Waitomo Glowworm Caves Guided Tour

Badge of ExcellenceWaitomo Caves, New Zealand
Waitomo Glowworm Caves Guided Tour

From US$37.12

Select Date and Travelers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 45 minutes
  • Offered in: English


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

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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Featured review
Our guide Cory was informative, great humor and rendered his beautiful voice to demonstrate the acoustics of the cave


532 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 532 reviews
Great family activity
Belinda_R, Sept 2023
The glow worms 🐛 were amazing but the cave, tour guide and entire experience really took us by surprise! Highly recommended family friendly activity.
Very informative and...
Yuli_T, Sept 2023
Very informative and pleasant experience. Went woth a 6 YO and she loved it. 45 mins qas just enough
fantastic and a great experience
wally, Sept 2023
the glow worms were unbelivable and the boat tour and walk was great and so was the guide and the experience and what we saw was breathtaking
Awesome place
Claudia_A, Sept 2023
Great place, i have my ticket without problems, I can say that Viator is an excelent place to book your trips
Day trip 2023 with family
Mike_G, Sept 2023
Enjoyed hole experience would have been nice to have English speaking guide other wise realy great experience
Waitomo glowing worms
Sigal_A, Sept 2023
The best part was the boat ride in the dark cave with beautiful 'night sky' ceiling made by the glow of the insects. Truly spectacular. The first part, going through the cave was nice but not impressive if you have been to similar caves in the past.
Not to miss
Daniel_F, Aug 2023
Our guide Wee was exceptionally informative and funny. Overall experience was fantastic. Very well organised tour.
Not worth the long drive
Naama_B, Aug 2023
Must say, its disappointing. Too much way, for short, touristy activity, you don't feel nature like i except. The guide was annoying, you can't take photos. You don't really see clearly the animals, you see small lights. And there is a net or something at the top of the cave that they put. So you don't really see the lights its very strange the whole thing. For our opinion with the children, it was not worth the 4 hours drive...
Mr. T’s Wild Ride
Brink_O, Aug 2023
Mr. T was an exceptional tour guide. He gave excellent instructions for safety and how best to experience the tour as a large group. I pity the fool that tries to take pictures when he says not to Unforgettable experience!
Awesome Experience
Maserina_C, Aug 2023
Highly recommend! Absolutely amazing tour & really awesome tour guide! Awesome banter, amazingly knowledgeable and incredible beautiful singing voice that just added that personal touch & made the cathedral part our favourite other than seeing all the glow worms. Definitely will bring back family and friends when back visiting NZ 🤎
Glow worms
June_B, Jul 2023
Our guide Cory was informative, great humor and rendered his beautiful voice to demonstrate the acoustics of the cave
Katharine_H, Jul 2023
Justin sang for us in the cathedral of the cave and it was beautiful. The glowworms are beautiful and fascinating. Definitely worth the trip!!
Donna_L, Jul 2023
It was very disappointing. I expected there to be much more to it than 7 minutes sitting in a boat looking at one cluster of glowworms (which are actually fly maggots). The guide was impossible to understand and BORING. The whole thing was a colossal waste of time.
Worth stopping over in Waitomo for this
SzeWingTeresa_Y, Apr 2023
Good facilities around, with plenty of parking spaces, washroom and a cafe. The tour itself is fun and enriching. We didn't just went to see the Glowworm, we also get to learn about the history of the caves.
tamzinm17, Apr 2023
Nature at its most beautiful. Well worth the money for the experience. Friendly and knowledgeable staff.
Exceptional guide, fun experience worth doing!
Tulsi_P, Apr 2023
Our tour guide was the great grandson of the original cave explorer. He was amazing - clear, great volume, and fun! An excellent singer too :) The glow of the worms depends on their fed state and on our day, the overall volume of glowing worms wasn't that spectacular. Still, it's an experience worth doing once. The caves were fun to walk through as well.
Not much
DAKE_Y, Mar 2023
Only last 5 minutes at watching one batch of glow worms after driving more than 2 hours from Auckland is not worth it.
Out of this world
James_T, Mar 2023
Tour guide was awesome, funny and a pretty good singer. The Cave and the cathedral is out of this world. This place is a must see if you love viewing mother nature.
Many stairs
Bianca_V, Mar 2023
I specifically asked at the till if there were many stairs going into the cave, while pointing at my mom who has a walker. The lady said “No, and it is only about 200 steps to walk where you can see it all” Needless to say the 200 steps were 200 steps of stairs !!! Mom sure did not have a good time and a lot of pain, as we were too far in to return by the time we turned another corner :/
Great experience
sueapitts, Mar 2023
Tour guide was excellent and the caves were spectacular even though they had been damaged by recent flooding

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