Waitomo Glowworm Caves picture1 of 3
Waitomo Glowworm Caves2 of 3
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Key Info

39 Waitomo Village Road, Waitomo Caves

Details

Natural Wonders, Tours Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.5

scorecard

  • 4.0Value
  • 5.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

This world-famous natural wonder, which is situated about 120 miles south of Auckland, features a boat ride through Glowworm Grotto, where thousands of glowworms illuminate the cave ceiling. These bright, tiny creatures can only be found in New Zealand.

Although some former travelers cautioned that the Waitomo Glowworm Caves can feel crowded during peak season, many said the attraction is interesting and worth a visit. While the caves are beautiful to walk through, the star attraction is the glowworms. However, photography and videography are not allowed in any part of the caves, so keep cameras stowed when inside. Visitors are also asked to keep quiet during the boat portion of the tour.

A gift shop, cafe, restaurant and free parking lot are available at the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Parking spaces become limited as the day progresses, so drivers should consider booking morning tours and arriving early. Guided cave tours, which are included in all ticket prices, operate daily from 8, 8:30 or 9 a.m. to 5, 5:30 or 7 p.m. (depending on the month) and last about 45 minutes. Entrance fees start at 51 New Zealand dollars (less than $37) for adults and NZ$23.50 (around $17) for kids. Family passes are also available. Additionally, travelers can join GreatSights New Zealand Tours' combined Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Glowworm Caves tour, which includes round-trip bus transfers from Auckland. Combined tours cost NZ$357 (approximately $257) for adults and NZ$178 (about $128) for children. To learn more about the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, check out the attraction's website.

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#1 Rangitoto Island

Situated just off the coast of central Auckland across from Devonport is Rangitoto Island, a volcanic island known for its superb hiking trails and panoramic views. Multiple trails are available for island exploration, including the popular Summit Track, which takes hikers through lava fields and the world's largest pohutukawa forest to the island's summit.

Prepare for stunning vistas and a steep, yet doable hike when visiting Rangitoto Island. If you're not keen on hiking, travelers recommend opting for Fullers' Volcanic Explorer Tour, which includes round-trip ferry transfers to and from downtown Auckland and a four-wheel drive road train tour of the island.

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