Off the Beaten Track - Glowworm Caving Adventure Tour in Waitomo

Badge of ExcellenceTe Kuiti, New Zealand
Glowworm Caving Adventure Tour in Waitomo
Likely to Sell Out

From US$109.81

Select Date and Travelers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 3 hours
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Experience one of the wonders of New Zealand’s natural world on this glowworm caving adventure in Waitomo. Choose a morning or afternoon tour, then pull on your boots and helmet before heading through the pretty Mangapu Gorge to the Mangarongapu Cave with a guide. With your headlamp to light the way, hike around huge boulders and through shallow streams, and marvel at the millions of bright green glowworms illuminating the rocky limestone. Enjoy personal attention from your guide on this small-group tour, limited to six people.
  • Informative, friendly and professional guide
  • All necessary equipment included
  • Soak up the atmosphere on a walking tour
  • Small group ensures personal service

What's Included

  • See the caves just as nature intended. All caving equipment and warm clothing including: thermal top, thermal pants, fleece top, shorts, gumboots, socks, helmet and headlamp. A local guide with a deep connection to the caves and a wealth of information to share. Tea, coffee, and a snack. An email with awesome photos of your adventure. Proper Kiwi hospitality!
  • We can not pick up or drop off. There is no public transport so you will need to have your own transport to 1199 Oparure Road.

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting point

  • 1199 Oparure Road
    1199 Oparure Road, Te Kuiti 3985, New Zealand

    1199 Oparure Road, follow the signs.

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

What To Expect

Down to Earth - Eco Cave Tours In Waitomo

3 hours Admission Ticket Included

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Minimum of 2 people per tour.
  • Maximum of 8 people per tour.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Minimum age is 12 years.
  • Children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • This tour is not suitable for elderly people or anyone with mobility difficulties as it involves climbing over boulders, walking up hills and wading through streams with rocks underfoot.
  • A reasonable level of fitness is required.
  • Tours may be cancelled in case of flooding. In the unlikely event that your tour is cancelled, you'll receive a full refund.
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 8 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.

Traveler Photos

See more
Featured review
I chose the Off the Beaten Track tour to be away from big touristic sites and wasn’t disappointed. It felt magical to go down the river, inside the caves to get to enjoy the glow worm lights as a small group. Got a little wet but that’s part of the adventure! Ash was a great guide, cheerful and always cracking jokes while teaching us about this magical place. And he also took some great shots! I would definitely recommend.


