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“Fantastic Glow Worms”
Review of Kawiti Caves

Kawiti Caves
Book In Advance
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$99.46*
and up
Giants and Glow Worms Day Tour
More Info
$107.33*
and up
Shore Excursion: Bay of Islands Sightseeing Tour
More Info
$143.10*
and up
Giants and Tiny Dwarfs Bay of Islands Tour
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed July 1, 2012

I have lived in Northland for over 10 years and have always drove past these caves, always meaning to go.
Finally got around to going with 3 other friends, arrived at site and pleased to see that there were toilets available for use.
Just missed out on joining the group before us, sat on seats outside for our turn.
Found the cave system to be beautiful, the guide was awesome! really informative and told us lots of cool information on the worms and caves, was suprised at how old they were!
There are a few stops to turn off the lights and have a good look at the glow worms, there is even a huge eel living in the caves.

I found this attraction to be well run and good to see a family run operation.

I would recommend this to anyone looking for something a bit different to do in the northland reigon.

Thank Laura J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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245 - 249 of 274 reviews

Reviewed April 29, 2012

We went to Waitomo ($45) glow worm cave and it was excellent but this cave at Waiomio ($10) was better. It was more natural, there were no crowds, we had a guide to ourselves, there were a lot of glow worms and the glow worms were much closer. So close that you could see the 'fishing lines' quite clearly. I would say they were about half a metre from the walkway at head height. The walk back was difficult for my age bracket (65+) but I did it. I would go to this cave again.

Thank kirklees
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2012

There are lots of attractions in Bay of Plenty. This cave is not a place that I would recommend to spend the time. The return for money is poor. I was surprised to see that our guide was a 12-13 years old boy. The levels of guidence was in accordance . There was a feeling of rush. The visitors were entered and the guide started explaining, and another group was added to our group... It seems like they wanted to finish as quickly as possible in order to enter more and more people to the cave. The glow worms were nice but it was not nicer than other glow worm caves in NZ.

Thank TAYSN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
glowormwhisperer, Owner at Kawiti Caves, responded to this reviewResponded May 5, 2012

Hi Tasyn, None of our guides are 12-13 years old and our caves are not located in the Bay of Plenty. We have notified Trip advisor that this review does not belong on our page

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2012

We are travelling intensively in NZ for the last 10 month, enjoying the wonderful country the warm hospitality of the people.
In Kawiti cave we had the greatest disappointment; at the beginning our group was guided with 10-12 years old boy (is it legal ?) than it was replaced by older women. While watching the glow warms, the women ask to turn- off the lights. Our 3.5 years old boy, since it was completely dark, express his fear (he wasn’t crying or shouting) and we immediately were asked (in brutal way) by the women to leave the cage. We were accompanied by the boy that guided us at the beginning which have the torch and walk very fast, so we couldn’t see our way and fell down (me and my young kid in my arms) and wounded. We believe that this is not the appropriate way to treat visitors, and especially, families coming with kids. We strongly recommend family to avoid this un-friendly place and we hope that the owner of this site will re- arrange the guiding staff.

4  Thank DAG4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
glowormwhisperer, Owner at Kawiti Caves, responded to this reviewResponded April 17, 2012

Hi DAG4, I lead this tour on the 7th of April with the assistance of one of our junior guides. Our family have owned and operated the Kawiti Caves and Tours for the past 50 years, and I have been working here as a tour guide for over 20 years now. On each cave tour we stop around 4 times to look at the glow worms- with the lights turned down (approx 5 minutes each time). Our guides use this time to explain the life cycle of the glow worms, their feeding habits, and the chemicals they use to make the light. Every time the light was turned down your son became upset and started crying. The other families on the tour could not enjoy the glow worms and could not hear anything I was saying. We all really appreciated the efforts you made to try and calm him and to comfort him, but nothing seemed to work. When we reached the 3rd glow worm stop he became even more upset and cried non stop. As I mentioned to you on the day, we have to put the child's welfare first, so I asked our junior guide to escort you out into the daylight where your son would be happiest. On your way out of the caves our junior guide warned you several times to watch your step, to take it slowly, and to hold on to the boardwalk handrail, using verbal and visual signals(tapping the handrail and pointing to the step). You were angry and did not listen to his warnings and hurried down, sliding on the edge of a step causing you to stumble. There were no wounds or injuries reported by you at the time. After the tour, you came to the office to complain, and I saw no wounds or injuries. I tried to explain that I had made this decision based on how scared and upset your son was. I offered to answer any questions you had about the glow worm or the caves and its history, but you did not take me up on my offer and left abruptly. I spoke with the other families who were on the tour, and all of them thoroughly enjoyed the caves and were very happy with our guiding and with the way we handled the group. I am really sorry that you do not agree with the decision I made. I hope that you will understand that I was trying to find the best solution for your son and for the other families on the tour.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 27, 2012

I enjoyed our guided visit through the cave. It cost 15.00 for an adult. Its interesting as i had never seen them before. Our guide was full of knowledge all about glow worms. They have a walkway though the cave so even though its dark its easy to follow. You can not take photos in the cave so you do not disturb them. At the end you walk back over the hill through the bush. It is a little steep but quite pretty with all the rock formations, large trees and lots of birds. The fantails were following us.

1  Thank Trudy W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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