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4.5 star rating: Recommended 290 Reviews

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  • Address: 39 Waitomo Caves Road, Waitomo, New Zealand
  • Hours: Open daily
  • Admission: Prices vary for each tour

North Island ATTRACTIONS See all

Waitomo Caves Tours

With dramatic limestone formations, gigantic stalactites and stalagmites, and subterranean river, New Zealand's Waitomo Caves hold adventure at every turn. This network of underground caverns is one of the best places in New Zealand to spot glowworms, and the glittering creatures provide a magical backdrop to the caves' natural wonders.

The Basics
The Waitomo Caves can only be visited by guided tours, which typically include a walk through the caves and a boat ride through the glowworm grotto. Tours typically run from Auckland or Rotorua, and are often combined with other Waitomo attractions, such as the Hobbiton film set from The Lord of the Rings.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Only guided tours can access the caves.
  • Facilities at the Waitomo Caves Discovery Center include restrooms, a café and restaurant, and free Wi-Fi.
  • It can get cold in the caves, so bring a warm jacket and wear comfortable shoes.
  • Cameras and GoPros are not permitted inside the caves.
  • The caves are not wheelchair accessible and access might be tricky for those with mobility problems. However, the nearby Ruakuri Cave offers wheelchair access. 

How to Get There
The Waitomo Caves are located in Waitomo on the West Coast of New Zealand’s North Island. The nearest international airport is in Auckland, roughly 125 miles (200 kilometers) north of the caves, or 2.5 hours by road. Tours also run from Rotorua, 90 miles (145 kilometers) east of the caves, or two hours by road. 

When to Get There
The Waitomo Caves are open year-round, but summer (December through February) is the most popular time to visit. It can get busy, so be sure to book in advance and opt for an early morning or late afternoon tour if you want to avoid crowds. 

Tours and Activities in Waitomo
Along with the Waitomo Glowworm Caves, visitors can explore nearby Aranui Cave, Ruakari Cave, and Marokopa Falls. Adventurous types can get their adrenaline fix by black water rafting, abseiling (rappelling), cave tubing (gliding along the river in a giant inner tube), or canyoning through the caves.

Tours & Tickets

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Waitomo Caves and 'The Lord of the Rings' Hobbiton Movie Set Day Trip from Auckland, Auckland, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Waitomo Caves and 'The Lord of the Rings' Hobbiton Movie Set Day Trip from Auckland

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 392 Reviews

See two magical places come to life on this day tour from Auckland. First explore the Waitomo Glowworm Caves and be entranced by the thousands of twinkling ...  Read more

Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 11 hours (approx.)

From USD $238.44
Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Glowworm Caves Day Trip from Auckland, Auckland, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Glowworm Caves Day Trip from Auckland

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 23 Reviews

Join this tour to visit two of New Zealand’s most famous attractions, Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Caves, in one easy day trip from Auckland. Be fascinated ...  Read more

Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 11 hours (approx.)

From USD $187.50
Hobbiton and Waitomo Caves from Auckland Small Group Tour, Auckland, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Hobbiton and Waitomo Caves from Auckland Small Group Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 4 Reviews

See 2 of New Zealand's most famous attractions in one day! The magical Hobbiton Movie Set & the breathtaking Waitomo Glowworm Caves. This fully guided ...  Read more

Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 13 hours (approx.)

From USD $194.58
Full-Day Waitomo and Rotorua Tour from Auckland, Auckland, Cultural Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Full-Day Waitomo and Rotorua Tour from Auckland

4.5 star rating: Recommended 15 Reviews

Explore the top attractions of New Zealand’s Waikato region on this full-day Waitomo and Rotorua tour from Auckland. Travel through King’s Country to the ...  Read more

Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 12 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $245.52
Rotorua to Auckland via Waitomo Glowworm Caves One-Way Tour, Rotorua, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Rotorua to Auckland via Waitomo Glowworm Caves One-Way Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 14 Reviews

Travel from Rotorua to Auckland and discover one of New Zealand’s top attractions on this 7.5-hour tour of the Waitomo Caves from Rotorua. Travel through the ...  Read more

Location: Rotorua, concludes Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)

From USD $177.60
Auckland to Rotorua via Waitomo Glowworm Caves One-Way Tour, Auckland, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Auckland to Rotorua via Waitomo Glowworm Caves One-Way Tour

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 39 Reviews

Explore New Zealand’s famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves on a one-way day trip from Auckland to Rotorua! Ride a boat through the Glowworm Grotto, see the Karapito ...  Read more

Location: Auckland, concludes in Rotorua, New Zealand
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

From USD $184.67
3-Day Waitomo Caves, Rotorua and Taupo Trip from Auckland, Auckland, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

3-Day Waitomo Caves, Rotorua and Taupo Trip from Auckland

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 3 Reviews

Discover the best attractions of the North Island on this 3-day trip from Auckland. See thousands of tiny glowworms on an underground boat ride at Waitomo ...  Read more

Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 3 days (approx.)

From USD $848.35
Waitomo Day Trip with Option to Add Hobbiton from Rotorua, Rotorua, Multi-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Waitomo Day Trip with Option to Add Hobbiton from Rotorua

4 star rating: Recommended 6 Reviews

Full day tours from Rotorua to the Famous Waitomo Caves. The Waitomo Glowworm Caves are one of New Zealand's oldest and most recognized attractions. We offer a ...  Read more

Location: Rotorua, New Zealand
Duration: Flexible

From USD $130.19
Waitomo Glowworm Caves Discovery Tour from Auckland, Auckland, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Waitomo Glowworm Caves Discovery Tour from Auckland

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 27 Reviews

Leave the city bustle behind to witness a fabulous light show at the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. Marvel at the shimmering glow worms in the caves as you learn ...  Read more

Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 7 hours 54 minutes (approx.)

From USD $181.13
75-Minute Guided Ruakuri Cave Tour, Waitomo, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

75-Minute Guided Ruakuri Cave Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

Ruakuri Cave offers a captivating blend of Waitomo's most compelling subterranean experiences. Journey down through the spectacular spiral entrance, and ...  Read more

Location: Waitomo, New Zealand
Duration: 75 minutes (approx.)

From USD $53.07

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