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Get into the glow worm cavein Hamilton, New Zealand

#1of 1 things to doin Hamilton


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Walls in the cave are covered with luminescent bugs that gleam blue.
How to get into the glow worm cave in Hamilton
The Waitomo Caves formed more than 2 000 000 years ago - oceanic waters washed out grottos and underground ways in rocks.

And only at the end of XIX century the locals made up their mind to explore the cave. They took hand-made raft and went down the Waitomo river into the unknown grottos and saw the grotto roof gleaming like a starry sky.

Waitomo Glowworm Cave, Hamilton

Arachnocampa Luminosa - New Zealand glowworms - live on the walls of the cave, they are the creatures that throw out the blue light.

How to do?

1. Waitomo Caves are situated a one-hour drive from Hamilton - 75 kilometers southward down the state highway №3. The central entrance - just right at the road (Waitomo Village road, 39).

Cash desks near the Waitomo Caves main entrance, Hamilton
Photo: Cash desks near the Waitomo Caves main entrance, © Brent Solem

2. Besides the glowworm grotto in Waitomo you can also visit the longest in New Zeland cave tunnel Ruakuri Cave and stalactite Aranui Cave, and also you can go cave rafting. Combined tickets cost cheaper - mind it if you want to visit not only one site.

Aranui Cave, Hamilton
Photo: Aranui Cave, © Hannah Hsu

Descent to the water at the beginning of black water rafting, Hamilton
Photo: Descent to the water at the beginning of black water rafting, © Jaap Postma

Boats go to the gleaming cave every 30 minutes from 9am till 5pm, boarding on a first-come, first-served basis. The excursion lasts about 45 minutes - floating slowly down the Waitomo river you'll get to know the prehistory of the glowworm grotto and you'll see the cave roof light up blue.

Waitomo Glowworm Cave, Hamilton

3. You can have rest and dinner in Waitomo Homstead 9 kilometers eastward down the State Highway 3. Also there is a hotel and a theatre.

Where to do?

#1Waitomo cavesWaitomo caves

The caves formed in the depth of the ocean millions years ago. When water waved back, limestone outgrowth, corrals, petrified sea fish and luminescent organisms remained on the walls.

Location: 39 Waitomo Village Road (formerly Waitomo Caves Road)
Open hours: 9 am - 5 pm
Phone: +64 7 878 8228
Official website: http://www.waitomo.com/

When to do?

You can get into the cave every day: April-October from 9am till 5pm, November-March from 8:30 till 5:30. Boats get off to the cave every 30 minutes.

There are some additional tours at Christmas time (December, 26-31) - at 6pm and 7pm.

How much?

Boat excursion into the cave for adults is NZD 51, for 4-14-year-old children - NZD 23.50, for children under 4 - free.

Tips and hints

Put on comfortable footwear and warm outdoor clothes.

It's not allowed here to take pictures or video.


Guest19 May 2024
Photo credit © Hamilton & Waikato Tourism