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*Popular Cruise Ship Tour* Bay of Islands and Glow Worm Caves Shore Excursion

Badge of ExcellenceNorth Island, New Zealand
Likely to Sell Out

From US$155.84

Select Date and Travelers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 5 hours 30 minutes (approx.)
  • Pickup offered
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English
  • Good for avoiding crowds


When your ship docks in Waitangi Wharf, explore the beautiful Bay of Islands and see the best of New Zealand’s spectacular North Island. Travel through the Bay of Islands with your guide and take in top attractions including Kawakawa and the Kawiti glowworm caves. Explore the Puketi Forest’s rich ecological diversity, sample New Zealand sweet treats at the Makana Chocolate Factory, and gaze out over the Haruru Falls and the Waitangi River.
  • Tour of the Bay of Islands in New Zealand’s North Island
  • Delve into the subterranean Kawiti glowworm caves with your guide
  • Hike into the Puketi Forest, and learn of native New Zealand animal and plant species
  • Take New Zealand chocolate at the Makana Chocolate Factory
  • Spectacular views over the Haruru Falls and the Waitangi River
  • Includes round-trip travel from Waitangi Wharf
Operated by:

What's Included

  • Driver/guide
  • Port pickup and drop-off
  • Chocolate-tasting
  • Local taxes
  • Bottled water
  • Live commentary on board
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Food and Drinks

Meeting And Pickup

You can head directly to the meeting point, or request pickup

Meeting point

  • Bay of Islands
    Bay of Islands, Bay of Islands, Northland Region, North Island

    We will be waiting at the end of the Waitangi Wharf - where your tender boats drop you with a sign saying "Bay of Islands Tours" If you are staying at a hotel - please list your hotel name when booking so we can pick you up from reception.

Pickup point

  • Waitangi Wharf
    Chatham Island, 8016, New Zealand

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

Pickup details

Please advise what hotel you are staying at if you require pick up from your accommodation. For Cruise ship passengers: We will pick you up from the Waitangi Wharf - this is where your tender boats drop you. If you walk to the end of the wharf we will be there with a sign and your name on the manifest. Please try to arrive 15 minutes before scheduled departure time for check in. We are located outside the Waitangi Yacht Club

What To Expect

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • At time of booking, Cruise ship passengers must provide the following information at time of booking: ship name, docking time, disembarkation time and re-boarding time
  • 100% refund will be issued if your ship can't make it into port due to weather conditions.
  • If your ship is scheduled to arrive after 9.30am - the tour departure time will automatically adjust to depart 1 hour after your arrival time - you can email to confirm this after booking.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Infant seats available
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 35 travelers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Traveler Photos

