3.5 star rating: Worth doing 27 Reviews

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  • Location:Auckland, concludes in Rotorua, New Zealand
  • Duration:5 hours (approx.)

Best Auckland to Rotorua via Waitomo Glowworm Caves One-Way Tour

Explore New Zealand’s famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves on a one-way day trip from Auckland to Rotorua! Along the way, you’ll have morning tea in historic Rangiriri, stop in Ngaruawahia, ride a boat through the Glowworm Grotto, see the Karapito Dam and drive under the Fitzgerald Glade.


  • One-way tour from Auckland to Rotorua via the Waitomo Glowworm Caves
  • Visit Rangiriri, a historic Maori battle site
  • See Ngaruawahia, home of the Maori King
  • Explore the Waitomo Glowworm Caves
  • Drive through beautiful Fitzgerald Glade

What You Can Expect

Best Auckland to Rotorua via Waitomo Glowworm Caves One-Way Tour

Rotorua, New Zealand

On this fascinating one-way day trip from Auckland to Rotorua, you’ll make stops at some of the North Island of New Zealand’s natural wonders and historic sites, including a stop at the famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves.

Your tour departs Auckland for Rangiriri, where you’ll stop for morning tea. This historic township was the site of important battles between New Zealand’s native Maori and the invading British. Your guide will captivate you with the stories of these fierce conflicts as you learn of their importance to the birth of modern New Zealand.

You’ll leave Rangiriri and head to the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, with a stop on the way in Ngaruawahia, the home of the Maori king. At Waitomo, a guide will lead you beneath the earth’s surface and into the caves’ long galleries and lofty chambers, including the famous Cathedral Chamber.

You’ll marvel at the limestone shafts and the stalactites that hang from the cave’s ceiling while your guide points out their interesting formations. You’ll then board a boat and ride through the Glowworm Grotto, a giant rock chamber illuminated by the phosphorescent light of thousands of glowworms. This experience is like no other and is a must-see for anyone traveling to the New Zealand.

Back in the coach, you’ll drive by the Karapiro Dam. The ultra-modern dam contrasts with the lush, natural greenery surrounding Lake Karapiro, making for great photo opportunities.

You’ll then drive through another of the North Island’s natural wonders, the Fitzgerald Glade, a section of Highway 5 where the native brush grows up and over the side of the road, and the trees make a canopy with their interlocking branches, forming a tunnel over the road.

As your journey comes to an end, you’ll drive over Mamaku Saddle pass and descend into Rotorua, where you’ll be transferred to your hotel. This tour is one of the most engaging and interesting coach tours on New Zealand’s North Island – don’t miss it.

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Customer Reviews

United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2015

Most enjoyable!

Isobel M
United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2015

Good way to get from Bay of Islands to Auckland

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2013

Loved this tour!!!!!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2013

Loved this tour. Glowworm caves not to be missed. Driver was a wealth of information

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2013

Very suitable tour. The cave is exceptional. I come from Bulgaria where we have all kind of caves, but this small one with this lights in the dark - great experience. This tour is nice because you can stay for a night in Roturua.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2012

Bus trip turns into fun adventure under superb leadership of driver, Paul, and his trainee, Andy. The 5-hour drive flew by as Paul provided facts and stories about New Zealand. The riders played “The Game” to test retention of information provided by Paul and generally entertain the group. The Caves were fascinating. Needed more shopping time and the photos are too expensive.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2011

The trip from Auckland to Rotorua via Glowworm caves was brilliant. The driver was very helpful. altogether would recommend to anyone.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2010

very nice places we saw


5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2010

This was very interesting and our guide was very knowledgeable. The bus was very comfortable and we enjoyed the sights on our way to Rotorua.

4 star rating: Recommended June 2015

Very professional, driver was lovely

From USD $ 169.19

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Tour code: 3910GS11


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