3.5 star rating: Worth doing 15 Reviews

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

Waitomo Glowworm Caves Discovery Tour from Auckland

Leave the city bustle behind to witness a fabulous light show at the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Marvel at the shimmering glow worms in the caves as you learn about the why they glow and how the caves were formed. Enjoy picturesque scenery en route to the caves and see highlights of the region such as Rangiriri, where British and Maori forces battled in 1863. Have time for lunch and to explore the Waitomo visitor complex before returning to Auckland in the afternoon.


  • 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

After morning pickup at your Auckland hotel or the bus terminal, travel by comfortable coach for about two hours to reach Waitomo. Take in the picturesque scenery along the way as you travel through the rolling farmland of Waikato and King Country.

Your driver points out highlights of the region including the historically significant Rangiriri, where a major battle was fought between British and Maori forces in 1863 as part of the British effort to colonize the Waikato region.

When you arrive at the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, a local guide takes you on a 45-minute guided tour through the limestone caves. Walk through subterranean caverns where you see stalagmites, stalactites and other rock formations. Learn how the caves were formed as you take in the magnificent underground chambers. Your tour finishes with a short boat ride through Glowworm Grotto, where thousands of glowworms light up the darkness like tiny stars. Each strand that dangles from the rock is a living glow worm that emits light.

After your tour enjoy a buffet lunch (if option selected) or spend time in the visitor center before returning to Auckland in the afternoon. There is a café on-site with a limited menu if you would like to purchase lunch there.

At the designated time, meet your coach for the return trip to Auckland, where you are returned to your starting point in the afternoon.

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Customer Reviews

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.

3 star rating: Worth doing March 2014

Loved the trip But the bus driver was on a time frame and the three of us were put on the second boat trip to see the worms so shen we got off the upset bus driver did not let us even stop to use rest rooms or buy the picture of the three of us or get something to eat. So from six in mor I g until ther in afternoon we only had a bit of fruit offered at bus station. Also not realize we were going to be on two different buses do long. Going back the bus did stop an hour into trip to place that had bathrooms only. And he was in a rush to get back for his next appointment. Loved the event but not the experiences of getting back

From USD $ 168.17

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Tour code: 3910GS10


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