1. New Zealand
  2. Southland Region
  3. Te Anau
  4. Fiordland National Park

Te Anau: Glowworm Caves Guided Tour

Product ID: 126038
Begin with a calm cruise across Lake Te Anau, before travelling through the caves by path and small boat. Deep inside the caves thousands of glowworms inhabit a silent hidden grotto.
About this activity
Duration: 135 minutes
Check availability to see starting times.
Printed or mobile voucher accepted
Instant confirmation
Live tour guide
Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts

Select participants and date:



  • Enjoy a return scenic cruise on Lake Te Anau
  • See the glow worms in pitch black darkness
  • Learn about the rock formations in the caves
  • Listen to the roaring water flowing through the caves
  • Learn about the unique flora of the region on an optional short guided forest experience
Full description
Experience a mysterious underground world of rushing water before drifting in darkness beneath the luminous shimmer of hundreds of glowworms. 

Your trip to the Te Anau Glowworm Caves begins with a cruise to the western shores of Lake Te Anau. At the entry to the caves, view the informative displays and learn about this geological wonder before you head underground. On the tour of the caves, your friendly guide will point out the highlights and share their knowledge of the caves and its history.

This underground world is astonishingly beautiful. The cave are 12,000 years old which by geological standards is still very young and they are still being carved out by the force of the river that flows through them. The result is a twisting network of limestone passages filled with sculpted rock, whirlpools and a roaring underground waterfall.

Deep inside the caves, beyond the roar of the water, you will be taken by small boat into a silent hidden grotto inhabited by thousands of glowworms, unique to New Zealand. In the subterranean darkness, they produce a glittering display that is nothing short of extraordinary.
  • Guided tour through the caves
  • Beautiful scenic cruise from the meeting point to the caves entry point
  • Various language handouts in English, German, Portuguese, Japanese and Chinese

Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

Visitor Centre, 85 Lakefront Drive, Te Anau, New Zealand.

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Important information
What to bring
  • Comfortable shoes
Not allowed
  • Cameras
Know before you go
• Please note that a reasonable agility level is necessary as some bending is required due to low cave entrances and steps being involved
• This tour is not suitable for wheelchair passengers or heeled shoes
• This tour is not suitable for infants
• Light refreshments are available to purchase from the Cavern House and on the Luminosa. Complimentary tea and coffee is available at Cavern House
• From 1 November – 26 December the departure at 9:30 PM will only operate with 20 or more paying passengers on board. Guests will be notified on the day of departure if it is not operating and will be offered the earlier departure time of 8:15 PM
• Your tour time may be different to the one requested. The local operator will confirm your exact tour time by email after booking.
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 95 reviews

Review summary

  • Service
    4.7 / 5
  • Organization
    4.8 / 5
  • Value for money
    4.3 / 5
  • Safety
    4.8 / 5
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Guides very informative about the glow worms and also about what to expect on the tour. Not the big open cave shown on pictures. You walk into the caves and at one point, you have to walk bent down. Seeing the glow worms is via boat in the dark which gives you the best experience of the glow worms.

17 March 2020

This was the most unique tour we’ve ever taken. It was an amazing experience from the boat ride to the caves to the hike to the caves to the caves themselves. No words can explain, You have to experience for yourself. Boat guide Bobbie was awesome. She really loves her work. Cave guide Chris was also amazing and very passionate about his tour.

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28 October 2019

An event that you absolutely must attend to Te Anau!

This is totally different from the fireflies (insects) in the Asian impression. The fireflies here are such a unique species! Although the activity is not long and the price is not cheap, you can feel the friendliness of the entire team and their efforts to actively engage in conservation work. The underground caves have a magnificent landscape and abundant water. It is amazing. It's wonderful to see it with your own eyes!

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16 April 2019

Organized by

Real Journeys

Product ID: 126038