The Hokitika Glowworm Dell

The Hokitika Glowworm Dell


47 Rankers Reviews

28 Face-to-Face

7 Caving

14 Hokitika

Online Maps


Dust or glowworms....?


Time: 2 minutes from the road side

It takses only 2 minutes from the road side to reach the glowworm dell in Hokitika. And the coolest thing is that it is free! there are a few interpretation boards that give you a bit more info in these little glowing critters.

The dell can be found on the outskirts of Hokitika, on the lefthand side of the road as you come into the town from Greymouth.

The path leading to the dell is unlit, but has handrails to guide you. You're best off visiting at dusk, when it's dark enough to see the worms, make sure you bring a torch to help you find your way.

You'll recognize the dell as soon as you reach it, you will see little blobs of light everywhere.

For all you budding photographers out there.....If you want pictures, bring a camera that can handle very low light conditions. Disable the flash! Photos with flash show nothing of the glowworms, and irritate other users of the dell...both human and insect.


Feature Value Info


South IslandWest CoastHokitika


  • Caving
  • Scenic Attractions
  • Free


Showing 13 reviews of 44.

Mike Fricker's avatar

Mike Fricker

Ranking: 8/10

18Oct18. Only 8 because of the people who flash torches around even when it is not completely dark and because some people think that a picture of a few pinpricks of light are worth taking, especially when they haven’t turned off their flash!

As for the place itself, it is easy to get up to the dell, actually an adventure in itself when really dark. There are railings to hold onto and follow. Follow the instructions and keep left up and down so hopefully you don’t bump into anyone else.
It takes a while for eyes to acclimatise so be patient. It is worth going to.

Reviewed about 3 years ago

Grizzly Girl's avatar

Grizzly Girl

Ranking: 10/10

Really great glow worm dell. Do not miss an opportunity to stop and see it if in the area. Better than most other sites you pay for and its free!

Reviewed about 3 years ago

Rachel Lewis's avatar

Rachel Lewis

Ranking: 10/10

Very cool! Like we were star watching ! Make sure you put your lights away about 100m up the path or else you'll disturb the glow worms and other viewers !

Reviewed about 4 years ago

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Rob & Colleen Elwood's avatar

Rob & Colleen Elwood

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

I walked into the dell prepared to be underwhelmed but found a really impressive glowworm display. Regrettably the experience was spoiled a bit by the big crowd of visitors including those who left their LED headlights on all the time to shine in everyone else's eyes .. and the ones who took the flash photographs. The dell is definitely worth a visit but leave it as late as possible to avoid the crowds. By the way, the photograph that accompanies the Ranker's listing for the glowworm dell shows the stars of the Southern Cross and the two pointers .. which are not actually glow-worms; unless some hyper intelligent worms are going astro-impersonations.

Reviewed over 4 years ago

Ross D's avatar

Ross D

United Kingdom

Ranking: 9/10

A path leads to a small dell where, at full darkness, the glowworms twinkle like a million stars. Could easily have been made to charge people but they have not - thanks.

Reviewed over 4 years ago and experienced in October 2016

Ethan Ruhland's avatar

Ethan Ruhland

Ranking: 10/10

It's not just free glow worms, it's A LOT of free glow worms. This little trip was better than a glow worm cave that I paid for further south. Definitely worth a trip at dark.

Reviewed about 5 years ago

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Clayton Hunniford's avatar

Clayton Hunniford


Ranking: 8/10

Very short walk to an amazing glowworm activity. Keep your lights off and be in awe.

Reviewed over 5 years ago and experienced in February 2016

Jasmin's avatar



Ranking: 6/10

Impressive for someone who is experiencing the sight of glowworms for the first time.

Reviewed over 5 years ago and experienced in October 2015

Sierra Luciano's avatar

Sierra Luciano

United States

Ranking: 10/10

At night, glowworms appear all over this path - during the day you would never guess that there would be so many. Saw way more worms that I expected. Overall great/very cool experience!

Reviewed over 5 years ago and experienced in December 2015

Award-1-24px Congratulations The Hokitika Glowworm Dell

Rankers TravellerVoted Awards 2013 Top Free Glowworms Winner

Alessandro Luison's avatar

Alessandro Luison


Ranking: 8/10

A natural wonder, created by animals in a natural contest. For the worms it is a strategy for hunting, for humans a marvelous view.

Reviewed over 5 years ago

Gesa's avatar



Ranking: 10/10

A small dell next to the main road. Best idea: first visit during the daylight (and think something like, yeah well, not sooo impressive0, then see the sunset at Hokitika Beach and come back, when it is dusk - amazing!!!

Reviewed over 5 years ago

Matthew Hallowell's avatar

Matthew Hallowell

Ranking: 8/10

Really cool spot and very easy access. Best once it is completely dark out. Do everyone else a favor and learn your camera functions before you go and avoid using the flash (it ruins your photograph and annoys everyone else).

Reviewed almost 6 years ago

Markus Delinsky's avatar

Markus Delinsky


Ranking: 6/10

Was nice to combine it with a short evening walk but nothing we would drive extra for.

Reviewed almost 6 years ago and experienced in February 2015