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
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  • 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
    Traveled with friends
    Written March 13, 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
    Traveled as a couple
    Written April 25, 2023
  • lexmiller
    Burlington, Massachusetts1,157 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 May 30, 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
    Traveled with family
    Written December 1, 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
    Traveled as a couple
    Written December 3, 2023
  • Judith W
    Sydney, Australia77 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
    Traveled as a couple
    Written January 23, 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 wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
479 reviews
Excellent
354
Very good
97
Average
16
Poor
7
Terrible
5

KarenM1_10
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan1,084 contributions
Mar 2020
We visited the Kawiti Glow Worm Cave with a tour that was offered by our cruise line. The tour was good and we visited the cave for about 30 minutes where we saw the limestone walls and stalactites and stalagmites. You walk in a single file and lanterns were provided to about every 6-8 people. When you reached a certain spot in the cave, everyone turned off there lanterns so you could view the glow worms. During this time our guide provided a commentary on the history of the cave, which was extremely interesting especially since his family is the owner. Once the commentary ended you have 2 options, you can either walk back through the cave, or you can continue outside on the Bush Walk. Both options took the same amount of time. However, the Bush Walk consisted of steps and rocks on a very uneven trail. There is no photography allowed in the cave and the tour is not designed for individuals that suffer from claustrophobia or have mobility issues. Our guide mentioned that if you do this tour at night you would not require lanterns since the glow worms will light up the entire cave, which would be awesome to see. They had an area for snacks but no gift shop. Also, there were a limited amount of toilets and they were not located near the cave or bush walk area, which could be an issue if they have a number of tour groups visiting. We were fortunate that there were no other tour groups there when we arrived but there was still a wait to use the facilities.
Written April 19, 2020
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.

POD
Matakana, New Zealand6 contributions
Jul 2020 • Family
This was an unexpectedly good experience. Like most people heading north to Russell, Pahia or west to other destinations, I’ve driven past this wee gem of a place on many occasions but on this occasion my kids insisted we visited.
Not far of the main road the Kawiti Caves proved to well worth the time and money to visit. Some great local history and education told well and with passion by our guide coupled with the amazing Caves and their star attractions the Glow Worms!
Really well set up with boardwalks and stairs all through the caves.
Highly recommend taking the hour required out of your trip to enjoy this fantastic local experience.
Written July 7, 2020
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.

Gernot
2 contributions
Jan 2020
On 6 January 2020 I visited the Kawiti Caves and had a guided tour.
Among other stories the guide told us about a extreme deep abyss in this cave. He spoke of 20.000 meters, and neither an unmanned submarine nor sonar could find the bottom. After the tour I asked the guide about this incredible story; and he answered, I would find confirmation in books and in the internet. I did so, and found nothing. A mail to the Kawiti family received no answer. A second mail 2 weeks later was ignored as well. So I sent a mail to the NZ Speleological Society, and a few days later I got the information:
„I can assure you that there is no great depth to this cave. It does not appear on the list of about 80 caves in New Zealand that are over 100 metres deep, and the total depth of the cave is probably less than 30 metres.“
So: if anyone wants to see glowworms here: well, there are glowworms in Kawiti cave. If you are interested in background information, don’t believe a word. You will be lied to and fooled.
Written July 19, 2020
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.

Tahlia
10 contributions
Jan 2020 • Family
Expected alot more for the price, $40 NZD per person is quite steep for what you get out of it.
The caves were interesting but not very long. We walked along a boardwalk, stopped 3 times to look at glow worms with some information from tour guide and then exited the caves.
Written January 21, 2020
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.

Josh
5 contributions
Jun 2020 • Friends
I had the chance to experience the caves during the winter in New Zealand and I still enjoyed it.

The caves are fantastic, definitely worth the money.
I believe the caves are owned by a local family who have grown up and belong to the whenua (land),which made me have more trust into the knowledge our amazing tour guide Harry shared.

Harry was an incredible speaker and kept the tour entertaining, he was funny and answered questions very well, 10/10.

The caves are worth a visit if your are visting the area.

Good work team
Written June 22, 2020
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.

lexmiller
Burlington, MA1,157 contributions
Apr 2023
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.
Written May 30, 2023
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.

Barjon10
Auckland, New Zealand15 contributions
Jun 2020
We took a guided tour through these family-owned caves and were absolutely delighted with both the physical attractions and cultural history of this unique part of Waiomio in Northland. Our guide was Brandon and he was knowledgeable (I learnt something), funny and full of stories.
The milky way is an awesome sight. The caves aren't huge but they still offer fantastic rock formations, stalagmites and stalactites, and the worms give off a sparkling show. Would recommend you visit if you want to be entertained.
Written July 12, 2020
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.

DiscerningDoyenne
Melbourne, Australia76 contributions
Apr 2023 • Couples
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!
Written April 25, 2023
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.

Kiwiana13
Christchurch, New Zealand65 contributions
Sep 2020 • Family
While touring Northland we decided to stop at the Kawiti caves to see the glow worms. This is a whānau run operation, as our guide Summer explained - this cave is on land held by her whānau for hundreds of years.

We waited in the picnic area for the tour to start and were entertained by a few cheeky piwakawaka that seemed almost tame, they came so close.

Summer guided us through the caves, explaining the features of limestone and the glow worm lifecycle. The three main caverns have varying numbers of glow worms; the most spectacular is the middle cavern- the Milky Way. We could see the glow worms up close by the light of the lanterns provided. At the end of the tour Summer sang a beautiful waiata in the Milky Way cavern- such a magical experience!

At the end of the cave tour, we explored the bushwalk.

Overall this was well worth the entry price!
Written October 3, 2020
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.

RandiFayeC
Longwood, FL1,036 contributions
Feb 2020
We loved this glow worm cave tour - small group, knowledgeable tour guide, really close up view.
I was a little disappointed that our itinerary on the North Island did not takes us near the famous glow worm cave south of Auckland but after our visit, and talking to others, I was completely happy at Kawiti. We had an easy visit - no large crowds - no waiting.
The bush walk is also lovely.
Written March 12, 2020
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.

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