Water activity

Waitomo: Glowworm Caves Guided Tour by Boat

Waitomo: Glowworm Caves Guided Tour by Boat

Activity provider: THL - Waitomo Caves Group

From US$ 34.52 per person

Explore the world-famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves on a guided tour. Glide by boat and marvel at the sight of magical glowworms above you.

About this activity

Free cancellation
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Covid-19 precautions
Special health and safety measures are in place. Check your activity voucher once you book for full details. Learn more
Duration 1 hour
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide


  • Marvel at the thousands of glowworms as you glide through the caves by boat
  • Learn the history and geology of the caves from a knowledgeable guide
  • Walk through the Cathedral Cave and experience the amazing acoustics
Full description

Discover New Zealand's natural wonder of Waitomo Glowworm Caves on a guided boat trip. Glide by boat through this underground complex, watching millions of tiny bioluminescent insects lighting up the rocky limestone. Explore this cave complex, including a chance to visit the Cathedral Cave on foot.

The caves were formed over 30 million years ago and comprise 2 levels. The upper level is dry and includes the entrance to the cave and formations known as the Catacombs, the Pipe Organ, and the Banquet Chamber. On the lower level are stream passages and the Cathedral. Begin on foot as your local guide brings the caves to life with stories about their history. Then, board a boat and marvel at the light display as you glide silently through the starry wonderland of the Glowworm Grotto.

  • Waitomo Glowworm Caves entry ticket
  • 45-minute guided tour
  • Local guide
  • Souvenir photos
Not suitable for
  • Wheelchair users
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
Traveler requirements
  • All participants who are over 12 years old must present proof of full vaccination
  • In addition to proof of vaccination, all participants who are over 18 years old must present a government-issued photo ID (e.g. driver’s license, passport, etc)
  • All participants who are over 12 years and 3 months old must present proof of full vaccination

Select participants and date



Important information

What to bring

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Warm clothing

Not allowed

  • Cameras
  • Flash photography
  • Video recording
  • Photography inside

Know before you go

  • No photography is permitted inside the caves, and cameras and GoPros cannot be taken on the tour
  • Souvenir photos are available for purchase after your tour
  • The tour is subject to weather conditions
  • All tours are subject to availability. Pending available time slots, your tour time may be 15-30 minutes before or after the one you have requested
  • Bring comfortable walking shoes and a warm jacket
  • The caves are accessible to those with reasonable mobility, as there are good handrails and paths. There is no wheelchair access
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.6 /5

based on 777 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money
  • Safety

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The experience was lovely and beautiful and facinating seeing the Glowworms and beautiful caves, however there were families there with noisy children and it was not nipped in the bud by the tour guide. My spot on the boat also left me with a wet bottom, so please encourage people to bring something to sit on in the boat so they keep their bottoms dry. While it was good that they Cafe had Vegan / vegetarian options to choose from, the burger bun that was served with the Black bean burger was very dry and took away from the lovely flavours.

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September 25, 2022

Totally recommended. The visit starts with a bit of history/context and then you are given a boat ride in the dark to see the glow worms. The time on the boat flew by, I wish it had been more. Photos cannot be taken, take them with your eyes for the memory.

August 3, 2022

We did the 45 minute “boat ride” which was more of a long walk and going around in a circle on the boat at the end for 10 min which I wasn’t aware of when I booked it with my elderly relatives who found the steep staircases difficult. We had a good tour as it progressed. When it began, our tour guide seemed unenthusiastic and nervous but it got better as the caves really speak for themselves. Beautiful display of nature and creation. We enjoyed it apart from the difficult walk and also the cafe should be made to order. The fries were cold and the pies looked burnt in the warmer.

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July 16, 2022

Product ID: 122921