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“Spectacular Glowworm Display”

Waitomo Glowworm Caves
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Waitomo Glowworm Caves: 75-minute Guided Ruakuri Cave Tour
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Waitomo Caves and 'The Lord of the Rings' Hobbiton Movie Set Day Trip from...
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Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Glowworm Caves Combo Tour including Buffet Lunch
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Owner description: THE WAITOMO GLOWWORM CAVES World renowned and a magnet for both local and overseas visitors, the Waitomo Glowworm Caves occupy a high placing in the New Zealand vacation wish-list. The glow worm, Arachnocampa luminosa, is unique to New Zealand. Thousands of these tiny creatures radiate their unmistakable luminescent light as our expert guides provide informative commentary on the Caves' historical and geological significance. Waitomo Glowworm Caves are a must see for any traveller. Enjoy the world famous boat ride under thousands of magical glowworms and become a part of over 120 years of cultural and natural history. THE BOAT RIDE Marvel at Mother Nature's light display as you glide silently through the starry wonderland of the Glowworm Grotto. Meander underground along the Waitomo River and gaze in silence at the myriad of glow worm lights that make up the Glowworm Grotto. As you enter this galaxy of tiny living lights, you'll immediately experience a serene ambience and be fascinated and intrigued by tiny glowworms that light your way. RUAKURI CAVE Ruakuri Cave offers a captivating blend of Waitomo's most compelling subterranean experiences. Journey down through the spectacular spiral entrance, and marvel at the softly folding shawl-like limestone formations and crystal tapestries. Hear the distant thunder of the subterranean waterfalls and get up close to the glowworms. ARUANUI CAVE Aranui Cave is a magical, mystical place that is steeped in Maori myth and legend. Just inside the entrance is a colony of native New Zealand cave wetas and further into the cave is the most beautiful collection of stalactites, stalagmites, flowstones and decorative formations.
Reviewed October 23, 2013

We've been to glowworm caves before but never actually seen any glowworms. The Waitomo caves were different and the roof was lit up like the night sky. Another unusual feature was that you enter the cave in the usual way but leave by boat on the river that flows through the cave. The reception area is very modern looking with lots of displays.

Thank DaleBbB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,609 - 2,613 of 3,753 reviews

Reviewed October 22, 2013

Really something to behold! A wonderful natural occurance. Just don't go when it has been raining heavy. This will limit the experience due to water levels rising to hight in the cave.

1  Thank Jacomi V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2013

We visited the Waitomo caves and were amazed by the beauty of the caves and then further taken aback by the sections of the cave where the glowworm are found. The tour included a short boat ride through a dark cave where everything above us was lit up like the sky on a starry night. The experience was made more special by the silence during the boat ride.

The guides are very knowledgeable and friendly, providing a history of the caves as well as the relationship to their heritage (most guides have Maori descent and a family history with the caves). This time we did the leisurely walk of the caves although the rafting and repelling experiences also sound amazing.

Thank Lilian W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2013

Did not get off to a god start with this attraction. We were recommended to visit by friends so we tried the website - the bookings part would not work for the next day. Tried phoning, their message promised a call back, never happened. We then tried the iSite in Rotorua - they couldn't book online or get through to them either. Eventually the persistent lady in the iSite (my thanks to her) got through via some tortuous route and made our booking for the three caves "Triple tour".

Then we tried to get there. There are no useful maps on the website or any of their leaflets telling you where to meet for your booked tours. Having seen reviews which suggested this might be a problem we allowed plenty of time and eventually found the right place for our first tour.

Having finally found the place we had no real problems, the staff booked us in for our tours, gave us a useful map (why isn't this on the website I wonder?). At the appointed hour (well give or take, timekeeping does not seem to be a New Zealand attraction strong point) our guide turned up and took us on the first tour to the Ruakuri Cave.

This largely made up for the booking shambles. A great guide and a stunning cave. The guide took the time to show everyone the features of the cave and made sure everyone had the photos they wanted. Really this cave was well worth the money on it's own.

Our guide then directed us to the next cave, Aranui, where we easily found our guide for the second tour -the big sign by the entrance was useful. Again this was great, a good guide who offered lots of information and allowed plenty of opportunities for photographs. We also went round the bush walk adjacent to the cave, not too far but steep in places, but well worth the effort to see the rivers entering and leaving the caves.

We then had lunch in the visitor centre restaurant. Nice food in a wonderful wooden and plastic dome over the centre.

Our third cave was the Glowworm cave - what a disappointment. Our guide was very good but this cave is clearly laid out to get as many people through as possible - far too commercialised. And no photographs in here, presumably because photographers won't stick to the rules?

Recommended, but if we had known more beforehand we would probably have skipped the Glowworm cave and simply done the other two.

1  Thank QJH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2013 via mobile

What a special place... It's amazing to see and well worth a visit. Mike the tour guide was lovely and very informative about the history of the caves and about the Gloworms too. Stunning to see in the caves and on the boat ride out.

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

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