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Waitomo Glowworm Caves Guided Tour

Waitomo Caves, New Zealand
Waitomo Glowworm Caves Guided Tour

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icon45 minutes  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered 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
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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

This activity will end right where it started.
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.
Stop At:  
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.
Duration: 45 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
  • 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
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 23 travelers
  • OPERATED BY THL - Waitomo Caves Group
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.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the policy on sanitization during Waitomo Glowworm Caves Guided Tour?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Waitomo Glowworm Caves Guided Tour.
What is the social distancing policy during Waitomo Glowworm Caves Guided Tour?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Waitomo Glowworm Caves Guided Tour.
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Waitomo Glowworm Caves Guided Tour?
A:The policy on staff health & safety is:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
See all safety measures taken by Waitomo Glowworm Caves Guided Tour.

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." See review
  • "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." See review


301 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 301 reviews
When can we use our tour tickets
, May 2021
We couldn’t do the tour I tried contacting your company three times on Monday morning this week My husband ended up in hospital on the Sunday night he has been readmitted again back to Hamilton hospital but I have not had any joy making contact with your company about our purchased tickets I did get to speak to the tour guide who told me that she would cancel the booking but we would have to deal with you about it a refund or a deferred date. We will return to Wellington as soon as husband has been discharged I intend returning to do Hobbiton and if possible the Waitomo caves tours
Unforgettable experience
, Apr 2021
What an incredible experience! The glowworm cave was just spectacular and coupled with the history (both scientific & Maori) we learned from our guide, Moi, made it an unforgettable experience! We’ve recommended the tour to family and friends and will continue to do so.
Such an amazing experience
, Apr 2021
This was such an amazing experience and the guide was really knowledgeable and fun. From going down into the cave to going on the boat was incredible.
Such a wonder - the cave and the people!
, Mar 2021
The tour guide was fantastic! Really knowledgable and engaging - she had a great energy and wonderful story telling abilities. The cave itself was a real wonder, one of the most breathtaking things I’ve seen in New Zealand. Felt very grateful to be invited into this space to be able to enjoy it. Thanks to everyone that looks after the cave and opens it up to tourists.
Very interesting and enjoyable
, Feb 2021
The guide was very interesting and informative. I think we were lucky to be the last boat tour of the day as it was very quiet with other visitors gone so we saw lots of glow worms.
1 traveler found this review helpful
Amazing experience
, Feb 2021
I got the tickets as a birthday present for mum and she loved it so much that we are thinking of taking extended family there.
, Jan 2021
The guide gave excellent information with humour. The Caves were definitely worth seeing...very impressive. We traveled from Tauranga to tick off a bucket list item. It was well and truly ticked!
Managing Walking issues
, Jan 2021
Fantastic staff and a must see for Kiwis. Parking is the problem for the aged and those of us with walking disabilities. I could manage slowly the many steps inside the cave, however the excessive slope of Carpark was a BIG problem for me.
5 star experience
, Jan 2021
Moi was our guide and we couldnt have asked for better person. He was funny, interesting and very knowledgeable about every aspect of our tour. Thank you Moi, u actually made our trip. Absolutely stunning natural occurence.
Must see and do
, Oct 2020
Amazing history and beautiful to see the glow worms & experience this wonderful attraction. Tour guide Gerorge was fantastic!

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