Kawiti Glow Worm Caves
Kawiti Glow Worm Caves
4.5
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
Duration: 1-2 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
What is Travellers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.

Top ways to experience Kawiti Glow Worm Caves and nearby attractions

See what travellers are saying
  • nickss1
    Southend-on-Sea, United Kingdom4,566 contributions
    An excellent tour of cave
    This is an interesting spot off the beaten track. The tour seems to be run by a family business; running each hour. A female guide was excellent; checking us in for the 2.30pm tour, and leading it herself. Photos are not permitted inside the cave. The glow worms are very impressive. I would definitely recommend this tour
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 13 March 2023
  • DiscerningDoyenne
    Melbourne, Australia76 contributions
    A relaxed, intimate glowworm/cave viewing experience
    About a week prior we had visited all three Waitomo Caves and therefore seen lots of glowworms, significant cave structures, and beautiful limestone formations. By comparison, the limestone formations in this cave and the cave itself are less dramatic, but the experience of viewing the glowworms here was longer in duration and more intimate. There were a lot of glowworms spread over a number of different cave “areas“ and we were able to stop and look at them, talk about them, experience what it was like to be in the cave with no light other than the illumination from the glowworms themselves, and to stop and see the reflection of the glowworms in the creek/river running through the cave. To be fair, myself and my husband were the only two people on the tour and it wasn’t until the last few minutes that a second small group entered the cave. By comparison, at Waitomo, large groups of 20+ were being taken through the glowworm cave about every 10 minutes and at one point I struggled to hear the guide because of the noise coming from the group ahead of and behind us. I still think that Waitomo is worth visiting because the caves and the limestone formations are so beautiful, but the experience of viewing glowworms in particular was more intimate and relaxed here, and therefore offered a more “up close and personal” experience to that at Waitomo. I think therefore, that viewing glowworms at this location is a must on any travel itinerary. Don’t be put off by the dirt road, potholes on the drive in, the ticket office being in a portable room, the toilets being up the hill behind the Māori meeting place; this is a family/community run business and while it doesn’t have the slickness of Waitomo – no cafe, no souvenir shop – it’s personal and intimate, and delightful as a result. Finally – don’t forget to take a look at the large meteorite on your way out!
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 25 April 2023
  • lexmiller
    Burlington, Massachusetts1,159 contributions
    Great experience
    We visited the Kawiti Glowworm Caves as a shore excursion that we booked through Celebrity Cruises on our stop in the Bay of Islands. We are so glad that we did! Amazing experience! The business is a small family-ish run operation, an intimate experience. In fact when you first pull up from the road, you're like, uh, what?, because it is not glitzy or commercial in the least - very authentic and lovingly run. Your guide gives you lots of background on the history of the discovery of the cave as well as the life cycle of glowworms, essentially everything you need to inform your visit and help to make it quite wonderful. The glowworms are quite spectacular! You move through the cave in an organized manner in stages, stopping along the way at designated spots and turning all of the flashlights off to allow your eyes to get used to absolute darkness so that the glow worms come into focus. It's all very safe and run smoothly and comfortably. We even learned the name of one of the eels in the river who apparently is roughly 80 yrs old! Definitely recommend.
    Visited April 2023
    Written 30 May 2023
  • Explore35279143024
    2 contributions
    Wonderful tour of the Kawiti Glow Worm Cave
    This was SUCH a great experience. Highly, highly recommend. The tour guide had a fantastic knowledge of the history of the cave. We got to see glow worms up close and learnt about their life cycle. I’ve never learnt so much about glow worms in my life. It was really interesting and I learnt heaps. Definitely got our moneys worth! Keen to take the kids there when we get another opportunity to go.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 1 December 2023
  • JAN
    Waikato Region, New Zealand24 contributions
    Kawiti Caves, Kawakawa
    A great experience at this site. The cave was easy to negotiate having wooden walkways. We had opportunity to see glow-worms close up as well as seeing them glowing in the dark. We saw the resident large eel in the water on the cave floor. We were given permission to climb the steps through the rocky woodland to where the old cave entrance had once been, and saw good rock formations.Our guide was friendly, interest and witty. No photos are allowed to be taken in the caves, but our guide offered to take a photo of us at the entrance
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 3 December 2023
  • Judith W
    Sydney, Australia79 contributions
    Blown away by glowworms that lit up the cave like stars in a clear night sky.
    I have visited stunning limestone caves in Australia with glowworms, but nothing could prepare me for the amazing experience that I enjoyed today. Our guide Phoenix George was very knowledgeable, entertaining and engaging. She delivered the information at appropriate levels for young and old (ages in our small group ranged from 2 to 62). The caves are easy to walk through, with a boardwalk running through the cave and ticket purchase is hassle free at the venue. Groups go through regularly. We were lucky to be the first group for the day. Our guide gave us a clear overview and instructions were easy to follow. Unfortunately not all visitors are capable of following these instructions, which serve to protect this natural wonder for future generations to enjoy. This was a mind blowing experience and I learned so much about these little creatures and their fascinating life cycle. We had an added bonus when Phoenix George offered to sing and her amazing voice sounded more stunning with the acoustics in the cave.
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 23 January 2024
  • George M
    Windsor, United Kingdom238 contributions
    Great Experience
    We arrived just as a group was entering so we caught up and our guide welcomed us . It was a large group but she always checked you could hear . She was very knowledgeable and helpful . We saw a good number of glow worms at our stop and whilst the cave isn’t ’lit up ‘ by them they are still fascinating . Just felt we were rushed a bit and would have liked some more time looking at the rocks and how they formed
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 19 February 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

