Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Waitomo Glowworm Caves


288 Rankers Reviews

263 Face-to-Face

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Be amazed by the thousands of magical glowworms above as you glide gently by boat through the world famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves. For spectacular limestone formations and an intimate, up close glowworm experience Ruakuri Cave is accessible through an innovative spiral entrance.


Feature Value Info


North IslandWaikatoWaitomo


  • Caving


Showing 8 reviews of 266.

wynden's avatar


Ranking: 1/10

I came for an immersive engagement with nature, and my stomach sank as soon as they shuffled us in front of a photographer and forced us to pose with a plush cartoon glowworm.

I had read about glowworm caves long before I came to New Zealand and it was one of the primary things I wanted to experience while there. For the advertised 45 minute tour, they led us on foot in large groups of ~50 people into a cave. Other groups were directly ahead of and behind us as we shuffled along trying not to bump into each other in the close quarters. This, in combination with the screaming infants and children present, made it difficult to impossible to hear our guide in the echoing chamber. What we did manage to hear, however, was predominately a feeble attempt at humor, or random bits of trivia designed to flush out the tour. Our guide highlighted various shapes among the stalactites, for example, which he said bore a resemblance to animals or celebrities. He also sang a traditional hymn to demonstrate the acoustics of the cavern, which might have been interesting had we not already heard preceding groups make the same demonstration, and had it not been eclipsed by the incessant peals of screaming children.

The main event that we had paid to see was restricted to a single small cave which we drifted in and out of in under five minutes. After the torment of being crushed into an echo chamber for nearly an hour with shrill, disinterested youngsters and a young guide groping awkwardly for anything to entertain us with, a brief sip of splendor was not enough to restore the high spirits I'd arrived in.

This experience would have been significantly improved had they instituted an age limit and separated the crowds into significantly smaller groups. It could only have been saved, however, if they had spent more time on the glowworms and charged a more reasonable fee for the proportion allotted to the primary attraction.

Reviewed about 3 years ago

ros fraser's avatar

ros fraser


Ranking: 4/10

Did the main cave should have done the three hour tour at different cave. Havnt been to original cave in ten years got nostalgic shouldn’t have bothered rushed experience and where the hell had all the glow worms gone now there’s just pockets not continuous like stars in the night. Overpriced maybe they need to give it a rest .if you do decide go first thing before your buses get there

Reviewed over 3 years ago

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Martin Murlik's avatar

Martin Murlik

Czech Republic

Ranking: 8/10

Awesome to see, good guides. Pricey as are most of the tourist attractions in NZ.

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in March 2017

Jeny Smolders's avatar

Jeny Smolders


Ranking: 7/10

Before we went to the glowworm caves, we stayed at a free camping spot where we had already seen glowworms. Waitomo was nice, but very busy and too quick.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Oscar Petersen's avatar

Oscar Petersen


Ranking: 8/10

Great tour we did with a discount, otherwise expensive. If you can, do the 7 hour tour - you will get much more time in the cave.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

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Anis Quentin's avatar

Anis Quentin


Ranking: 7/10

Perfect guide. The cave is beautiful and the little travel on a boat in the dark was awesome!! The problem is the price, $51 for 45 minutes is obviously too much!

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Rado Hank's avatar

Rado Hank


Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful experience. Very unique. Highly recommended.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Lizzie Edmonds's avatar

Lizzie Edmonds

United Kingdom

Ranking: 8/10

Really enjoyed this and the boat ride seeing the glowworms was great. However, overall the guided tour felt a bit short for the price and we were a little rushed around the caves.

Reviewed over 3 years ago