Waitomo Glowworm Caves Guided Tour

Waitomo Caves, New Zealand
Likely to Sell Out

From US$37.79

Select Date and Travelers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 45 minutes (approx.)
  • 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
Nature at its most beautiful. Well worth the money for the experience. Friendly and knowledgeable staff.


486 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 486 reviews
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
We really enjoyed our...
Diane_H, Mar 2023
We really enjoyed our tour with Max as our guide. He was veery informative and funny. Caves were amazing
Glow worm tour
Fay_C, Mar 2023
Max was a great guide and a pretty good singer. The caves was fascinating to see and the boat ride was fantastic. We would definitely recommend this tour Well done Max for making a great trip
Bundle with other area attraction(s)
Edwin_B, Mar 2023
The tour itself was approx 35 mins, interesting and informative. The underground lake is quite small and exits the earth in a very steep and lush chasm. Easy to find, plenty of parking, nice gift shop with some unusual items.
time viewing worms was very short and not good value for money
Les_B, Mar 2023
Nothing to say as I thought it was poor value for money considering some of the other attractions around which a are better value.
Great tour
Martin_l, Mar 2023
Great tour the guide was very good spoke about the caves history and family who manage it. A must see.
Glow worm caves
Dean_P, Mar 2023
Great tour guide! He gave some historical facts & had a good sense of humor. Nice little cafe & gift shop as well.
Glow Worms
Ana_D, Mar 2023
The boat ride was awe inspiring. I am a biologist and it was interesting as well. Would recommend this to family and friends and do it again.
Enjoyable short walk...
Cindy_A, Mar 2023
Enjoyable short walk through caves and then boat ride to see the glow worms. Guide did a great job explaining everything and answering questions.
The boat trip in the cave...
John_H, Mar 2023
The boat trip in the cave with complete silence and the glow worms looked like the milky way in the night sky
Very Interesting and Fun!
Cindy_M, Mar 2023
Very interesting and beautiful! Had a great time and our guide was terrific! Not very cold like others described it to be. Very comfortable. A must see!!
A fantastic glowing adventure!
Mason_C, Mar 2023
This was a great opportunity to view something unique and wonderful. The tour was well worth the cost; and, the guide was great. The facilities were good, though some attention to cleaning is in order.
Amusing tour commentary...
Kalvin_D, Mar 2023
Amusing tour commentary made the cavern and glow worm viewing an enjoyable diversion. Otherwise, though interesting, I don't know that the worms would be worth going far out of one's way to see.
Interesting but not a "wow"
iragerardaolcom, Mar 2023
The guide was friendly. Seeing the glowworms and the caves was the best part, but would not go out of my way to see this.

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Likely to Sell Out
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Waitomo Glowworm Caves Guided Tour


45 minutes
Free Cancellation