pan offers a stable base to transfer from.
      • The accessible toilet is a minimum of 1600mm wide x 1900mm long.
    • Retail Shop:

      • Level 2, next to the restaurant.
      • The shop is on a single level.
      • There is a level accessible entry into the shop.
      • Electronic payment devices (eg. EFTPOS terminals) are reachable and usable.
      • Hard flooring surfaces appear to have a slip resistant surface
      • Retail shop staff are easily identified by a name badge or uniform.
      • The Retail Shop is located on level 2 with the restaurant. The way the building is designed, the Retail Shop is at the exit as you head back to the main carpark via the underpass.The shop is full of gift items to purchase. All displays have large price tags located with them.
    • Accessible Toilets:

      • There are two accessible toilets available at the visitor centre. One is located on level 4 (ground floor) between the ticket sales area and the cafe. The other is located on level 2 by the Retail Shop. Both toilets are greater than the minimum size, and are well set up. The accessible toilet on level 4 also has an accessible shower with an adjustable shower rose and an L shape shower seat 840 long x 370 and 530 wide.
      • The accessible toilet is located between the entrance and Cafe on Level 4.
      • All gender accessible toilets are in a self-contained compartment with full privacy.
      • There is a baby change station or separate parent room available.
      • The toilet seat lid can act as a back rest.
      • The toilet pan provides a stable base to transfer from.
      • The accessible toilet is a minimum of 1600mm wide x 1900mm long.
    • Places of assembly, entertainment and recreation:

      • A small theatre is situated between the ticket sales area and the cafe on level 4. It is next to the accessible toilet. A shot movie plays on a 15-minute loop explaining the history of the Waitomo Valley and the creation of the cave tours. The movie uses a mixture of Maori and English. There are English subtitles for the Maori speaking sections of the movie.
      • Meeting rooms are on the accessible route.
      • Entertainment areas are on the accessible route.
      • There is level access and floor space for wheelchair users to be seated with the general audience.
      • There is direct access to an accessible toilet.
    • Designated Accessible Areas:

      • There is a waiting area at the cafe for the tour to the Glowworm Cave. Bench seating and bar stools are available. However, the bench seating does not have a back rest or armrests. A small grassed area is available for assistance dogs along the path to the cave. This does have a barrier so people do not go in this area.
      • There is a grassed area for support animals (e.g. guide, hearing or mobility dogs).
  • Getting out safely:

      • The tour guides are fully trained and experienced at managing their tour group in an emergency. Regular training is provided so the guides can minimise the safety risks. The tour guides carry radio backup to keep in constant with the main visitor centre.
      • The emergency exits are accessible and hazard free.
      • There are audible fire alerting devices.
      • Assembly areas (e.g. evacuation point) are on the accessible route.

Learning & Intellectual

Silver

These are the features that the business provides to create a positive accessible experience for customers or visitors with a learning or intellectual impairment.

  • Getting ready to go:

    • The website:

      • www.waitomo.com
      • You will find information on all caves as well as extra services such as Black Water Rafting on the website. Videos of the Glowworm Cave and the Ruakuri Cave is available on each specific web page while images showing the caves are available for all caves. Information on pricing is available, with combo deals offered under the Deals tab. You can also book a Trilogy Tour through the website, which includes Waitomo Caves, Hobbiton Movie Set, and Te Puia.
    • Brochures:

      • Waitomo Glowworm Caves have brochures available in English, Chinese, French, German, Korean, Japanese, and Spanish. They contain information on all facilities available within the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Tour information is also included with times that the tours take, along with combo tour deal pricing. There are plenty of tourism websites that contain information and feedback on the Waitomo Caves. These include Trip Advisor, Expedia, Google Travel Guide, and is listed as one of the top things to do in New Zealand by Lonely Planet.
      • There are plenty of tourism websites that contain information and feedback on the Waitomo Caves. These include Trip Advisor, Expedia, Google Travel Guide, and is listed as one of the top things to do in New Zealand by Lonely Planet.
  • Arriving and Getting In:

    • Bus Stop:

      • Access to the Waitomo Caves by bus is mostly through Tourist Charter Buses. Most buses will drop off in front of the Visitor Centre in the drop off zone, and then park across the road in the bus stop. Most tour buses have tours which include the Waitomo Caves. Intercity also stops at the Waitomo Township (i-Site) as part of its daily service to New Plymouth.
      • The bus stop is located on Waitomo Caves Road
      • The bus stop is for tourist buses only.
      • There is seating and shelter at the bus stop.
    • Car parking:

