Bay of Islands

*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$130.19

Select Date and Travelers

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


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

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 points

Select a pickup point

Start time

09:30 AM

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

Paihia Harbour

10 minutesAdmission Ticket Free

Haruru Falls

15 minutesAdmission Ticket Included

Makana Chocolate Boutique

15 minutesAdmission Ticket Included

Kawiti Caves

40 minutesAdmission Ticket Included

Manginangina Kauri Walk

30 minutesAdmission Ticket Included

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

See more

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.


107 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 107 reviews
Request for refund
Randall_S, Apr 2023
We would like to be credited for this tour that we never completed ( January 31, 2023) I thought it was Viator’s policy to refund the amount of the tour if the cruise ship cannot make it into port. We were unable to tender due to weather conditions. We also found out that the water levels were too high to go in caves so you would have canceled anyway. Our request for a refund has gone unanswered. Please refund our tour amount ASAP . Thank you .
Response from Host, Apr 2023
Hi Randall, Yes that’s correct, a full refund is given if the ship can’t make it into port. Which unfortunately happened on this day. I wish you had have made contact via messenger or email, as your refund request has only come through today after this review was posted, on the 13th April, which we have approved straight away. If you have attempted to contact us in other ways since Jan 31st, please can you let us know as nothing was received from you and we certainly don’t want anyone to feel their messages go unanswered. These reviews can be really damaging for our business, especially when a refund was never declined. If you can email me at that would be greatly appreciated so we can resolve this matter for you immediately. Thank you for your understanding. Kindest regards, Chloe
Not good cruise ship tour
daniel_H, Apr 2023
I would not recommend this tour as it is called popular cruise ship tour. My cruises ship did not make it in to the port do to bad weather and by the time I found out about it was past the 24 hour cancelation time so I payed for 4 tickets and ended up with no tour and no refund of cost
Response from Host, Apr 2023
Hi Daniel, Your refund has been processed. I’m unsure where you were told it would not be possible. You should see this in your account within the next day or two. Even though it falls outside the Viator 24 hour terms, our company terms agree to pay you back in full in these circumstances. If you don’t receive it from Viator in the next 3 working days, please email me at We also wished the ship did make it into port and we’re disappointed at the last minute cancellation. Thank you Chloe
Glow worm caves and the...
Helen_B, Mar 2023
Glow worm caves and the waterfall was amazing . Tour guide was very informative . We arrived back to the ship well before departure
Glowing after Glow Worms!
Kathy_T, Mar 2023
Great trip to the Glow Worm Caves with our driver, Ron! All the stops were enjoyable and he was generous with his knowledge of the area, history, plants and animals. There are only two places in the world to see Glow Worms and we were fortunate ro enjoy this one. Our guide in the caves was Māori and very articulate about his culture and the cave science.
Bay of Islands tour
Jenny_B, Feb 2023
Loved the tour! Our driver Rob was great, we left early and the tour was excellent. He gave us enough time at all the stops so we were able to have some leisure.
Reylon_M, Feb 2023
The guide was wonderful. We saw so many things on the tour that a larger group would not have seen. The glow worms were interesting and the ability to learn so much of the history was fascinating
Natural Wonders
Lucille_D, Feb 2023
Glow worm caves were fascinating. So glad we book this tour. Guide Greg was knowledgeable and fun, kauri forest, Haruru Falls, HunderwasserToilets 😁 all gave us more appreciation of NZ.
Great for cruise ship passengers
Fdegrave, Feb 2023
Waterfall was amazing to see.. love going to chocolate factory. Glow worms not to be missed...excellent guide...worth the money.
Response from Host, Feb 2023
Thanks for your wonderful review. We are so glad you had a great day out with our company. Kindest regards, Chloe
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.

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