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Waitomo Glowworm Caves Guided Tour

Badge of ExcellenceWaitomo Caves, New Zealand
Likely to Sell Out

From US$40.45

Select Date and Travelers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
Recommendations
  • 45 minutes (approx.)
  • Offered in: English

Overview

Come visit a New Zealand attraction that’s sure to have you ‘glowing’ during this 45-minute small-group guided boat ride through the famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Glide by boat through this underground complex, enjoying a light show put on by the millions of tiny bioluminescent insects hanging above. As an added bonus, many of the trip guides are of Maori descent, adding unique historical context to your visit.
  • Discover New Zealand's famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves on a guided boat trip
  • Learn the science behind these mysterious glowing creatures, known as 'Arachnocampa luminosa'
  • Marvel at a virtual 'constellation' of glowworms above your head in the Glowworm Grotto
  • Explore this massive cave complex on foot, including a chance to visit Cathedral Cave
  • Hear about the geology and history of the caves from your guide
  • Once-in-a-lifetime experience
  • Great way to explore the unique natural beauty of New Zealand

What's Included

  • Local guide
  • GST (Goods and Services Tax)
  • Souvenir photos (available to purchase)

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting point

  • Waitomo Caves
    Waitomo Caves, Waitomo Caves, Waitomo District, Waikato Region, North Island

    Departure Point: Waitomo Glowworm Caves Visitor Centre Address: 39 Waitomo Village Road, Waitomo Dates: Daily

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

What To Expect

Begin your visit at the Glowworm Caves Visitor Centre, picking one of the range of tour departure times that work best for your schedule. Then prepare to experience the magic of this unexpected subterranean adventure.

Start your glowworm experience by exploring the giant cave complex on foot, stopping to visit its ‘Cathedral Cave,’ a site renowned for its unique acoustics and striking cave features. Then step aboard your boat to continue your adventure.

You’ll silently cruise through the Glowworm Grotto, marveling at the star-like constellation of bioluminescent insects that seem to twinkle like an eerie blue version of the nighttime sky. Your guide will provide details about the insects themselves, known by their scientific name of Arachnocampa luminosa, and share insights into the geologic and historical background of the cave complex.

Leave the caves after your 45-minute underground journey, still marveling at the mysterious beauty of these surprising insects.

Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Discover your moment of magic in the Waitomo Glowworm Caves tour. Known as one of New Zealand’s best natural attractions, take a boat ride through the glow worm grotto, marvel at thousands of magical glowworms and become part of over 130 years of cultural and natural history.World renowned and a magnet for both local and overseas visitors, the Waitomo Glowworm Caves occupy a high placing in the New Zealand vacation wish-list. The glow worm, Arachnocampa luminosa, is unique to New Zealand. Thousands of these tiny creatures radiate their unmistakable luminescent light as the expert guides provide informative commentary on their historical and geological significance to the region. Waitomo Glowworm Caves are a must see for any traveler. Enjoy the world famous boat ride under thousands of magical glowworms and become a part of over 125 years of cultural and natural history. Walk through the majestic Cathedral Cave famous for its spectacular formations and acoustics. Marvel at Mother Nature's light display as you glide silently through the starry wonderland of the Glowworm Grotto. Meander underground along the Waitomo River and gaze in silence at the myriad of glow worm lights that make up the Glowworm Grotto. As you enter this galaxy of tiny living lights, you'll immediately experience a serene ambience and be fascinated and intrigued by tiny glowworms that light your way.

45 minutesAdmission Ticket Included

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Bring comfortable waking shoes and a warm jacket
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Infant seats available
  • Most travelers can participate
  • You must check in 30 minutes before the tour departs .
  • Due to high demand and limited capacity if you are late or miss your scheduled tour time your ticket(s) are forfeited and non refundable. New bookings will incur the full tour cost and are subject to availability
  • No photography allowed
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 23 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

