We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“The best way to see the glowworms in Waitomo.”

Spellbound Glowworm & Cave Tours
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Our tours are friendly, informative and fun. With no more than 12 people on board, raft beneath many thousands of fabulous glowworms to see them at their very best. We visit private caves away from the regular, more commercial tours. Our caves are on a beautiful hill country farm and your guide is also your host, so expect a really enjoyable and memorable tour of our two magical caves.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed January 16, 2013

After reading all of the reviews, we decided to book with Spellbound and were very happy we did. This tour was perfect for our family (3 active boys). They got personal attention with all of their questions and we didn't feel rushed. At different points during the tour they gave us the option to walk the beautiful NZ countryside or ride in the van. It was great having a choice to be able to get out and feel like we were really seeing the sites. I also loved that our group was small, just 11 of us including the guide. Much better than being herded along with 40+ others that some of the tours take. It was a lovely way to spend the afternoon!

1  Thank roaming_with_my_boys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (1,291)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More languages
All reviews
in 94 reviews
"small group"
in 182 reviews
"raft ride"
in 30 reviews
"coffee break"
in 20 reviews
"glowworm cave"
in 111 reviews
"extinct moa"
in 19 reviews
"general store"
in 24 reviews
"great tour"
in 80 reviews
"your eyes"
in 46 reviews
"new zealand"
in 96 reviews
"night vision"
in 12 reviews
"personal tour"
in 16 reviews
"knowledgeable guide"
in 30 reviews
"small tour"
in 14 reviews
"personal experience"
in 18 reviews
"highly recommend this tour"
in 22 reviews
"special experience"
in 13 reviews

937 - 941 of 1,292 reviews

Reviewed January 14, 2013

with a maximum group size of 12 people this is the best way to see the glowworms and experience the caves. Our guide , Norm, was excellent. He is a caver and extremely knowledgeable on the subject and the area..has a good sense of humour and was very effective at controlling the group. It was about a 20 minute drive to the caves from their office at the Waitomo General Store. We visited two separate caves. The first one was the glowworm cave. you must wear hard hats which are provided. There is a short walk into the cave before boarding a rubber raft in which you drift downstream to view the worms..we had approx 25 minutes under the worms. We then had a short coffee/tea break before heading to the second cave..note there are toilet facilities at the break area..the second cave had few glowworms and the tour was more focused on the cave structures and how they were formed.
From start to finish, tour lasted over 3 hours and cost 76.00 pp...we found it to be an excellent value..booking was very easy and desk staff was very friendly. We really liked the small group size and did not feel like we were just one more tourist off a bus
Highly recommended and we think it is the best option for seeing the glowworms, which after all is why you are in Waitomo in the first place

2  Thank VancouverKeith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2013 via mobile

Skip the commercial cave tours and opt for a more personalized experience. We were a group of 6 from California USA and are use to beautiful scenery. However the cave and NZ country walks were phenomenal. There were only 11 in our group so our guide, 'Hop' was attentive to our questions and needs(dozens of photo ops). The glowworm experience was as others have described, walk through cave viewing glowworms, then 20min raft ride in total darkness with only glowworms to illuminated. The guide pulls a rope to navigate down the cave, around and back allowing for photos ops. Photos only work if you have a low lux video cam or camera with exposure control. I had a Sony handy cam and iphone4S with pro camera app that allows for exposure control.
The second cave known as the 'cathedral' reminds you of movies like raiders of the lost ark based on sights.
Finally, there was a short optional walk through the country to each cave and between the tea break. Great op for photos of beautiful countryside cows and sheep.
Highly recommend this tour especially for sightseers from the US.

Make sure to ask for 'Hop' as your guide!

1  Thank Elect_nginear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2013 via mobile

Laid back tour suitable for all ages. If you're after a thrill ride this is not for you. Friendly informative tour guide, chance to have a cup of something hot halfway through tour. Magical pitch black raft ride through one of the two caves which allows you to appreciate the vast abundance of the millions of glow worms on show.

2  Thank ebnice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed December 25, 2012

The worms are actually fly larvae stuck to mucousy strand like webs on the ceiling of the caves passage over steam flow. Tiny dot of bio- luminescence in each larvae, It is an unusual life form found in few other places in the world but definitely NOT spectacular, breathtaking or any of the other superlatives commonly foisted on them by promoters. The best I can say is they are interesting but one you will soon forget. The really heavy cost is just getting to Waitomo, not the worm tour. This tour is a good way to see them though, if you are determined to do so.

2  Thank 00justthefacts00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Spellbound Glowworm & Cave Tours also viewed

Waitomo Caves, Waitomo District
Waitomo Caves, Waitomo District
Waitomo Caves, Waitomo District

Been to Spellbound Glowworm & Cave Tours? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing