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Experience a Kawiti Glowworm Cave Tour

Your guided tour will follow a wooden boardwalk through a 200 metre limestone cave system. Once inside, you will see thousands of glow worms spread across the ceiling surrounded by breathtaking stalactites and stalacmites.

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a wooden walkway leading deeper into Kawiti Caves

Our Tours

As you enjoy the galaxies of glowworms above, your friendly guide will explain the life cycle of the New Zealand Glowworm (Arachnocampa Luminosa) and the intricate webs used to catch their prey.

Daytime Tours

Our guided 45 minute Daytime Tours run from 9am until 4pm, seven days a week. Tour group sizes can range from a single person to a maximum of 40 people in one tour. Whether you are exploring with family, friends or part of an excursion, our knowledgeable and entertaining guides will provide you with an unforgettable experience.

Prices from: $
Prices on application
a wooden staircase leading to the Kawiti Caves entrance

Twilight Tours

Our bespoke Twilight Tours are also known as our Te Ara Ngahere tours. You will be picked up from your accommodation in Paihia. Experience Maori protocol, participate in discussions about rongoa (traditional Maori healing), and explore the caves as twilight sets in. End your evening with a shared meal in the lush cave surrounds. These tours are by appointment only and are available for groups of 12 or more.

Prices from: $
Prices on application
a wooden bridge going through Kawiti Caves

Educational Tours

Our Educational Tours are popular with local and national school groups. These tours focus on the types of formations within the caves system, the life and habits of glowworms, flora and fauna as well as sustainability and preserving our environment.

Prices from: $
Prices on application
Glowworm's in Kawiti Caves
a large rock formation outside Kawiti Caves

Cave Details

The caves are 200 metres in length Handrails and wooden walkways through the cave and most of the bushwalk track over the hill, returning to the car park.

Hours of operation:
Open 7 days: 9am to 3pm
Additional information:

Sensible flat walking shoes and a light jacket are recommended.

There is no pushchair or wheelchair access.

No photography or video recording inside the caves

Good vehicle access and parking

Glow Worm Details

3 Main Glowworm displays throughout the cave. New Zealand Glowworm (Arachnocampa Luminosa). Arachnocampa Luminosa glowworm is a transparent larva of the Fungus Gnat. It has a 4 stage life cycle of 10 to 11 months from egg to adult fly. Each glowworm grows from 2mm to 40mm long and has a bright green/blue tail light.

The Arachnocampa Luminosa glowworm is unique to New Zealand and thrives in damp, humid, dark environments like caves, catching small flying insects (mosquitoes and midges) with sticky webs called fishing lines.

Kawiti Caves Glowworm closeup


Here are some frequently asked questions we get here at Kawiti Glowworm Caves.

How many people are allowed on a caves tour?

There is a maximum of 40 people permitted on a tour at any one time for health and safety reasons.  This allows our staff to ensure you are looked after throughout the duration of your caves visit.

Do I need to book a tour?

It is advisable to pre-book a few days in advance for large groups to avoid disappointment.

If you are a small group, family, couple or single traveller, you can usually come on the day without having to book ahead.

The summer months tend to be busy, so it pays to make a quick call to the caves office to check availability before arriving.

How long is the tour?

Usually each tour takes approximately 45 minutes depending on the size and curiosity of the tour.  

The bespoke tours tend to be slightly longer and more detailed.  

Please enquire on our website, or call the caves office for more information.

Can I take photos on the tour?

Feel free to take images and post selfies of your unique Kawiti Glowworm Caves experience - our guides will only be too happy to help you create those long lasting memories.

However, due to the adverse effect of camera flash in the glowworm environment, cameras and videos are not permitted while inside the caves.  

Drone footage is not allowed anywhere on the caves property unless pre-approved by the Kawiti Glowworm Caves management.  

Your guide will advise you on photographic management prior to entering the caves.

Do I need to wear any special clothing in the caves?

You do not need to wear anything special for your caves tour.  It is a few degrees cooler inside the caves than out, so you may want to have a light jacket handy.  It is recommended to wear flat, enclosed shoes - trainers are perfect, heels are not suitable.

What else is there to see at Kawiti Caves?

There is a walking path (for the sprightly) starting from near the office to the cone at the top of the hill.  This walk is at your own leisure and takes in native flora and fauna as well as stunning rock formations and outcrops.  You are kindly asked to stay on the path and to refrain from deviating beyond this vicinity due to the tapu (sacred) areas beyond.

The caves property is also a working farm with cattle, who are just as curious as you are.  Please do not cross over the fence boundaries to get a closer look!  While the cattle are cute, they are not pets.

Our resident cat will try to win you over with her charming personality - please do not be tempted to feed her, she is wild and mostly hunts for her own food.

What happens if I feel ill on the tour?

Our staff are fully aware of health and safety procedures and are trained in first aid practices.  In the event of you feeling unwell and/or requiring medical attention, assistance and action will be taken accordingly.

What are the rules at Kawiti Glowworm Caves?
  1. Follow the guidance and instructions of the guides while on the Kawiti Glowworm Caves property at all times - they are here to help you.
  2. No drugs, alcohol, smoking or vaping on the property.
  3. Bad language and abusive behaviour towards staff and other visitors will not be tolerated.
  4. Make sure you enjoy yourself