      • There are two accessible carparks available directly outside the main visitor centre with kerb ramp access at the back of the carparks. There is no time limit for the accessible parks, however where possible, visitors are requested to drop off passengers and move the vehicle to the main carpark across the road, if possible. The main carpark has a very steep grade back to the visitor centre. An underpass is available to cross the road safely and access the visitor centre through the Retail Shop. To access the underpass, you will still need to use part of the steep graded entrance, with the underpass to the right of the entrance, approximately halfway up the incline.
    • Drop off/pick up zone:

      • A drop off zone is situated to the left of the accessible parks if arriving from the Waitomo Township. It is separated from the accessible parks by a traffic island. The drop off zone is not for parking. Tour buses often use this drop off zone, before moving to the bus stop across the road.
      • The drop off/pick up zone is located within 200 metres of the organisation's entrance.
      • There is shelter over the drop off/pick up zone.
      • There is a kerb curb cut to the pavement or the environment is level.
    • Drop off/pick up zone signage:

      • As with the accessible parks, the drop off zone is not signed. A traffic island splits the road with accessible parks on the right of the island, and the drop off zone is on the left.
    • Kerb Side:

      • A kerb ramp for the accessible parks is at the rear of the second parking space. a flush cutting through the traffic island allows access across the drop off zone to a kerb ramp onto the footpath along the side of the drop off zone. For access from the driver's side at the front carpark, flush marking and an edgeline delineate the live traffic lane and the parking zone.
      • There is a kerb ramp for changes in level between the car park and footpath.
    • The identified accessible route to the site:

      • The accessible route between the accessible parks and the ticket area is clear of obstacles and is a short distance (less than 200m). There are no steps, ramps, doorways or bollards along the accessible route. At busy times there may be a number of people gathered at the front as they wait for their tour guides to the Aranui Cave and Ruakuri Cave.
      • The accessible route to the site has a minimum width of 1200mm.
    • The main entrance into the site:

      • There are no steps, ramps, doorways or bollards at the main entrance to the visitor centre. A large space is available with three ticket sales booths to purchase tickets. This space is also used as a waiting area for tours of the other caves available. At busy times there may be a number of people gathered at the front as they wait for their tour guides to the Aranui Cave and Ruakuri Cave.
    • Main entrance signage:

      • A large sign identifying the Waitomo Glowworms Cave Visitor Centre is situated to the left of the main entrance. There is signage next to the toilets to show the direction to the Glowworm Cave, once you have purchased your tickets. Ticket prices are displayed next to the ticket sales booths.
  • Getting around within the site:

    • Customer Service:

      • The customer service team are very helpful in explaining the type of facilities and services they provide. They are trained to ensure a great experience for everyone. There is plenty of staff available throughout the visitor centre to guide customers to the correct locations so you will not miss your tour. A customer feedback portal is available near the retail shop for compliments/concerns or ideas to improve access at the Waitomo Caves.
      • There are staff available to help with any access enquiries.
      • All support animals are welcomed on premises (e.g. guide, hearing or mobility dogs etc).
    • Communicating Accessibly:

      • There are guided tours available upon request.
      • Tours are provided in other languages
      • There are interpreters available on site.
      • THL have trained some tour guides to be acredited guides through the caves.
      • There is information available on DVDs.
      • The Waitomo Caves brochure is available in 8 different languages.
    • Menus:

      • There are two eating options available at the visitor centre. A cafe is situated at the waiting area for the Waitomo Glowworm Cave (level 4 - ground floor). Coffee, drinks and small snack items are available. Bench seating or bar stool are located here. A coffee menu is available behind the servery. All food items for sale have price tags displayed in front of them. A restaurant is located downstairs on level 2. This is a more fomalised environment where you can order off the menu, or from the display items. this is assessed in Waitomo Glowworm Caves - Restaurant and Function Centre. A menu for the restaurant is also available at the cafe on level 4.
      • A large print menu is available upon request.
    • The identified accessible route within the site:

