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Waitomo Glowworm Caves picture in Auckland
Stalagmites and Stalactites picture in Auckland
Cave Boat picture in Auckland
Waitomo Glowworm Caves picture in Auckland
Stalagmites and Stalactites picture in Auckland
Cave Boat picture in Auckland

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  • Natural Wonders, Tours Type
  • 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.5
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  • Value
    4.0
  • Facilities
    5.0
  • Atmosphere
    5.0

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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 ... Read more » AnastasiaRas / iStock / Getty Images

#2 Cornwall Park Imagine New York's Central Park but with a New Zealand twist, and you've got Cornwall Park. This sprawling park, which sits on a volcanic cone, offers an abundance ... Read more » Jose Antonio Maciel / Getty Images

#3 Mount Eden One of the top attractions in Auckland, without question, is Mount Eden. This dormant volcano, which is completely covered with grass, offers some of the best views of downtown Auckland ... Read more » Robert Chang / iStock / Getty Images

#4 Waitakere Ranges Regional Park Tucked along the North Island's west coast less than 17 miles away from the city center, Waitakere Ranges Regional Park boasts 40,000 acres of forest and beaches. Everything ... Read more » denizunlusu / iStock / Getty Images

#5 Waitomo Glowworm Caves 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 ... Read more » MarcelStrelow / iStock / Getty Images

#6 Waiheke Island Whether you're a foodie, a thrill-seeker or a beach bum, odds are you'll love exploring Waiheke Island. Found within the Hauraki Gulf near Rangitoto Island and Tiritiri Matangi ... Read more » Steve Clancy Photography / Getty Images

#7 Auckland Zoo Less than 4 miles southwest of downtown Auckland is one of Auckland's premier animal attractions: the Auckland Zoo. This sprawling animal sanctuary, which boasts the largest number of exotic ... Read more » tiger_barb / iStock / Getty Images

#8 Tiritiri Matangi Open Sanctuary Bird lovers and outdoor enthusiasts cannot miss a chance to visit Tiritiri Matangi Open Sanctuary. Located on Tiritiri Matangi Island in the Hauraki Gulf (and within view of Rangitoto Island ... Read more » Mark Meredith / Getty Images

#9 Viaduct Harbour For some of central Auckland's best restaurants and bars, consider visiting the city's waterfront Viaduct Harbour. This Auckland precinct, which some compare to Sydney's Darling Harbour, features ... Read more » DianesPhotographic Designs / Getty Images

#10 Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki Located in the southwest corner of Albert Park, the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki is a necessary stop for art lovers. Inside, travelers will find more than 16,000 ... Read more » chameleonseye / Getty Images

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#15 New Zealand Maritime Museum To learn about the City of Sails' ties to the sea, check out the New Zealand Maritime Museum. Located in the Viaduct Harbour precinct, this museum is packed with artifacts ... Read more » chameleonseye / iStock / Getty Images

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Tiritiri Matangi Open Sanctuary picture in Auckland
Viaduct Harbour picture in Auckland
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Auckland War Memorial Museum picture in Auckland
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Rangitoto Island picture in Auckland
Cornwall Park picture in Auckland
Mount Eden picture in Auckland
Waitakere Ranges Regional Park picture in Auckland
Waitomo Glowworm Caves picture in Auckland
Waiheke Island picture in Auckland
Auckland Zoo picture in Auckland
Tiritiri Matangi Open Sanctuary picture in Auckland
Viaduct Harbour picture in Auckland
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki picture in Auckland
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Hobbiton Movie Set picture in Auckland
Sky Tower picture in Auckland
New Zealand Maritime Museum picture in Auckland
Auckland Wine Trail Tours picture in Auckland
AJ Hackett Auckland Bridge Bungy picture in Auckland
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Rangitoto Island, which is just a 30-minute ferry ride from central Auckland, is one of the city's most convenient and beautiful natural wonders. AnastasiaRas / iStock / Getty Images

It's easy to feel worlds away from the city as you walk beneath Cornwall Park's majestic trees. Jose Antonio Maciel / Getty Images

Jaw-dropping Auckland skyline vistas are front and center at Mount Eden, the city's highest natural point. Robert Chang / iStock / Getty Images

The picturesque Waitakere Ranges Regional Park is a nature lover's paradise, offering some of the region's best hiking trails and scenery. denizunlusu / iStock / Getty Images

Any trip to Auckland would not be complete without a daytrip to the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. The highlight of this underground cave network is the glowworms, which are exclusively found in New Zealand. MarcelStrelow / iStock / Getty Images

No matter where you turn on Waiheke Island, you'll find sweeping bay views. Steve Clancy Photography / Getty Images

Though you'll find the usual lions, tigers and monkeys here, be sure to check out the Auckland Zoo's little penguins, kiwi birds, fur seals and other indigenous animals. tiger_barb / iStock / Getty Images

Rare birds like the South Island takahe, a flightless species known for its deep blue head and bright red beak, can be spotted at Tiritiri Matangi Open Sanctuary. Mark Meredith / Getty Images

A variety of boats can be found docked at Viaduct Harbour's marina. Before leaving this waterfront precinct, grab a bite to eat at one of the area's top-notch restaurants. DianesPhotographic Designs / Getty Images

Before entering the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, take a minute (or two) to admire the gallery's architecture, which seemlessly blends modern lines with the building's historical character. chameleonseye / Getty Images

Culture enthusiasts and history buffs will love exploring the Auckland War Memorial Museum, which sits atop a hill in the Auckland Domain. mastapiece / iStock / Getty Images

Just across the harbor from downtown Auckland lies the suburb of Devonport, where you'll find quaint boutiques and charming cafes. denizunlusu / Getty Images

For a glimpse into movie-making magic, take a tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set, the country's only remaining set from "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" films. blue_quartz / Flickr

Downtown's Sky Tower observation deck features 360-degree views of the city and the Hauraki Gulf. gracethang / iStock / Getty Images

You'll find the New Zealand Maritime Museum just steps from Viaduct Harbour's main dining thoroughfare. chameleonseye / iStock / Getty Images

Petri Oeschger / Getty Images

chameleonseye / Getty Images

newboy112 / Getty Images

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