• Location: Auckland, New Zealand
  • Duration: 7 hours 54 minutes (approx.)
From USD $ 191.05 View price calendar

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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 picnic 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 picnic 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 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.

Customer Reviews

Rachel N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2018

The glowworm cave is beautiful. It's a long way out in the middle of nowhere, so I would recommend booking a multi-stop tour.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2017

Awesome experience but a little more time at the caves would be great. Felt a little rushed and would like to have stayed a little longer.

Jennifer C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2017

Very beautiful place. Amazing to learn not only about the glow worms but also the history of the caves. Really cool to see the stalagmites that have formed over years and years. Seeing the glow worms is so magical. It's like looking up into space and seeing bright blue stars everywhere. Absolutely no photos allowed inside because it will scare the worms then their lights will go out for sometimes days. Thought the actual boat tour would be longer though, but it just takes you in a circle in one small cave where there's a huge cluster of worms. Still amazing to see, and the surrounding forest is beautiful as well.

Bonnie S United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Such a great trip! The bus ride to Waitomo is very scenic. Loved the glowworm caves--the glowworms are so cool!

Lenleb47 United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015


elizabeth a

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2012

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

Jack H

4 star rating: Recommended November 2016

Really good tour, it is a very long journey from Auckland though. The bus driver going was good however the one on the way back was boring.... the tour I found was very expensive for a 45min tour!

John C

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.

Heather S

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.

Ryan M

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

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