Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Waitomo Caves

(4.1/5 based on 3,200+ reviews on the web)
Home to a species of glowworms found exclusively in New Zealand, Waitomo Glowworm Caves serve as one of the country's most popular natural landmarks. A magnet for both local and foreign visitors, this attraction offers guided tours through three underground levels linked by long vertical shafts made of limestone. Start at the visitor center, where you can learn about the history of this cave system. Guided tours depart from behind the center and take participants past huge stalactites and stalagmites. As you enter a giant cavern known as "the cathedral" and your eyes gradually adjust to the dim light, prepare to see thousands of tiny glowworms sparkling all around you. Put Waitomo Glowworm Caves into our Waitomo Caves holiday planner and find out what's close by, where to stay, and where to head next.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Visited the caves in Jan, and made a detour to see them whilst en route between Tongariro and Rotorua. We arrived at 12 noon and found that the tickets were timed entrance, and the next available tour...  more »
  • We absolutely loved our visit to the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Our tour guide was informative and friendly and taught us lots about the glowworms and the caves themselves. The best part was the boat rid...  more »
  • Went to the Glowworm Caves for the Christmas holidays with my husband. We both thoroughly enjoyed the experience. PRO: fun staff, safety first, exciting in just the right amount. CON: freezing cold wa...  more »
Google
  • Beautiful nature, friendly and knowledgeable guides, had an amazing experience watching the glow worms - not unlike watching distant galaxies through time. Pleasant souvenir shop with some interesting quality stuff, not just gaudy touristy trash :)
  • Great Sights Grayline tour had Hobbiton and Waitomo packaged together. Long bus ride for quick tours for an expensive price. Both Hobbiton and Waitomo were interesting, but you are pushed through guided tours quickly. Nothing you can do at your own pace makes you feel rushed through the experience. The crowds are large though and one can understand why. You are better off doing this on your own time though because Great Sight Grayline is hit and miss with their bus tour guides...and since most of your time is with that tour guide-good luck-because ours was horrible!
  • Not impressed by the service. The place itself is a beauty of the nature, however I believe it's scary to see how the place was impacted to create a touristic activity. In other caves (NZ or abroad) the installations have much less impact on the natural environnement - even if that means that the access is more limited with smaller group. Everything is is clearly made to make as much money as possible (a visit every half an hour, many people in the group, installation inside the cave). It looks a bit like a Disney Land activity, and the price of the ticket (50$) for a 45 minutes visite is too much (the cave itself is quite small). I would not encourage this ''family business'', NZ has so many wonderfull (and preserved) spots better than this one, and you can support the DOC with donations.
  • Awesome experience!!! We had the greatest tour guide. She even sang a Maori song for us in the cave to show the acoustics and gave us plenty of time under the glowworms. Absolutely beautiful experience and well worth the money to see.
  • Well organised and great staff. We really enjoyed this stop. Not usually people that enjoy touristy places, but it was amazing! The highlight was the boat trip at the end with the glowworms all around.