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Waitomo Caves Tours

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25 Reviews
Waitomo Caves
With dramatic limestone formations, gigantic stalactites and stalagmites, and subterranean river, New Zealand's Waitomo Caves hold adventure at every turn. This network of underground caverns is one of the best places in New Zealand to spot glowworms, and the glittering creatures provide a magical backdrop to the caves' natural wonders.

The Basics
The Waitomo Caves can only be visited by guided tours, which typically include a walk through the caves and a boat ride through the glowworm grotto. Tours typically run from Auckland or Rotorua, and are often combined with other Waitomo attractions, such as the Hobbiton film set from The Lord of the Rings.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Only guided tours can access the caves.
  • Facilities at the Waitomo Caves Discovery Center include restrooms, a café and restaurant, and free Wi-Fi.
  • It can get cold in the caves, so bring a warm jacket and wear comfortable shoes.
  • Cameras and GoPros are not permitted inside the caves.
  • The caves are not wheelchair accessible and access might be tricky for those with mobility problems. However, the nearby Ruakuri Cave offers wheelchair access. 

How to Get There
The Waitomo Caves are located in Waitomo on the West Coast of New Zealand’s North Island. The nearest international airport is in Auckland, roughly 125 miles (200 kilometers) north of the caves, or 2.5 hours by road. Tours also run from Rotorua, 90 miles (145 kilometers) east of the caves, or two hours by road. 

When to Get There
The Waitomo Caves are open year-round, but summer (December through February) is the most popular time to visit. It can get busy, so be sure to book in advance and opt for an early morning or late afternoon tour if you want to avoid crowds. 

Tours and Activities in Waitomo
Along with the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, visitors can explore nearby Aranui Cave, Ruakari Cave, and Marokopa Falls. Adventurous types can get their adrenaline fix by black water rafting, abseiling (rappelling), cave tubing (gliding along the river in a giant inner tube), or canyoning through the caves.
Address: 39 Waitomo Caves Road, Waitomo, New Zealand
Hours: Open daily
Admission: Prices vary for each tour
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101 Tours and Activities to Experience Waitomo Caves

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Waitomo Glowworm Caves Guided Tour

Waitomo Glowworm Caves Guided Tour

star-4
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.
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  • 45 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$37.32
From
$37.32
Taking safety measures

Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Glowworm Caves Day Trip from Auckland

Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Glowworm Caves Day Trip from Auckland

star-5
Visit a pair of New Zealand's must-see attractions with this combo tour from Auckland to the Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Peek into Hobbit Holes, frolic in the Shire, and get a drink at the Green Dragon Inn on a guided tour of Middle-earth, followed by a Kiwi-style lunch. In the afternoon, explore Maori myths and history on a boat ride through mesmerizing caves lit by thousands of glowworms, and finish with a drive through some of the North Island’s most majestic scenery.
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  • 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$173.03
Price varies by group size
From
$173.03
Price varies by group size

Black Water Rafting Experience Waitomo Caves Tour

Black Water Rafting Experience Waitomo Caves Tour

star-5
Go Waitomo black-water rafting (cave tubing) for a memorable adventure in the Waitomo Caves. Choose a 3-hour Labyrinth experience that takes you floating underground on an inner tube, including a small waterfall jump. Or upgrade to the 5-hour Black Abyss for an exhilarating abseil (rappel) down limestone walls; instruction and equipment included. The resident glowworms, stalactites and stalagmites will amaze you! Finish with a hot shower, soup and bagel.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$101.78
From
$101.78
Taking safety measures

Hobbiton, Rotorua and Waitomo Caves Day Trip in Luxury Minibus from Auckland

Hobbiton, Rotorua and Waitomo Caves Day Trip in Luxury Minibus from Auckland

star-4.5
Cover plenty of ground in one day by combining several North Island highlights: Waitomo Caves, Hobbiton, and Rotorua. Ride a boat through the Waitomo Glowworm Caves to see these radiant lights. Take a guided tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set, where you find the Green Dragon Inn, the Mill and the home of Bilbo Baggins from ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings.’ Enjoy lunch at Te Puia, home to Pohutu Geyser. You can start and finish your tour in either Auckland or Rotorua, traveling one-way or round-trip.
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  • 13 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$313.17
From
$313.17
Taking safety measures

Hobbiton and Waitomo Caves Small Group Tour from Auckland

Hobbiton and Waitomo Caves Small Group Tour from Auckland

star-5
The fictional, yet globally famous, village of Hobbiton and the Waitomo Caves rank among the most popular sites of interest in New Zealand. On this tour, visit both sites in one day—see the home of Bilbo Baggins and explore Waitomo’s subterranean caverns—and enjoy personal attention from your guide on this small-group tour—limited to 12 people.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$208.09
From
$208.09
Taking safety measures

