Frequently asked questions
What are the Tour Times?
10am, 11am, 2pm, 3pm. Tours run daily except for Christmas and Boxing days, we close throughout June.
How long is the tour?
The tour lasts 3 ¼ hours, check in 15 minutes prior to departure.
Is it an adventure tour? Do we get wet?
This tour is not an adventure tour, it is suitable for most people and you stay in your normal clothes without getting wet. The scenic walks take 5-10 minutes each and there are no steps or stairways in either cave. Please let us know if you have any concerns about suitability. Bring comfortable walking shoes and a warm jacket.
Can we use our camera?
You are very welcome to bring your camera. There are some restrictions on photography in the glowworm cave and your guide will explain. If you want lots of time for setting up photos think about booking an exclusive tour with us.
How many people per tour?
Group size is limited to 12 people. If you would like to book a group of more than 12, let us know in advance, we can usually arrange more vans and guides to suit.
Cancellations? Do you operate in the rain?
Flooding is not common but it can occur. We do not use the raft if the river is too high for safety reasons but can usually run tours in a different format. If the river is very high we will cancel tours completely.
Is it suitable for children?
Yes, there’s a lot to see and do for children 4 and over. The tour is safe and easy, we do ask that parents supervise their children. The tour format is not tailored to babies and toddlers, but we can take them too. The short break between caves is useful for a feed stop. If your small child is overtired or unwell we’ll be completely understanding if you choose to cancel or reschedule.
Which caves are they?
The Spellbound Glowworm Cave is part of a much larger cave known as Mangawhitikau and the Cave of the Spirit is also known as Te Ana o te Atua. Both are 12 km south of Waitomo Caves Village.
- We drive to the caves via very scenic backcountry roads and farm tracks and give interesting commentary along the way. Its takes around 20 minutes.
- We arrive at private caves situated on a sheep and cattle farm, then walk among limestone rock outcrops before descending into a gorge to meet a picturesque stream.
- We get ready to go underground ( for 45-55 minutes).The Spellbound Glowworm cave is almost totally adorned with glowworms. We walk through half of it and float through the other half on flat water using an inflatable raft. We keep our lights very dim or off as much as possible to give you the best possible glowworm experience.
- By now you have been with us for 1.5 hours. We stop for toilets and refreshments (tea, coffee or hot chocolate and biscuits)
- After tea and coffee, it’s time to walk along a dry gorge to the Cave of the Spirit. This cave has stalactites and stalagmites, fossils and tomo. We spend 40 – 45 minutes here, then drive back to Waitomo Village.
- The tour format sometimes changes – we may visit the caves in opposite order or avoid walks between caves in heavy rain. If you don’t feel comfortable doing all the walks you will be able to ride in the van as an alternative.