The Essential Glowworm Tour

Includes: One Cave

Adult: $64 NZD

Child (0-14): $22 NZD

Enjoy the full glowworm cave experience. We include our famous boat ride (20 minutes), photography and refreshments. With just one cave to visit this is our shorter tour.
Max 12 people.

Duration: 85 Minutes (approx.)
Note: includes Glowworm Cave and Spirit Cave tour only

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The Essential Glowworm Tour

All Tours Depart From Here

334 Boddies Rd, Oparure Te Kuiti 3981
0800 773 552
Open daily - Booking is essential
[email protected]

Departure Information

We depart from 334 Boddies Rd Te Kuiti. Make sure you look up this address on Google Maps so you know where to find us and how long it should take to get there.

Our tours depart at the advertised time. Check in is 15 minutes prior to departure. Please be on time! Allowances can sometimes be made, so it's worth calling as soon as possible to discuss.

Bring Along

A warm top or jacket, walking shoes (trainers) and your camera. We do like to know about any fitness issues or injuries which may affect you during your tour, then we can give you a good indication if our tour will be suitable for you.

Camera Friendly

Suitable for all ages

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Flat water

The Essential Glowworm Tour

The Tour


  • A 2km scenic drive across a farm.
  • A short spectacular walk to the Mangawhitikau Glowworm Cave.
  • Up to an hour in the glowworm cave including a 20min glowworm boat ride and photography
  • A quick break for refreshments, then a drive back to our office.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Should I book in advance?

Yes, please do, our tours have limited places and we run only up to 6 tours per day. Last minute bookings are welcome when space allows.

Will the tour go ahead if it is raining?

Yes, usually. It takes a lot of rain to make our river flood, however, if it does flood, we will cancel for safety reasons. We make every attempt to let you know as soon as possible. If you feel concerned about possible flooding, please do ring us for more information. If we must cancel your tour, we will either refund you in full or rebook your tour, depending on availability. 

Can I arrive late for my tour?

No, you must arrive on time. Arrival time is 20 minutes before departure. Our minibus departs promptly at the advertised time, and you will need to be in it, there’s a further 2.5km drive down to the caves. Please read our address carefully and arrive at this address.  We are not in the Waitomo Village or near the Waitomo Glowworm Cave, we are 15kms from there.

Can you take more than 12 in a tour?

We can only take 12 per tour, however if your group is larger than 12 people, we may be able to schedule an extra tour for the same departure time. Please inquire with us.

How fit should I be?

We will need you to be able to walk gently, unaided for up 45 minutes on this tour. We do not allow wheelchairs or walking frames on this tour. We do have several short (30m) steep sections and a few stairs on our gravel paths.  Don’t ever be too shy to talk to your guide if you have any questions about fitness or safety.

Is there a family package?

We have a special per child price for children in a family group. This is typically about a third of the adult price. We don’t limit the number of children in a family, so this works nicely for one child or several. We charge for children at all ages below 15. It is a fun experience for children of 4 years and upwards.

Do you allow small children on tour?

We do allow babies and small children to come. You can bring a backpack but not a pram. Babies sometimes react badly by crying when we put lights out in the glowworm cave. We wait to see if they settle down but if crying continues, we may ask a parent to leave early to allow other guests to enjoy their experience.

Can I bring my tripod?

No, sorry, they become a tripping hazard in the dark for other customers. We have set up fixed stations for cameras and mobile phones where you can successfully achieve longer exposures.


A great grass-roots tour company sharing a kiwi experience everyone should have at least once in their lifetime.

A friendly & knowledgeable range of guides that add another layer to the visual spectacle & I was fortunate to share my time with a knowledgeable & accommodating chap, Mangu.

I have been on other tours not a million miles away where you pay your money & take you the tour, but on this occasion you pay your money & are served an experience, & it is for this reason I highly recommend you support local & bring family & friends to discover for your self.

The ability to bring a camera & take photos is a huge bonus & adds another layer to the unique Spellbound experience. Top marks to Mangu & the team.

Paul Stieller
Google Review

Such a fantastic personalised experience we did have today! Lots of interesting information was provided by our handsome, friendly and knowledgeable guide Hohepa. And a boat ride was about ten times longer than in the commercial Waitomo caves. OMG, it was truly amazingly breathtaking journey through myriad galaxies above your head! Photos and videos are allowed and our lovely guide took lots of photos for us. But still nothing is comparable with a human eyes and better to see this nature miracle in person. Highly recommend Spellbound for everyone and i’ll definitely come back with my friends after borders are opened

Olga Ustinova
Google Review

Friendly and knowledgable local driver/guide showed our group through two excellent caves, one via inflatable to see masses of glowworms and the other to see the underground formations, impressive. The trip took around 3 hours, a nice coffee and biscuit was offered midway. Excellent value for money.

Bruce Stewart
Google Review

Great experience! It was awesome to do the glow worm cave by boat and then the other cave on foot. Definitely recommend.

Google Review

What an amazing tour. So much better than the big commercial ones. You raft for over 20 minutes, with your helmet torches off, with the glowworms above looking like the Milky Way. Stunning. Norm was a great host too.

Scott Rees
Google Review

Amazing and intimate tour as there is only a maximum of 12 people. our tour guide was so knowledgeable and friendly, telling us all about the area and the history of the caves. We visited a two caves that are not visited by the normal tourist masses. And the glow worm tunnel was something to behold!! If you are in Waitomo you should definitely book this tour

Freya Howle
Google Review