Waitomo Glowworm Caves © Corin Walker Bain

Waitomo Glowworm Caves: a cave aglow with lights


View the map

TAP FOR MORE INFO:

These little guys are crazy.

Slipping down the Waitomo River in a boat, in the dark (of course!), then peering up to see a cave wall aglow with lights? There’s not much that can beat that.

This part of the country is festooned with limestone caves, but it is the Glowworm Cave that has been an international attraction for over a hundred years. When English surveyor Fred Mace was first shown the caves in the late 1800s he must’ve just about dropped his monocle. They are stunning, an almost indescribable delight. You’re pitching along in the water, thinking whatever, and then, as your eyes adjust to the dark you’ll say, well, something unprintable, likely. Because the whole ceiling is lit up like the night sky with these little guys. Everywhere.

Yep, there are glowworms in other caves, both in the region and around the country. But the conditions here at the Waitomo Cave are near perfect for the cultivation of the species and they take to the conditions like, um, worms to walls.

Once you’ve blown your mind with that experience and because we know some of you may find a gentle rowboat a bit genteel, you’ll be amped to know you can abseil, black-water raft and tube through the caves, if that’s your thing.

There’s heaps to do in and around the caves as well; check it all at the well-appointed visitors’ centre and get into it.

And if you want to know the glowworms’ real name? Fred. Sorry. Arachnocampa luminosa. Always good to get a bit of Latin lighting up your day.

Explore more...


Be the first to comment on this page. You cannot post comments until you have logged in. Please log in or register if you don't have an account.

More stories like this

Find out more

Activities

Five picks for a weekend in Waitomo

Get outdoors and experience the underground and overground delights of Waitomo. Read the story . . . 

Find out more

Activities

Waitomo Caves: one of the wonders of the world

Set in a weird and wonderful landscape where weathered limestone and marble outcrops form outlandish shapes on the surface, the caves are one of the wonders of the world. Read the story . . . 

Find out more

Activities

Waitomo: sheep, caves, waterfalls and a rugby great

The golden land stretches out seemingly forever and the place sparkles in sunshine many days of the year with ripe green grass as your view. It’s terrific.   Read the story . . . 

Where to stay in Waitomo District

YHA Waitomo Juno Hall

We are a rurally located privately owned hostel situated 1.5km from Waitomo Village. We are directly across the road from The Black Water Rafting Company . . . More . . . 

4.0 /5
From $55
4.0 /5
Best Price Around
Caves Motor Inn Visit website

Waitomo Accommodation with restaurant. Drive no further: dine in our excellent licensed restaurant/cafe and bar. Relax in our comfortable rooms with lovely country views. . . . More . . . 

From $55

Book now

Book now

From $85
Waitomo Big Bird B&B & Petting Farm

Welcome to our world, a 70-acre lifestyle farmstay. Enjoy an intriguing, interactive and memorable New Zealand farm experience with our ostriches and 20+ miniature animals. . . . More . . . 

From $85
4.7 /5
4.7 /5
Motel Te Kuiti Visit website

Welcome to Motel Te Kuiti All of the units at Motel Te Kuiti are well appointed, cozy and include 50+ SKY TV channels. . . . More . . . 

Book now

Book now