The final cave I went in for the day was with a different tour. This one was more sporty and involved abseiling down 20m (66 feet) to get in, abseiling over a couple of waterfalls, then wading, crawling, and walking down to a depth of about 75m (248 feet). Then we climbed, crawled, and waded back out.
Along the way were spectacular cave formations, fossils, and more glowworms.
It was excellent! If I were staying longer, I’d do another one.
This whole area is riddled with caves. I originally thought there were only three, but those are just the three famous ones that have been running tours for many years.
The land is all privately owned, mostly by farmers, and they also own any caves below their land. They then lease the tour rights to companies that develop different types of tours and build the infrastructure to support them. Each company typically has several different tours available for different preferences and fitness levels, as well as for the specifics of each cave.
And because Waitomo Caves Village is a very small town, they pretty much all know each other. I got all the necessary info from Colin, the proprietor of the guest house I stayed in.