      • The accessible route throughout the visitor centre is accessible. A lift is available behind the Cafe to access the restaurant and retail shop on level 2. The Glowworm Cave is not accessible for access visitors with mobility needs such as wheelchairs. The cave has steps throughout which need to be negotiated as well as steps from the boat jetty back to the visitor centre. For access visitors without the need of a mobility device like a wheelchair, the cave is accessible. The tour guide is able to safely guide their party through the cave safely and at a pace that allows everyone in the party to keep together and not be rushed. The guide is able to assist with access visitors through the cave and ensure everyone has a great experience.
      • The width of the accessible route within the site is less than 1200mm.
      • There are facilities and services within the site that are not immediately accessible from this accessible route.
      • Lighting levels on this accessible route offer good visibility and viewing.
      • There are steps along the accessible route within the site.
      • The layout suggests a welcoming physical environment (e.g. mobile floor stands provide unimpeded travel, or outdoor environment surfaces are well maintained).
    • Signage within the site:

      • There is signage around the visitor centre directing visitors to the Glowworm Cave, Restaurant and retail shop. It has good colour contrast with white text on a black background. The signage for direction to the lift and the toilets is small and could be difficult to see. The accessible toilet on level 4 is situated on the right-hand side just before the cafe. The lift is situated behind the cafe on level 4, and on level 2 the lift is in the staff only area, but is available for access visitors to use.
    • Sensory options:

      • The cave does not have artificial lighting inside the cave so visitors can enjoy the glowworms. The tour guide is trained to guide people through the cave safely, and will identify any potential obstacles. Just let the tour guide know if you are a little unsure and they will make the cave experience enjoyable. The cave is prone to echo due to natural waterways and sounds through the cave. If hearing is a concern, please let the tour guide know so they can manage this when explaining features in the cave. The visitor centre is designed to use as much natural lighting as possible. The building reflects the natural environment surrounding the centre. There is minimal background noise so the natural wildlife around the centre is undisturbed.
    • Surfaces:

      • The surface in the visitor centre comprises of a mixture of concrete and timber. The surfaces have been designed to promote the separation between access to the cave and around the visitor centre. The access to the cave entrance is concrete. Inside the cave, the path is mostly concrete to provide a secure, stable surface. Just bear in mind that the environment is a natural cave, so the path may be damp in some places. The caves are regularly maintained to minimise any slipping potential.
      • The floor surface covering is plain and clear.
    • Lifts:

      • A lift is available for public use between levels 2 to 4. The accessible toilet on level 4 is situated on the right-hand side just before the cafe. The lift is situated behind the cafe on level 4, and on level 2 the lift is in the staff only area, but is available for access visitors to use.
      • All controls (i.e. landing controls, alarm and emergency telephone) are located within a reachable range.
    • Stairs or Steps:

      • There are steps in the cave and back to the visitor centre at the end of the cave tour. Inside the cave, most steps are constructed of aluminium or alloy, and have a grip pattern. All steps have at least one handrail available. The steps back to the visitor centre are constructed of timber and have a handrail on the left-hand side going up the stairs.
      • There is a handrail located on at least one or both sides of the stairs.
    • Accessible Reception/ Counter / Ticket Sales

      • The ticket sales area is located at the entrance to the visitor centre on level 4 (ground floor). A large area is available with three ticket sales counters. Prices of the tours are located beside each ticket sales counter. The foyer where the ticket sales are located also doubles as a waiting area for the Aranui and Riakuri Caves, so it can become a little busy. The foyer is large and caters for this amount of people.
      • There is a counter located on the accessible route.
      • The counter is accessible and has a clear space of 1200mm x 1200mm in front.
      • EFTPOS terminals are reachable and usable.
      • There is a telephone available for the access customer to use.
    • Cafe/Restaurant/Bar Area:

      • These premises are licensed.
      • There is an accessible outdoor area.
      • The cafe/restaurant/bar area is on a single level.
      • There is a level accessible entry into the cafe/restaurant/bar area.
      • The entrance is clearly illuminated.
      • Electronic payment devices (eg EFTPOS terminals) are reachable and usable for all access customers.
      • Hard flooring surfaces appear to have a slip resistant surface
      • The floor surface covering is plain and clear.
      • Natural and artificial lighting levels avoid glare and sudden, abrupt changes in intensity
      • Reflective and polished surfaces are minimised.
      • Staff are identifiable with a uniform or name badge.
      • The cafe is located on level 4 (ground floor) at the waiting area for the Glowworm Cave tour. There are small snack food items for sale along with coffee and cold drinks. A restaurant is available on level 2 and this is assessed in Waitomo Glowworm Caves. There are two accessible toilets available at the visitor centre. One is located on level 4 (ground floor) between the ticket sales area and the cafe. The other is located on level 2 by the Retail Shop. Both toilets are greater than the minimum size, and are well set up. The accessible toilet on level 4 also has an accessible shower with an adjustable shower rose and an L shape shower seat 840 long x 370 and 530 wide. The Retail Shop is located on level 2 with the restaurant. The way the building is designed, the Retail Shop is at the exit as you head back to the main carpark via the underpass.The shop is full of gift items to purchase. All displays have large price tags located with them.
    • Cafe/Restaurant/Bar Accessible Toilet:

      • There are two accessible toilets available at the visitor centre. One is located on level 4 (ground floor) between the ticket sales area and the cafe. The other is located on level 2 by the Retail Shop. Both toilets are greater than the minimum size, and are well set up. The accessible toilet on level 4 also has an accessible shower with an adjustable shower rose and an L shape shower seat 840 long x 370 and 530 wide.
      • An accessible toilet is located next to the gift shop.
      • All gender accessible toilets for the cafe/restaurant/bar are in a self-contained compartment with full privacy.
      • All gender accessible toilets are located so access is not via an area restricted to one sex.
      • The toilet pan offers a stable base to transfer from.
      • The accessible toilet is a minimum of 1600mm wide x 1900mm long.
    • Retail Shop:

      • Level 2, next to the restaurant.
      • The shop is on a single level.
      • There is a level accessible entry into the shop.
      • Electronic payment devices (eg. EFTPOS terminals) are reachable and usable.
      • Hard flooring surfaces appear to have a slip resistant surface
      • The floor surface covering in the shop is plain and clear.
      • Retail shop staff are easily identified by a name badge or uniform.
      • The Retail Shop is located on level 2 with the restaurant. The way the building is designed, the Retail Shop is at the exit as you head back to the main carpark via the underpass.The shop is full of gift items to purchase. All displays have large price tags located with them.
    • Accessible Toilets:

      • There are two accessible toilets available at the visitor centre. One is located on level 4 (ground floor) between the ticket sales area and the cafe. The other is located on level 2 by the Retail Shop. Both toilets are greater than the minimum size, and are well set up. The accessible toilet on level 4 also has an accessible shower with an adjustable shower rose and an L shape shower seat 840 long x 370 and 530 wide.
      • The accessible toilet is located between the entrance and Cafe on Level 4.
      • All gender accessible toilets are in a self-contained compartment with full privacy.
      • The toilet seat lid can act as a back rest.
      • The toilet pan provides a stable base to transfer from.
      • The accessible toilet is a minimum of 1600mm wide x 1900mm long.
    • Places of assembly, entertainment and recreation:

      • A small theatre is situated between the ticket sales area and the cafe on level 4. It is next to the accessible toilet. A shot movie plays on a 15-minute loop explaining the history of the Waitomo Valley and the creation of the cave tours. The movie uses a mixture of Maori and English. There are English subtitles for the Maori speaking sections of the movie.
      • Meeting rooms are on the accessible route.
      • Entertainment areas are on the accessible route.
      • There is level access and floor space for wheelchair users to be seated with the general audience.
      • There is direct access to an accessible toilet.
    • Designated Accessible Areas:

      • There is a waiting area at the cafe for the tour to the Glowworm Cave. Bench seating and bar stools are available. However, the bench seating does not have a back rest or armrests. A small grassed area is available for assistance dogs along the path to the cave. This does have a barrier so people do not go in this area.
      • There is a grassed area for support animals (e.g. guide, hearing or mobility dogs).
  • Getting out safely:

      • The tour guides are fully trained and experienced at managing their tour group in an emergency. Regular training is provided so the guides can minimise the safety risks. The tour guides carry radio backup to keep in constant with the main visitor centre.
      • The emergency exits are accessible and hazard free.
      • There are visual fire alerting devices.
      • There are audible fire alerting devices.
      • Assembly areas (e.g. evacuation point) are on the accessible route.