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Traveler Tips

Even with a full tour, the bus was very comfortable.
I would definitely recommend this company for a small group tour in this beautiful region.
95 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 95 reviews
Rescued us from a late arrival
Ivan_C, Jan 2023
Glow worm cave was amazing. Service was fantastic. We were late getting off the cruise ship and they came back to get us. So nice of them to be so flexible.
Response from Host, Jan 2023
Thanks for the review Ivan. We were glad on this occasion the driver was able to loop back to pick you up! We hope you enjoyed your day on tour with Derek! Thank you, Chloe
Mike our tour bus driver...
Ann_E, Jan 2023
Mike our tour bus driver was awesome! He was a wealth of information. Glowworms were amazing. They took a little too long to get through the cave. It could have been done more efficiently
Response from Host, Jan 2023
Thank you for taking the time to review your tour with us. We are pleased you enjoyed your day with Mike! Chloe
Memorable Tour
Wendy_J, Jan 2023
A very enjoyable and interesting tour. Our guide Gareth was great, he had stories and information going all day. Particularly enjoyed the glow worm caves, especially as it was a small group of eight. The scenery around this area is wonderful and we were able to visit a couple of locations that bigger tours can't access. Gareth had us back in plenty of time to return to our ship after a memorable day. Thank you Gareth and Bay of Islands Tours.
Response from Host, Jan 2023
Thank you Wendy! We are glad your day was memorable! Hope you have a wonderful 2023 Kindest regards, Chloe
Great tour
Robyn_S, Dec 2022
Excellent tour only problem the glow worm caves are not accessible with a walking aide nor a stroller - people with mobility issues would find this hard to access- tour guide was most helpful
Response from Host, Dec 2022
Thank you for your 5* review - we appreciate that. The caves aren't wheelchair or stroller friendly unfortunately. I will make a note to make this clear on the tour description. Thank you! Chloe
Glow worm caves were so...
tmejskinner, Nov 2022
Glow worm caves were so unique and a must not miss. Tour also includes some beautiful views. Rob was personable, knowledgeable and great to ride with.
Response from Host, Dec 2022
Thank you for your review! We are really pleased you had a great day with Rob. Safe Travels, Chloe
Glowworms Tour
Melinda_S, Nov 2022
We had a rainy start to the day, but our driver made it a wonderful tour. The glowworms cave was not only fantastic, we got a lesson on why the worms glow. The rest of the tour was interesting as we learned about the area. Would recommend to everyone.
Response from Host, Dec 2022
Thank you for your lovely review! We are so glad you had a great day.
Ok but not what I expected
Tom_E, Nov 2022
The guide was very friendly. The trip a bit more of a car ride than I expected. Glow Worms maybe 30 minutes. 1 hour lunch stop at some restaurant at your own expense. Very little views of the bay. 15 minutes at Forest a d 10 minutes at waterfall. Lots of time on the van.
Response from Host, Nov 2022
Hi Tom, Thank you for taking the time to submit a review. I understand this tour may have felt a bit rushed on the day, as your captain announced the departure time to be 1 hour earlier than expected on the morning of your tour. Which meant last tender was 3pm. Mike our driver worked hard to ensure you got to see each location on the day, but the times did have to be reduced slightly so you were back by 2.30pm, which is our guarantee. Unfortunately this was out of our control. Our tours are usually at a very relaxed pace. I hope you had a wonderful rest of your time in NZ. Kindest regards, Chloe
the tour that never happened
Bryan_C, Apr 2021
Our tour was cancelled at 6pm the night before the tour, I think we should have been given more notice. The tour operators must have known well before then that they didn't have enough people booked to make the tour go ahead. I am hoping that we get a full refund so we can use the money for something else.
Response from Host, Apr 2021
Hi Bryan, It was a shame and we are sorry that we had to cancel the tour, we know how disappointing this can be especially when you were really looking forward to it. As it was Easter weekend we were hopeful there would be more interest but unfortunately our tour is more appealing to international travellers (as you can see from our previous reviews, this tour was our most popular when the borders were open) As per our phone conversation, you will absolutely get a full refund for this. This is processed though Viator as they don’t release the funds to us until a month after the date of the tour so they will be in the process of this now. We really apologise, we know a cancelled tour can be disappointing, however please trust that after an extremely challenging 12 months with business (or lack there of) we wish we had more business and the tour could have gone ahead just as much as you hoped. A 1 star review can be really damaging for our ratings and we hoped that travellers would be more understanding in such uncertain times for tour operators.
Great Small Group Tour in Bay of Islands NZ
Rosemary_B, Mar 2020