We perform checks on reviews.
Tripadvisor’s approach to reviews
Before posting, each Tripadvisor review goes through an automated tracking system, which collects information, answering the following questions: how, what, where and when. If the system detects something that potentially contradicts our community guidelines, the review is not published.
When the system detects a problem, a review may be automatically rejected, sent to the reviewer for validation, or manually reviewed by our team of content specialists, who work 24/7 to maintain the quality of the reviews on our site.
Our team checks each review posted on the site disputed by our community as not meeting our community guidelines.
Learn more about our review moderation.
4.5
480 reviews
Excellent
354
Very good
97
Average
16
Poor
7
Terrible
6

Evalyn R
1 contribution
Feb 2024 • Couples
There were not that many glow worms and the caves were difficult to maneuver within.

There was a lot of misinformation given by the guides, for example we were told that glow worm toxin will kill you within an hour - NOT TRUE. It was also stated by one of the guides that NZ broke away from Australia during the Big Bang - ah also not particularly accurate.

I would not recommend this tour, complete waste of time and money.
Written 20 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

George M
Windsor, UK238 contributions
Feb 2024 • Couples
We arrived just as a group was entering so we caught up and our guide welcomed us . It was a large group but she always checked you could hear . She was very knowledgeable and helpful . We saw a good number of glow worms at our stop and whilst the cave isn’t ’lit up ‘ by them they are still fascinating . Just felt we were rushed a bit and would have liked some more time looking at the rocks and how they formed
Written 19 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BigMerk
Glasgow, UK2,286 contributions
Feb 2024 • Solo
I visited here as part of a cruise ship excursion. It’s a drive of about 20 minutes from the Bay of Islands tender point and the bus driver was very informative. Dealing with negatives first - the facilities are basic with a few porta loos and a small covered area for your briefing. Our guide was Nick and his voice carried pretty well but there were about 40 in the group and we were in single file going thru the cave, so maybe they should reduce the group sizes. There is no photography inside the cave and it’s dark (obviously) inside. Several lanterns are distributed among the group and that worked pretty well. The limestone formations were ok - definitely seen better - but I have never seen glow worms before. That was cool when they turned off all of the lanterns and you were fully in the dark except for the glowing creatures above your head. That single experience- and Nicks laid back and amusing presentational style - made this trip for me. It’s not a long visit inside and not much walking but there are steps and slopes to negotiate so bear that in mind when considering a visit.
Written 18 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

pakabay
Adelaide, Australia2,110 contributions
Feb 2024 • Couples
There are a number of reasons that we were extremely underwhelmed by this experience.