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Traveler Tips


I understand that one person can ruin it for the whole group by taking flash photography, but GoPros should be allowed since they are not flash photos or you can take video quietly.
It would be nice if the boat trip was a bit longer and if, when asked by the tour guide to have silence, the women could stop whispering in the boat.
Reviews
4.5
402 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
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Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 402 reviews
Just a great little...
Ron_B, Jan 2023
Just a great little adventure under ground with a very nice guide.The adventure wasn't that long so interest was maintained throughout the tour.
No photography
Casey_M, Jan 2023
A great experience. I was sad to leave without any photos. I understood why we couldn’t take any. The green screen photo app didn’t work so left with nothing.
Gogogo
BIROT_S, Jan 2023
Nice visit with many informations about the caves, gloworms are something magic! Good guide too, beautiful experience.
Great Staff and an Amazing and Educational experience
Crystal_F, Jan 2023
Our gide was amazing. He was very complimentary of the family that owns and manages this cave/tours and the excitement he had rubbed off on everyone in our boat.
Great tour
Antoinette_F, Jan 2023
The short boat trip in the darkness of the cave where you can see all the glow worms. Friendly and funny tour guide.
Second cave added to the experience!
Suzanne_G, Dec 2022
The glow worm tour was short and sweet. We added a second cave (Ruaturi) once we arrived on site and are so glad we did as that really added to the experience. The Ruaturi cave guide was more experienced (Cory) and very knowledgeable so we learned more of the history and science behind the formations as well as some great stories. Our glow worm guide was very nice but very young, Overall well worth the drive! Both kids loved them!!
Amazing
Rosanna_Q, Dec 2022
Great experience and tour guide. The cave and glow worms were just mind boggling. Shame about the "fab" NZ rain
Lovely family tour...
Renee_B, Dec 2022
Lovely family tour although you need to keep young kids silent so everyone can enjoy the glow worms so please consider this before taking younger children in. The cave is an amazing and a truly unique experience. Our guide was lovely and very knowledgable. Highly recommended.
A natural wonder and a must see in NZ
Richard_C, Dec 2022
The gloworm grotto. You look up from the boat as if to see all the stars of the Milky Way. Tour guide Moi was helpful, courteous and knowledgeable
You will learn a lot and be amazed by the beauty
John_B, Dec 2022
When you arrange a tour for other people there is Keats a sense of responsibility. The glow worm tour beyond expectations. Thanks Moi
Not Worth It
Kelly_N, Dec 2022
After experiencing this attraction, I do not think it is worth the time and effort to get to. I also found the boat ride itself rather unpleasant especially for those sitting in the front. The guide manually maneuvers the boat by pulling a network of ropes standing in front of you. I sat in the front and was basically distracted by the guide standing in front of me the whole time.
Enjoyable outing
Ann_P, Nov 2022
Booking was easy and efficient. Despite it being flooded and no boat ride, the tour was sufficient. The refund was prompt thank you.
Recommended!
Gil_B, Nov 2022
Great guide, family connection to the caves, really interesting and knowledgeable. Good combination of walk and talk. Fascinating short boat ride in silence to see best of the glow worms
An excellent tour experience
George_T, Nov 2022
The caves tour was excellent. Alas, the day experience was negated by the rip-off pricing in the gift shop. A T I bought in Hamilton for $21 was $47 there.
Don't miss this..
Ngarene_S, Nov 2022
Fynn was a great guide, informative and entertaining. The caves were amazing and we loved every minute of it.
Excellent tour
Pieter_A, Nov 2022
The whole trip was amazing and the tour guide was amazing with a lot of humour and charisma will do it again
Very Short
Marcilia_L, Nov 2022
This was a really cool experience, but the boat ride itself was not what I expected. Although the view was one of a kind, it was extremely short (5min max). If you are short on time to visit NZ, I would either skip this or join it with another activity like the hobbition tour in Matamata.
Once in a life time
Samantha_S, Oct 2022
Our guide was amazing!!! Very knowledgeable and very welcoming... the caves were amazing as well well lit absolutely beautiful.
Starry experience
Lawrie_K, Oct 2022
Boat ride in the dark was a cool way to see these nature’s interesting creation… it was stars in the sky… worth it!
Brilliant ! Loved the...
Karen_B, Aug 2022
Brilliant ! Loved the whole experience but especially the song sung by wii . This was very emotional . Well done
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