2 Day Waitomo Caves, Hobbiton Movie Set and Rotorua Tour from Auckland

2 Day Waitomo Caves, Hobbiton Movie Set and Rotorua Tour from Auckland

star-4.5
Discover the otherworldly beauty of New Zealand’s North Island, from Rotorua’s geothermal pools and the Waitomo Glowworm Caves to the Shire at the Hobbiton Movie Set. On this 2-day coach tour from Auckland, you’ll experience ancient Maori traditions with a ‘hangi’ dinner, the filmmaking history of ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ a duck tour and a visit to the Agrodome. Enjoy standard (3 star hotel) or superior (4 star hotel) overnight accommodation in Rotorua.
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  • 2 days
  • Taking safety measures
From
$786.43
Price varies by group size
From
$786.43
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

5-Day Bay of Islands Rotorua Waitomo Caves and Hobbiton Tour from Auckland

5-Day Bay of Islands Rotorua Waitomo Caves and Hobbiton Tour from Auckland

star-4
Soak up all the North Island highlights on this 5-day journey from Auckland by coach, including a Bay of Islands cruise to see the Hole in the Rock. Your itinerary includes a drive along Ninety Mile Beach at Cape Reinga; enjoy an overnight stay near the bubbling hot springs of Rotorua; a visit to Waitomo Caves for a boat ride through Glowworm Grotto; and a Hobbiton Movie Set tour to see filming locations for ‘The Lord of the Rings.’ Listen to informative commentary on board.
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  • 5 days
  • Taking safety measures
From
$1,268.20
Price varies by group size
From
$1,268.20
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Waitomo Caves and Rotorua including Te Puia - Small Group Tour from Auckland

Waitomo Caves and Rotorua including Te Puia - Small Group Tour from Auckland

star-5
The Waitomo Caves and Rotorua rank among New Zealand’s top attractions, offering natural beauty, geothermal features, and native culture in equal measure. Ideal for travelers short on time, this adventurous tour takes in both sites in the same day, with entry fees plus round-trip transport from Auckland included. Discover subterranean stalagmites at the famous Waitomo Caves and hit top Rotorua attractions including the Government Gardens and Lake Rotorua.
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  • 13 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$226.19
From
$226.19
Taking safety measures

Tauranga Shore Excursion: Waitomo Caves and The Kiwi House

Tauranga Shore Excursion: Waitomo Caves and The Kiwi House

star-4.5
Explore one of the North Island’s most impressive natural wonders and see the national symbol of New Zealand on this shore excursion from Tauranga. Walk through the caves to see stalagmites and stalactites before boarding a small boat to the incredible Waitomo Caves, filled with glittering glow-worms. Then visit the Otorohanga Kiwi House to learn more about the native birds. Port pickup and drop-off is included.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$167.03
From
$167.03

Waitomo Caves Adventure from Auckland or Rotorua

Waitomo Caves Adventure from Auckland or Rotorua

star-5
Experience the thrill of black-water rafting and caving in a safe yet challenging environment. Choose among several exhilarating underground adventures at Waitomo Caves. Accompanied by an expert guide, you can go cave tubing among glowworms, rappel down into the labyrinth, or do both. Prepare for a one-of-a-kind tour with an option to suit any adventurous spirit. Travel round-trip from either Auckland or Rotorua, with hotel pickup available.
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  • 13 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$249.69
From
$249.69
Taking safety measures

2-Day Hobbiton, Rotorua, Waitomo Caves Tour from Auckland with Accommodation

2-Day Hobbiton, Rotorua, Waitomo Caves Tour from Auckland with Accommodation

star-5
Combine three of New Zealand’s most popular attractions on this 2-day tour from Auckland. Step into Middle Earth on a tour of the Hobbiton movie set from 'Lord of the Rings,' explore the geothermal landscapes of Rotorua, and cruise through the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. This great-value tour includes hotel pickup, some meals, and overnight accommodation in Rotorua.
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  • 2 days
  • Taking safety measures
From
$671.59
From
$671.59
Taking safety measures

