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Take a CaveWorld tour of Footwhistle Glowworm Cave, part of an extensive cave system in Waitomo. An informative guide leads your small group past stalactites and stalagmites to a candlelit cavern glowing with the tiny lights of glowworms. See the stunning rock formations of Te Anaroa Cathedral and view the bones of an ancient moa during your 1-hour tour of this subterranean marvel. Numbers are limited to 13 people to ensure personalized attention from your guide.

Highlights

  • 1-hour tour of the Footwhistle glowworm caves at Waitomo
  • Take a short walk through New Zealand bushland and see native birds, ferns and waterfalls
  • Gawk at glowworms, ancient Moa bird bones, stalactites and stalagmites in a majestic underground chamber
  • Learn from your knowledgeable guide about the cave’s history, glowworms and other insect life
  • See the famous Footwhistle flowstone formation, which looks like a frozen waterfall!
  • Small-group tour limited to 13 people provides an intimate and personalized experience with your guide

What You Can Expect

Waitomo Glowworm Tour at Footwhistle Cave

Footwhistle Glowworm Cave

Make your way to the CaveWorld office in Waitomo for a 5-minute shuttle ride to Footwhistle Glowworm Cave. Next, follow your guide on a short bush walk past lush ferns and a waterfall cascading into a nearby stream. As you enter the dim, candle-lit cavern, your guide details the history of Footwhistle, known to the Maori as Te Anaroa. 

Look up at a starry glow emitted by tiny glowworms before continuing into a side passage where you’ll marvel at the bones of a now-extinct moa — a flightless bird that inhabited New Zealand centuries ago. Creeping through the otherworldly terrain of the Footwhistle cave system, you’ll pass by dripping stalactite and stalagmite formations and a subterranean stream.

Take a seat in the largest chamber and watch as your guide demonstrates how the first cave tours were conducted more than 100 years ago. Be mesmerized by the brief flare of a magnesium torch that flashes on rock sculptures and the dome-shaped ceiling before fading back into darkness. 

After you make your way back to the cave entrance, your 1-hour tour ends with the return shuttle ride to the CaveWorld office.

Customer Reviews

Fiona F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Fantastic and highly recommended. Tour guide was great and the cave was amazing.

Louise G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2016

This was a delightful experience where we got to see amazing caves, cave wetas and the local scenery all with extra information provided by our tour guide Ross who had amazing knowledge of all the flora, fauna and geology and history.
There were crazy queues up the road for other cave tours but this was more intimate and brilliant.
Go it's great fun.

Michael S

4 star rating: Recommended December 2015

Pay careful attention to the description. This is a tour of Footwhistle Cave, not the more famous Waitomo Cave. You'll have to climb down and then back up about 100 steps so skip this one if you've got mobility or stamina problems. Overall, a nice tour though, with plenty of glowworms on display.

Matthew S

4 star rating: Recommended May 2015

Great guide, interesting but underwhelming experience. Worth seeing, but not the best thing you'll see in NZ

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