We visited as part of a cruise shore excursion, so 40 people on the bus. But before I get to those specific details, the facilities here are pretty well non existent: some portable loos, a tiny undercover area that wouldn’t have fitted us all, fortunately it wasn’t raining.

We were lined up outside the cave entrance for 10 minutes or so with no explanation of what was happening or what was going to happen. Eventually we were introduced to our guide and given the ground rules. No PA, very difficult to hear.

Once in the caves, our guide could not be heard by the whole group, given the narrowness of the cave, we remained in single file so the guide tended to be at one end of the line, with her commentary barely audible sometimes. Also, her commentary was disjointed and difficult to follow.

The caves themselves were OK. If you’ve ever visited significant limestone caves elsewhere in the world, these won’t excite. And the glow worms themselves - way fewer than I was expecting. The one thing that I did learn is that the glow worms are in face maggots, not worms but I guess glow maggots isn’t a really attractive description for tourists!

At the end of our 30 or 40 minute visit, our guide, while thanking us for the visit mentioned that it was only her 4 day working at the caves, so my comments & criticism is directed at those who put her in that situation: she should have had more training or a more experienced guide along with her.
Written 16 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Owen H
5 contributions
Jan 2024 • Couples
Really cool glow worm caves which we somewhat stumbled upon whilst driving past. The guided tour was super interesting, combining some local history with the biology and geography of the caves. Our tour guide was also very funny which added a lot to it. Definite recommendation for anyone passing by as the glow worms look fantastic.
Written 29 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

london057
Dublin, OH695 contributions
Jan 2024 • Family
First of all this is very interesting. Second it is very dark the caves, but that how you see the Gloworms. Third the caves are very narrow too . Lastly, it is an experience.
Written 24 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Judith W
Sydney, Australia79 contributions
Jan 2024 • Couples
I have visited stunning limestone caves in Australia with glowworms, but nothing could prepare me for the amazing experience that I enjoyed today. Our guide Phoenix George was very knowledgeable, entertaining and engaging. She delivered the information at appropriate levels for young and old (ages in our small group ranged from 2 to 62). The caves are easy to walk through, with a boardwalk running through the cave and ticket purchase is hassle free at the venue. Groups go through regularly. We were lucky to be the first group for the day. Our guide gave us a clear overview and instructions were easy to follow. Unfortunately not all visitors are capable of following these instructions, which serve to protect this natural wonder for future generations to enjoy. This was a mind blowing experience and I learned so much about these little creatures and their fascinating life cycle. We had an added bonus when Phoenix George offered to sing and her amazing voice sounded more stunning with the acoustics in the cave.
Written 24 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DavidG897
London, UK3,070 contributions
Jan 2024 • Couples
Because the group was big it took a skilled tour guide to manage our visit so well

He was patient, informative and was attuned to the situation

He made this a terrific visit
Written 20 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rebecca4133
Boise, ID122 contributions
Jan 2024 • Couples
TA gave us a personal amazing tour of the caves. So many glow worms literally looked like the Milky Way!! Definitely a must do while in the area!
Written 12 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

abhomavat
Adelaide, Australia2 contributions
Jan 2024 • Family
Awesome tour, and the tour guide Zayyen we had was simply wonderful, not only informative but very humorous and made it so much fun! Much better than Waitomo and in the natural habitat 🥰
Written 2 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 450
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

KAWITI GLOW WORM CAVES: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Kawiti Glow Worm Caves


Restaurants near Kawiti Glow Worm Caves: View all restaurants near Kawiti Glow Worm Caves on Tripadvisor