Rotorua and Waitomo Caves Day Trip from Auckland

Rotorua and Waitomo Caves Day Trip from Auckland

star-4.5
Take in two of New Zealand’s top attractions in one day on this Rotorua and Waitomo Caves day trip from Auckland. Visit Rotorua with a guide and take in key sites including Te Puia and the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute. After lunch, admire fine views over Lake Rotorua on route to the famous Waitomo Caves. During your boat ride, gain insight into the caves’ geological significance and marvel at the luminescent glow worms illuminating the dark caves. Upgrade to include the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland to your small-group tour.
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  • 13 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$248.46
From
$248.46
Taking safety measures

Private Tour: Waitomo Caves Day Trip from Auckland

Private Tour: Waitomo Caves Day Trip from Auckland

star-4
Visit Waitomo Caves and get acquainted with Auckland, the so-called ‘City of Sails,’ on this private, full-day tour. After a panoramic tour of New Zealand’s largest city, you’ll be whisked away, past rolling hills, farmland and the Waikato River, to Waitomo Caves. Tour the cave network and learn about its history from your guide, then get up close to the glowworms during a magical boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto. This tour includes the services of your own personal guide and private vehicle.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$364.40
From
$364.40

3-Day Waitomo Caves, Rotorua and Taupo Tour from Auckland

3-Day Waitomo Caves, Rotorua and Taupo Tour from Auckland

star-3.5
Discover the North Island on a 3-day guided coach tour, traveling round-trip from Auckland. Experience the magical luminescence of thousands of glowworms during an underground boat ride at Waitomo Glowworm Caves. In Rotorua, visit the Agrodome and experience geothermal wonders like Pohutu Geyser at Te Puia, then learn about Maori traditions with a cultural performance. Enjoy sightseeing at the picturesque lakeside setting of Taupo including its top attraction: Huka Falls. Two nights’ accommodation with hotel pickup and drop-off are included.
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  • 3 days
From
$834.44
From
$834.44

Private chauffeured Tour of Waitomo Caves

Private chauffeured Tour of Waitomo Caves

star-5
Benefit from personalized attention and a flexible itinerary on this private tour to Waitomo Caves. Your dedicated guide will lead you around the caves, home to thousands of glowworms. Learn about the glowworms biology and behavior through your guide's commentary, then explore the scenic reserve's free walking tracks, lush green hills, and pristine rivers.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$167.03
From
$167.03

Waitomo Caves Tour from Auckland

Waitomo Caves Tour from Auckland

star-5
Discover your moment of magic in the Waitomo Glowworm Caves - This private small group tour from Auckland to 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
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$168.96
From
$168.96

Waitomo Caves and Kiwi House (private vehicle and driver)

Waitomo Caves and Kiwi House (private vehicle and driver)

star-5
Be delighted by the sight of thousands of glowworms during a tranquil boat ride through the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Then follow up with a visit to the Otorohanga Kiwi House for a rare glimpse of the flightless and nocturnal great spotted kiwi, New Zealand’s national bird. This full-day tour from Auckland includes a cafe lunch and round-trip hotel transport with a knowledgeable guide.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$274.90
From
$274.90

Waitomo Caves & Rotorua Day Tour from Auckland-Small Group Tour

Waitomo Caves & Rotorua Day Tour from Auckland-Small Group Tour

star-4
We start journey with picking you up from any location in Auckland City in comfortable Air conditioned mini-van & Then we go on a two & a half hour scenic drive travel through the lush farmland of the Waikato and you will encounter NZ's longest river, beautiful mountains and see several different farm animals along the way. Enjoying your driver guide’s informative commentary to Waitomo Glowworm Cave where you will have a 1 hour guided tour inside The Waitomo Grotto including a boat ride in the underground Waitomo River. After visiting Waitomo, continue south to Rotorua, Te Puia Geothermal Valley of boiling mud pools and spectacular geysers awaits visitors to Rotorua, a dream spot for sightseeing and a region steeped in Maori legend, history and culture. Once inside the park we stop for lunch and we highly recommend trying the traditional Maori Hangi meal. After lunch we set off for a fully guided tour around this amazing park to see it's geothermal and cultural wonders.
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  • 13 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$253.77
Price varies by group size
From
$253.77
Price varies by group size

Private Day Tour: Auckland to Waitomo Caves

Private Day Tour: Auckland to Waitomo Caves

star-4
Benefit from personalized attention and a flexible itinerary on this full-day tour to either the Black Water Rafting Company or the Waitomo Caves. This private transfer makes travel from Auckland (accommodation, airport, or cruise ship) a breeze; your itinerary once you arrive is up to you. Make your bookings for the caves or a rafting adventure on your own, and enjoy your activity knowing that return transfer is already arranged.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$285.43
Price varies by group size
From
$285.43
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Hobbiton & Waitomo Caves Exclusive Luxury Day Tour From Auckland

Hobbiton & Waitomo Caves Exclusive Luxury Day Tour From Auckland

star-4.5
Take a break from the bustle of Auckland on a private day trip to Waitmoto with door-to-door transport and lunch included. Going with a chauffeur eliminates the stress of navigating and allows you take in sweeping views of New Zealand’s natural landscape along the way. Included on the day’s itinerary are a tour of the Lord of the Rings Hobbiton set, a nature walk at Lake Karapiro, and a stop at the Waitmoto Glowworm Caves.
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  • 8 to 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$466.28
Price varies by group size
From
$466.28
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Caves Full Day Tour from Auckland

Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Caves Full Day Tour from Auckland

Go on a Hobbiton tour from Auckland and see the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, starting with a scenic drive through New Zealand’s North Island aboard a luxury 4X4 SUV or Van. You’ll be enthralled by the illuminated Glowworm Grotto during an underground boat ride on the Waitomo River. Then pose for photos in front of hobbit holes at the Hobbiton Movie Set, home to Bilbo Baggins from ‘The Hobbit’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogies. Full-day tour from Auckland to two of New Zealand’s most magical sites Take a boat ride to the glowworm grotto to see thousands of glowworms twinkling in the darkness Enjoy a delicious lunch at the Green Dragon Inn Explore the Hobbiton Movie Set, where parts of The Lord of the Rings movies were filmed Have you photo taken in front of a hobbit hole!
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  • 10 to 11 hours
From
$250.38
From
$250.38

Private Luxury Tour to Hobbiton Movie Set, Waitomo G/W Caves & Rotorua- Couples

Private Luxury Tour to Hobbiton Movie Set, Waitomo G/W Caves & Rotorua- Couples

This private tour has been designed for couples that require privacy and flexibility. You can make stops for photo shoots or spend extra time on locations. Travel in luxury with chauffeurs with 25 years of experience in Tours & Transfers! You will enjoy your visit to the sets of ‘Lord of The Rings’ and Hobbit movies, discover how a 12 acre sheep farm was turned into a movie set, getting a glimpse of behind the scenes secrets of how the movies were made, then enjoy the countryside of scenic hills and valleys to the wonderland of Rotorua. The sight, sound and colours of the volcanic areas are amazing. The Pohutu geyser is stunning when it erupts. Waitimo Glowworm Caves is mesmerising with its thousands of Glowworms unique only to New Zealand. Your journey through the countryside of New Zealand takes in the lush greenery of rolling hillsides and scenic mountains and valleys with its different animals following New Zealand’s longest river ‘Waikato River’ along the way
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  • 13 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$1,112.81
per group
From
$1,112.81
per group

5-Day Bay of Islands, Waitomo Caves, Rotorua & Hobbiton Tour from Auckland

5-Day Bay of Islands, Waitomo Caves, Rotorua & Hobbiton Tour from Auckland

star-5
A five day independent tour departing Auckland daily and taking in most of the key tourism destination in the North Island of New Zealand. You will visit the Bay of Islands, with a tour of the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the historic township of Russell, and a cruise to the famous 'Hole in the Rock'. Your day in Auckland includes a full day sightseeing with both a harbor cruise and admission to the Sky Tower. On day four travel to Rotorua, via Waitomo Glowworm Caves, with a guided tour of the glowworm grotto. Day five includes admission to the main attractions in Rotorua, including Te Puia, the Agrodome, and Rainbow Springs along with a tour of Hobbiton on your return journey to Auckland. The tour includes four nights in 4 star accommodation and all transport and tours listed.
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  • 5 days
From
$1,204.41
From
$1,204.41

Private Tour: Rotorua and Waitomo Caves Day Trip from Auckland

Private Tour: Rotorua and Waitomo Caves Day Trip from Auckland

star-4
Explore Rotorua and the otherworldly Waitomo Caves on this 12-hour private tour from Auckland. With your dedicated guide, travel in a private vehicle to the Waitomo Caves. Walk through the impressive underground caverns, filled with unusual rock formations. Take a boat trip through the Glowworm Grotto to see the tiny, phosphorescent creatures light up around you. Continue to Te Puia, a traditional Maori village, and Te Whakarewarewa, a geothermal valley filled with mud pools and geysers. Enjoy personal attention from your guide and the ability to modify your itinerary on this private tour. Light refreshments and round-trip transportation from Auckland are included.
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  • 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$540.93
From
$540.93

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are Waitomo Caves hours of operation?
A:
Waitomo Caves hours of operation: Open daily. Buy tickets in advance on Viator. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Waitomo Caves?