Waitomo with kids: all the information about caves!
Waitomo is a village all about the glow worms that you can admire here with your kids. Since most tours only last a few hours, you could also do this tour from Hamilton, since there are in
more to do for kids than in the village of Waitomo itself. We will list the different ways to admire glow worms.
Table of contents
Where can you see the glow worms in Waitomo caves?
There are two different Waitomo caves where you can see the glow worms.
The Glowworm Caves. This cave has been open to tourists for 130 years. In this cave, you can view the glow worms by boat. The tour by boat takes about 45 minutes and it is recommended to wear warm clothes, as it is quite chilly in the cave.Unfortunately, you cannot take photos or videos of the worms during this tour. Kids under 4 are free. There are 23 of you in the boat.
The tour is offered every day and goes every half hour starting at 9 a.m. in the morning. So plenty of opportunities to admire the glow worms in this cave by boat. For more information on pricing for this tour click
You can book this tour
book online in advance
The Ruakuri Caves. This is the largest cave in the Waitomo area and you can also visit this cave with a baby carriage. You go down a huge spiral staircase here and you see the worms up close and personal.
We took this tour. On this tour, you are allowed to take photos, although in the darkness with those little worms it is pretty tricky if you are not a professional photographer.
This tour takes 1.5 hours, which we found a bit on the long side with our four-year-old daughter. For more information on pricing for this tour click
In a third cave, you can’t see the glow worms due to the lack of water, but there are spectacular brown, pink and white
and stalagmite to admire. This tour also allows you to photograph and film. For more information about this tour click
You can buy a
buy a combination ticket for these three caves and thus get a discount.
Is it worth it?
We only went to the Ruakuri Caves with our daughter and we actually found it quite disappointing. The worms are nothing more than some lights in the dark. Of course, it is different for everyone, but we would skip this destination ourselves next time.
Rafting through the waitomo caves
For parents with kids 12 and older, though, there is an opportunity to go
through the cave and this three-hour tour does look spectacular. However, this is a pricey outing if you want to do this with the whole family.
Where else can you see worms in New Zealand?
Incidentally, in New Zealand there are
glow worms to see, so you can also combine this with a visit to another place such as if you are in the place
are for the famous Milford Sounds.
Where to stay in Waitomo with kids?
In Waitomo, we were at the
Waitomo Top 10 Holiday park
in a two-bedroom cottage. At the small campground is a small pool with hot tub and a small playground. You are almost within walking distance of the caves. Accommodations for families there start from 75 euros.
Is there anything else to do in Waitomo with kids?
When I (Joep) was hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, my wife and daughter visited the Troll Cave. This is a kind of show where kids go on a search for a troll. Our four-year-old daughter found it quite exciting, but afterwards it was a lot of fun. The activity lasts one hour. For more information about this activity click