199 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 199 reviews
Awesome experience
Nicole, Aug 2023
This was an awesome trip! Ash was an incredible guide! Go see the caves ñ- you won’t be disappointed.
Caving, water in boots, and glow worms oh my!
Sharon_W, Jul 2023
If you are looking for a small group, personal, down to earth tour where you will experience the cave as well as glow worms, this is the tour for you! Ash was great, took the time to learn who everyone was, teach us about the cave and glow worms, and was very funny! He takes his cues from his tour group. Our boots filled with water which was the recurring joke throughout our tour! Highly recommend! We had a blast!
My favorite part of our New Zealand holiday so far!
Katie_D, May 2023
This was the highlight of our trip so far. Just a wonderful experience beginning to end. Ash was a knowledgeable and entertaining guide and provided a welcoming atmosphere for our small tour group. This tour was adventurous, safe, fun and awe inspiring. You won’t regret booking this tour.
Exceeded expectations!
Heather_A, Apr 2023
Spectacular, personalized, and informative are the best three words I can find to describe this tour. It’s a family own business and our guide Ash took us through his family’s land and into the cave with stalactites, stalagmites, glow worms galore, and a river with eels in it. There were only four people in our group. Ash explained he likes to keep the tour small so it is a more personal experience. He took pictures of each couple and the whole group and share all the pictures with us after. It was an adventure walking through the river, climbing over boulders and squeezing into smaller openings to get through the cave. Ash brought us to a cavern, we turned off our headlights and the ceiling lit up with glow worms like a starry night sky as we comfortably sat on a “couch” of rocks. We sat in silence for a while taking in the beautiful sights while our ears were filled with the music of the river below. They provided all the gear including clothing, boots, and helmet. We can’t more highly recommend this tour!
Great adventure to see the glow worms up close
kenneth_a, Mar 2023
The tour starts from a clean modern building on a hill with changing facilities and a warm shower for afterwards. The tour is on a family farm that has a glow worm cave in its property. You tell over the farmland, through a river gorge and into a cave entrance that you’d miss walking by. Inside the cave you do some light climbing, twist your way through crevices, and get into openings where the ceiling is lit with glow worms. And unlike the official cave tour, you can take great photos instead of standing in front of a green screen without a fake background! Ash was a great guide, and had some tea, coffee and cookies to warm us up after our showers. Highly recommended!
Beautiful adventure!
Theresa_Z, Mar 2023
Our guide Ash was the best guide ever! We had so much fun and the tour was incredible! The caves are insanely beautiful! If you are looking for smth special this is definitely what you should go for! At the end we even got a cup odd tea and some cookies :)
Unforgettable Waitomo Cave experience with experienced guide and tour member
LaiMan_W, Mar 2023
Climbing on stones is my most memorable experience since to me it is a challenge. I always have the scary mentality of climbing. Our tourist guide Stefan gave us confidence and courage to overcome the difficulties. He helped us to proceed. He is hilarious and help us to relax. Glowworm scenery is unforgettable and fantastic. I find this tour very interesting. Definitely recommend.
Get in that cave
Ian_M, Feb 2023
It was a great time. Ash was great! If you want to actually get into the cave, this is the tour. They really do provide all you need. Trust your guide and get in that cave. Did I mention that Ash was great!?
Beautiful starry night under the ground
Coline_S, Feb 2023
I chose the Off the Beaten Track tour to be away from big touristic sites and wasn’t disappointed. It felt magical to go down the river, inside the caves to get to enjoy the glow worm lights as a small group. Got a little wet but that’s part of the adventure! Ash was a great guide, cheerful and always cracking jokes while teaching us about this magical place. And he also took some great shots! I would definitely recommend.
The most memorable experience of my first trip to New Zealand!
Alison_T, Feb 2023
This was the most memorable experience of my first trip to New Zealand. I've never done any caving before. This small-group tour (8 people max) was just the right level of excitement and physical challenge for me, wading through the underground stream, clambering over boulders, squeezing through a few narrow (but not too narrow spots), and sitting in the dark listening to the roar of the water while our eyes adjusted to see the glow worms at their best. Our guide Ash was great at supporting one particularly nervous participant. The clothes they provided kept us comfortable even when we were wet. I appreciated that we were given plenty of time to sit in the dark and experience the glow worms. Their cave isn't modified at all, so we saw the natural cave. The hike back out of the cave was through stunning forest. The guide took photos for us during the tour and they were emailed to us afterwards at no extra cost. Note: Waitomo Cave tours vary widely. Some are through caves which have been heavily modified to be accessible (even to wheelchairs). Others are very adventurous, requiring you to jump backwards off waterfalls, landing on an inner tube. This one was the perfect balance for me. (I'm in my late 50's, and moderately fit.) I highly recommend this tour and this company! My husband loved the tour too.
A fabulous experienc
Victoria_I, Feb 2023
We felt incredibly lucky to be the first group back into the caves after the terrible flooding at the beginning of February. Ash was a superb guide and it was a very special experience. Highly recommend it!
It’s a must
Mark_S, Jan 2023
An amazing experience and one that takes you away from the crowds and give you a much better, less touristy experience
Would recommend this tour...
Serena_S, Jan 2023
Would recommend this tour to anyone looking for adventure while traveling through the north island! Ash, our guide, was awesome and very knowledgeable. Climbing through the caves was one of the coolest things I've done. And got to finish with a cup of tea and biscuit!
Caving with the Glowworms
Susan_T, Jan 2023
Awesome experience. Not at all like the commercial tours of the caves. Small groups, need to be ready for caving, climbing over boulders, fitting through tight areas. Challenging but would do it again. Would highly recommend.
Wonderful tour!
Nicole_H, Jan 2023
My husband and I had a great experience with Ash as our guide and the small group tour! We had no problems finding the departure spot and were warmly welcomed upon arrival. The tour was well paced and informative, and they provide you with all the equipment/clothing you need to be comfortable making your way through the caves. There is so much to see along the way, in and out of the caves, and the glow worms did not disappoint! What a memorable experience!
Absolutely "Off the Beaten Track"!
Carolyn_C, Jan 2023
We had a wonderful time! There was so much to see in the caves and on the trail. Ash made the time very enjoyable and he looked after us well! We really enjoyed the fact that we were the only people there (we were a group of 6). We didn't feel like we were just on another group tour! It definitely was "Off the Beaten Track" and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a beautiful hike and an opportunity to see some very interesting caves!
A real kiwi experience
JOHN_T, Jan 2023
This experience was exactly what we wanted, old fashion, natural as nature made it, tough enough for us 70 + year olds but not daunting. A true kiwi bloke who had passion flowing out his veins, thanks ash your knowledge and laughs will be shared with many for a long time. Even our elegant German lady of state who was so afraid of the cold is still singing your praises from a high.
Adventurous Glow Worm Experience
Victoria_V, Oct 2022
Adventurous small group cave experience. Several obstacles to climb over and around made it exhilarating and of course we got to see the happy glow worms.
Similar name is deception. Be carful while selecting the Waitomo caves tour
Arun_M, Oct 2022
It was a mistake. We misunderstood this as famous Waitomo glow warm caves tour and booked this adventure tour. So skipped it all together( and lost money). This name is so exactly sounds similar that it is easy to get mislead. Viator must not promote two identical sounding tours.
Response from Host, Oct 2022
There are 5 different tour companies that run tours through just a few of the 300+ caves here in the famous Waitomo area. We named our tour "Off the Beaten Track" to help identify that we are just that - off the beaten tourist track and our customers LOVE it that way. Our description on Viator clearly states the activity we provide, along with photos that show our experience. All of which contribute to our tour currently being rated the number one experience in Waitomo on Trip Advisor. We also have a very generous cancelation policy which is a full refund if you cancel 24hrs before your tour begins. Unfortunately we can not refund customers after the fact, as we have very limited spaces.
Awesome experience
Tina_W, Jul 2021
Had an amazing guide who made us feel comfortable. Was extremely lucky as we were the only two on the tour which made it special Had an amazing time and would definitely do it again