4 star rating: Recommended 16 Reviews

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  • Location:Auckland, New Zealand
  • Duration:8 hours (approx.)

Waitomo Glowworm Caves Discovery Tour from Auckland

This day trip from Auckland to the Waitomo Glowworm Caves leaves you to marvel at the shimmering light emitted by tiny glowworms inside New Zealand’s famous caverns. Ride a boat through Glowworm Grotto, where your guide describes the fascinating illuminations. En route, watch the rolling farmland of Waikato pass by and see highlights of the region such as Rangiriri. Afterward, learn more at the Waitomo visitor complex and enjoy an optional buffet lunch.


  • Full-day tour to Waitomo Glowworm Caves, from Auckland
  • Take a guided 45-minute tour through the famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves
  • Get great photo ops of fantastical rock formations in the underground chambers
  • Learn from your expert guide about the history of the cave complex and what makes glow worms illuminate
  • Enjoy a short boat ride through Glowworm Grotto
  • Have time to explore the Waitomo visitor complex at your leisure
  • Have the option to pre-book a buffet lunch or purchase your own snacks at the café

What You Can Expect

Waitomo Glowworm Caves Discovery Tour from Auckland

Glowworm Grotto boat ride at Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Cast your gaze upon the starry illumination of tiny glowworms at the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, located about a 2-hour drive from Auckland. Start your day trip with morning pickup at your hotel or the bus terminal by comfortable coach. Your driver points out highlights as you soak up the North Island scenery en route to Waitomo.

Travel through the bucolic farmland of the Waikato region and King Country, and see historic Rangiriri — site of an 1863 battle between colonizing British forces and and indigenous Maori.

On arrival at the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, embark on a 45-minute tour with a local guide. Follow on foot through the subterranean limestone caverns and discover how the stalagmites and stalactites were formed. A short boat ride glides you through Glowworm Grotto where you can admire thousands of glowworms that illuminate the underground chamber.

After your tour, enjoy a buffet lunch (if option selected) or purchase lunch from a limited menu at the on-site cafe. Have free time to spend exploring the exhibits at the visitor center before meeting your coach for the return trip to Auckland.

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Customer Reviews

United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015


5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2012

We really enjoyed the caves and those busy glowworms were really glowing!

4 star rating: Recommended August 2015

A long way from Auckland but well worth it.The tour of the caves is stunning and so like a starry starry Night. The guide was excellent and it is nice that the caves are still a family business.

4 star rating: Recommended June 2015

If I knew about the dark water experience I would have done that one insteadwet suit and walking through the cave. Still amazing and incredibly interesting.

4 star rating: Recommended February 2011

Two hour bus ride from Auckland CBD through beautiful country scenery. The drivers were quite informational and friendly. I enjoyed seeing the cave and was awed by the spectacle of the Glowworms! I would do it again one day

4 star rating: Recommended May 2010

I booked using Viator which would send my booking to a travel agent in NZ. The travel agent didn't check their email so nobody knew that I had paid for everything in total. Had to do last minute chase-up calls. Calling internationally to Viator only to let the answering machine tell me that 'Viator is an online company and will only deal with issues online'. Very frustrating!! Don't see why they have a phone number in the first place then. Other than this panicky hiccup, the actual tour itself was lots of fun and very intriguing.

4 star rating: Recommended January 2010

The tour was good but the drive was very long.

4 star rating: Recommended March 2009

I enjoyed it but was disappointed that we could not take pictures in the main part of the caves.

4 star rating: Recommended February 2009

Very enjoyable.

4 star rating: Recommended August 2008

The bus driver was very informative and made the long ride out to the caves go by quickly. The ride back was much longer without any narrative.
From USD $ 163.83

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Tour code: 3910GS10


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