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Te Anau Glowworm Caves
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Te Anau Glow Worm Caves Tour
Ranked #9 of 53 things to do in Te Anau
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Visit the Te Anau Glowworm Caves - an underground network of limestone caves lit by hundreds of glowworms. In the darkness they produce a glittering display. Carved out by the force of the river, the underground world is surprisingly beautiful with whirlpools and roaring waterfalls. Begin with a scenic cruise across Lake Te Anau and then our nature guides will take you in groups through the caves and then in a small boat into the grotto. Departs Te Anau.
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed May 10, 2013

We weren't given enough time to acclimatise to the darkness such that I bashed my head on the (unseen) roof twice. We were rushed through the quite interesting caves and onto a boat where we weren't told what to look for nor when such that we were back at the start before I’d even realised I should be looking for glow-worms.
I was distinctly underwhelmed by the whole experience.

Thank TCMike54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"glow worms"
in 701 reviews
"boat ride"
in 274 reviews
"total darkness"
in 62 reviews
"life cycle"
in 45 reviews
"dark cave"
in 28 reviews
"underground river"
in 33 reviews
"pitch darkness"
in 21 reviews
"real journeys"
in 195 reviews
"split into groups"
in 28 reviews
"small boat"
in 120 reviews
"cave experience"
in 22 reviews
"unique experience"
in 60 reviews
"worth doing"
in 19 reviews
"short walk"
in 47 reviews
"rock formations"
in 18 reviews
"well worth the money"
in 19 reviews
"great trip"
in 34 reviews

1,465 - 1,469 of 2,008 reviews

Reviewed May 9, 2013

We learned so much about these creatures while we were touring New Zealand, but this place was indeed the best. The experience of going into the cave on foot and then in the boats was such fun. The guides were very good, informative, and fun. Highly recommended tour.

Thank MichelleG149
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2013

I got my 1.5 years old boy,my mother and husband with me to join this tour. Before going to NZ, I asked the staff what we should do to the little one because infant is not allowed to go. The staff suggested that we take turn to take care the little one in visitor centre, so that he won't be scared by the noise in the cave. And even said that stroller is welcomed. It sounds good, so I booked the tour.

BUT, when we arrive with the stroller...... there were many steps in the pier and in the visitor centre....... so we are the last in the group.

When we arrive, the first group was already entering the cave. My mother rushed to join the first group because we had to take turn to take care the baby. The briefing was over already and when she wanted to chase up the group, she was stopped by the photographer for taking picture........ After taking the photo, the flash light off, all people gone! When she turned back to enter the cave, she hit on the rock because it was too dark suddenly. She got a 5cm x 5cm haematoma on forehead and abrasion wound on eyebrow to continue her journey in the cave....

At the same time, 3 of us entered the visitor centre to join the rest. Aftert 5 mins briefing, the guide asked us to go to enter the cave. We are shocked because my mum was not back to visitor centre and no one take care the little one. We asked to be the last group to enter the cave.The guide said we are the last because there was only 2 groups! We cannot stay behind in the visitor centre to wait because there was no staff in the visitor centre. And she said we can hand over the little one to my mum in the cave before we have the boat ride. We have no choice!

When I meet my mum in the cave, she told me she was hurt and so I asked her to wait for us in the little pier with my little one in the cave. BUT, the guide said the lights in the little pier would turn off, so she MUST chase the first group with my little one to leave AND we must get on the boat ride..........

I was so so so upset. The guide asked my mum, an old lady nearly 65, with head injury to chase the first group to leave the cave with my little one........

When we meet again in the visitor centre, no one noticed my mum's head injury and the photographer just asking her to buy the NICE picture.........

I asked for a simple wound dressing for my mum and the staff said it this COMMON to get head injury..............


5  Thank Karen L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Real_Journeys, Public Relations Manager at Te Anau Glowworm Caves, responded to this reviewResponded May 14, 2013

Hi Karen

Thank you for your feedback you raise some concerning points that we would like to look into further with you.

The caves are not suitable for infants and we generally do not suggest that they go along. We will be reminding our staff as to this point. In addition we'd like to express our regret that your mother hurt her head and it was not assisted as you would have liked, we are a very safety conscious business and despite operating in natural environments do our upmost to avoid such occurrences.

As above we will also contact you directly to follow-up on all aspects of your feedback.

Kind regards
Real Journeys.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2013

Great boat ride over to the glowworm caves. Caves interesting but the glowworms steal the show. Staff knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful.

Thank jjriley11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 5, 2013

We enjoyed our trip through the caves and although the company does crank you through the experience it is not surprising due to the vast number of visitors to this site. I do have one issue. Real Journeys suggests that this trip is suitable to all ages except infants. It is not. Unless you have a two year old that can sit quietly in the dark for at ten mins without making a peep. We traveled with our nine year old and I can't imagine taking a child younger than six on this trip. The reason: you have to be quiet when you are in the pitch dark on the boat looking at the worms. Otherwise, the noise will cause them to shut off their lights. So if you are one of the unlucky ones that gets stuck on a boat with crying kids...so much for your view of the glow worms. We did not get stuck on such a boat...but could hear a child screaming further along the cave system. Can't imagine little ones are going to get much out of it and they could end up hampering the trip for others.

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

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