We enjoyed our day with Matt who is very friendly and informative. On leaving our cruise ship and arriving at the appointed meeting place we were a little confused to find no sign of Matt or the tour bus. One of the many friendly locals made a phone call to Matt's wife Chloe who arrived within minutes and explained that Matt was collecting passengers from a different cruise ship and would be along shortly, so this put our minds at ease. Our trip with Matt was great although the Glow Worm caves were a little disappointing. We loved seeing the amazing giant and ancient Kauri trees in the Waipoua Forest and the drive through the fruit orchards as well as the lunch stop at a great Bakery. I would definitely recommend this company for a small group tour in this beautiful region. Thanks again Matt.
Glow Please
Galen_U, Mar 2020
Disappointed in the glow worms. Weren't anything like the pictures. Few and far between. I was more impressed with the caves themselves. Rest of the tour was great. Tour guide was very good.
A great end to our Viator tours of New Zealand.
Michael_C, Mar 2020
"Nick from Liverpool" was an excellent tour guide. He had a wonderful sense of humor and was extremely informative. My wife and I thought the glow worm cave was fascinating and was a highlight to the tour. I also had a great chowder for lunch. The visit to the chocolate factory was also wonderful. All the Viator tours were great, but we were disappointed that the Dunedin tour was cancelled due to the Ovation cancelling this stop on our cruise. We are hoping this tour will be refunded as the ship was responsible for the cancellation.
Bay of Islands tour was excellent
Thomas_B, Feb 2020
Our guide, Nick, was fantastic! Made the day feel like he was enjoying it as much as we were. His enthusiasm was contagious. Took us to some unique and local experiences.
Excellent excursion
Lawrence_W, Feb 2020
Our driver was very informative and made it a very relaxing ride. The tour was awesome and we were given adequate time at each stop.
Glow worm caves
GERALD_K, Feb 2020
Matt - our driver was 5 star- cave of worms was nothing special for the 1 plus hour to get there - "buy the postcard" - no pictures allowed also- Van was comfortable - I sat up front - best roomy seat- stop other sights - water falls- chocolate factory ( no tour but some free samples expensive candy but very good - also authentic Maroi shop of hand made items next door also expensive-15-30 minute walk thru forest- got back to ship in time for about 1 hour of shopping near town- only annoying issue was fellows passenger were continually late back to bus
Great Bay of Islands tour with Dyson
Michael_S, Feb 2020
I booked this excursion not knowing what it might include that I hadn't seen in the previous seven shore stops but I was so glad to find each stop different. From the Glow worm caves; Kuari Forest; waterfalls; chocolate factory and wood working shop. Dyson made it fun and very informative and kept us ahead of the larger buses of people so our small group could enjoy the day instead of waiting in long lines on a busy Cruise ship day.
Best tour
Steven_B, Feb 2020
Nick was a great tour guide was very informative totally recommend this tour. This was a small group tour so it was not rushed. Got back in plenty of time to embark our ship.
Glow worms and food
Cheryl_M, Feb 2020
Our guide was nice friendly fellow. We have been to different caves seeing the stalagmites before so the glow worms were the star of the excursion for us. While we did see there glow it was disappointing that we didn’t get a closer view. They are up on the ceiling of the cave which is quite high above you. The bakery stop for lunch was good and who can say anything bad about a chocolate factory!!! It was interesting to see the forest and we were grateful we weren’t participating in the big tour getting the long stories about the trees and such. The waterfall is a waterfall but not what we were expecting. All and all it was a good day.
Great trip and guide
Lori_G, Feb 2020
This was a great trip excursion. Our cruise ship took longer for us to get off than expected we were concerned that they would leave without us but they did wait for our arrival which was very appreciated. They were waiting for us at the end of the pier. Nik our guide was really good. It was alot of fun I would highly recommend this trip for anyone.
Great information
czick817, Jan 2020
Our tour guide was very knowledgeable about the area. Even with a full tour, the bus was very comfortable.
Response from Host, Feb 2020
Thank you for your positive review. We are glad to hear you had a comfortable and enjoyable day with us in the Bay of Islands! Kindest regards, Chloe
Fascinating Glow Worms
nicolethompson, Jan 2020
We had a great time with Dyson and Bay of Islands tours. Our small group beat the crowds to the Glow Worm Caves and had a fun tour through the caves. The caves themselves are not the most impressive we’ve seen but the glow worms are fascinating. Seeing their bioluminescent lights like the Milky Way on the ceiling was a highlight. We also enjoyed our stops at the chocolate factory, wooden workshop, Kaori forest and the Haruru Falls. Lots of opportunities for picture taking and learning more about New Zealand.
Response from Host, Feb 2020
Thank you for your positive review. We are glad to hear Dyson took great care of your tour group for the day and you enjoyed the commentary and itinerary! Kindest regards, Chloe