Luminescent Glowworm Waitomo Cave: One of the Best Places in New Zealand

Known all over the world and a magnet for overseas and local visitors alike...

... the Waitomo Glowworm Caves take up a significant position in the ranking of the best places to see in New Zealand for someone planning a tour to this Pacific island nation. Known as the Arachnocampa Luminosa in scientific terms, the glowworm is an indigenous species of New Zealand and unique to the ecology of the country. 

The little creatures form clusters in thousands and radiate their luminescent light while tourists walk by below, guided by experts providing commentary on various geological and historical significance of the caves.

You simply cannot leave the Waitomo Glowworm Caves off your bucket list of places to visit in New Zealand if you are on a vacation of the Northern Islands. Savor the globally renowned boat riding under the thousands of amazing glowworms. Earn your place amidst more than 120 years of natural and cultural history.

Waitomo Glowworm Caves Boat Ride – Experience of the Best Places in New Zealand

Marvel at the magnificence of Mother Nature and the light display she has created in the caves as you silently glide through the starry wonderland that is the Glowworm Grotto. Go meandering along the underground Waitomo River and stare in silent gaze at the myriad of glowworms above as they light up the surroundings. Upon entering this galaxy formed by the tiny living lights, regarded as one of the finest places to see in New Zealand, you will immediately experience an ambiance of serenity, intrigue, and fascination devised by the tiny glowworms hanging from above and lighting up your way.

Best Places in New Zealand – Waitomo Caves – Frequently Asked Questions

Best cave to visit in Waitomo

There are three caves to explore as part of the Waitomo Caves setup, and each one has its own fascinating range of features and attributes. The Waitomo Glowworm Caves is, without a doubt, the star of the best places to visit in New Zealand and also the most renowned among the lot. There are two lesser-known gems hidden beyond the spotlight in the shape of the Ruakuri Cave and Aranui Cave which considered as the best places in New Zealand by the locals.

Waitomo Cave is the first name that you should be ticking off the bucket list of your places to visit in New Zealand. The sheer size of this vast cavernous space is a fantastic sight to behold, and few things in this world can beat floating underneath the Glowworm Grotto by boat.

If you are looking for the most innovative cave experience among the best places to see in New Zealand, then Ruakuri Cave is the place to be in. As part of this tour, you will be taken above an underground river, through a drapery of stalactites, and below a galaxy of glowworms. All the while you will be making the best use of cutting-edge engineering that guarantees a completely accessible experience of the Cave making it the best places in New Zealand one can visit.

Aranui Cave is often regarded as the best-kept secret among the Waitomo Caves. With a perfect formation and small size, this is a treasure trove of limestone formations. The ceiling is packed with millions of stalactites which lead to the creation of a display unlike anything ever seen before.

Ideal amount of time to be spent: 

Amongst the rolling hills of the Waitomo Caves, there is much more than meets the eye. Even an entire weekend would be insufficient time to spend down here! However, if you are running short on time and think there are other places to see in New Zealand that cannot be left off your list, then spend around 45 minutes at the Waitomo Glowworm Caves and another hour at the Aranui Caves. Make sure you reach around 15 minutes before every tour, and you will be in with a perfect half-a-day of cave exploration before you get to hit the road again for more places to visit in New Zealand.

Spending an entire day in Waitomo will give you more options regarding adventure experiences. Kick start the day with a two-hour cave tour of Ruakuri and traverse the depths of the cave with the longest underground walking tour in the country, one of the best places in New Zealand. If you really want to explore the belly of the Ruakuri Caves, spend half a day with the Black Water Rafting team for the most fun experience you could ever imagine to have in the dark.

Make a pitstop at the unique Waitomo Caves Visitor Center restaurant for lunch and fuel up before resuming with your cave odyssey around the Aranui Cave and Waitomo Glowworm Caves, the best places to visit in New Zealand.

Adventure Options in Waitomo Caves – Best Places in New Zealand

There are more ways than one for you to explore the underground places to see in New Zealand. Waitomo Caves offer an array of activities that can help take the idea of adventure to a completely new level as you can run obstacle courses, go tubing over the rapids, or abseil down into the caves, among other things to do in what is an underground playground. 

Not to forget the resident glowworms who inhabit the place in masses. It is worth noting that you won’t have to expend much effort for visiting these decorative maggots so you should give it a try for places to visit in New Zealand even though you are not too keen on experiencing a caving adventure. Afterall, you can’t miss the best places in New Zealand, can you?

If you are looking for a place to stay in New Zealand, consider the Te Koha Lodge as your best option. We will make all necessary arrangements to ensure you have the most pleasant stay and the visit to the best places in New Zealand. Contact us today, and we can take our discussion forward to help you avail the best package and plan.

by Wayne Charles Olsen, Manager & Chef @tekohalodge.com