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Waitomo Glowworm Caves Guided Tour

Waitomo Caves, New Zealand

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Free Cancellation
up to 24 hours in advance
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icon45 minutes  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English

Keeping you safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
Social distancing enforced throughout experience
Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
Guides required to regularly wash hands
More questions?
(888) 651-9785


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

Departure Point

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

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
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

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

  • 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?
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?
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?
The policy on staff health & safety is:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
See all safety measures taken by Waitomo Glowworm Caves Guided Tour.
What is the maximum group size during Waitomo Glowworm Caves Guided Tour?
This activity will have a maximum of 23 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Waitomo Glowworm Caves Guided Tour.

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
  • "Reservations are a really good idea, we would not have been able to do it had we waited to purchase there on the day we took the tour." 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


261 Reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers
Showing 1-10 of 261 reviews
Waitomo Caves- NZ must do
, Oct 2020
I highly recommend this interesting journey through the caves. Very informative with excellent guides (Moi) explaining everything from its origins and discovery to information about Maori culture and involvement. Fascinating
, Sep 2020
family of 9 had the best time just amazing history amazing sights to see and plenty of history thanks
A "must see " experience
, Jul 2020
George was great Wonderful explanation of the caves and the history My grandson was blown away All new for him
Loved every minute
, Jul 2020
We loved every minute of it. The staff and tour guide were friendly and helpful and we enjoyed the humorous tour. This is a must do for all.
The glow worms
, Jul 2020
It was awesome enjoyed every minute of it. The grandchildren loved it to. We will go again with my daughter
, Jun 2020
This was a wonderful experience and George our guide was excellent in explaining everything about the caves
The brightness of the glow worms
, Apr 2020
The queueing system is well organised. There is shade provided to shelter from the sun . Staff are helpful and friendly. The guide was a local person, very well informed about the critters and provided a witty description of life cycle. It was interesting that the caves are leased at present and will return to the local people in the near future
Unique glow worm boat ride.
, Mar 2020
We had a great time. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable. Well worth the price, and time. They shoudn’t have to prod me to add more to my story!
Lovely boat trip
, Mar 2020
Difficult for a disabled 85 year old person using two walking sticks. I enjoyed the glowworms but the steps up and down were hard to do. The boat trip was superb. I tried to do more than I could comfortably cope with. It would be great to have a smaller group for people with disabilities but able to walk with sticks. The younger and more agile people were not pleased to be held back.
Great experience
, Feb 2020
We were lucky to have a direct descendant of one of the discoverers of the cave provide our tour, giving us an insider's understanding and appreciation of the history. It's a short tour but the view of the glow worm cavern is not to be missed!

Product code: 3930P3

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