ACTIVITIES / Waitomo / Waitomo Caves Tour: Waitomo and Ruakuri Cave

Waitomo Caves Tour: Waitomo and Ruakuri Cave

Discover Waitomo's longest underground guided walking tour. World renowned and a magnet for both local and overseas visitors, the Waitomo Glowworm Caves occupy a high placing in almost everyones New Zealand vacation wish-list.


  • Experience New Zealand's longest guided underground walking tour
  • Boat trip through the Glowworm Grotto in the Waitomo Caves
  • Experience this New Zealand must-see

What's Included


Bookings are essential as numbers on each tour are restricted to 15 people.

Ruakuri, or 'den of dogs' as it literally translates into the English language, was first discovered by local Maori between 400 and 500 years ago. It takes its name from the wild dogs that made their home in the cave entrance.

Newly reopened after an interval of 18 years, Ruakuri cave offers a captivating blend of Waitomo's most compelling subterranean experiences. In any one sightseeing tour, your guide will bring you up close to glowworms, elaborate cave formations, underground rivers, myths, legends and sacred Maori sites.

Your journey begins at The Long Black Cafe where your guide will meet you. From there you will be transported to Ruakuri Cave, where you will enter and begin a spiral descent from ground level via an incredible drum entrance and walkway. You then continue on a 1.6 kilometre guided tour underground. Ruakuri is New Zealand's longest guided underground walking tour and an experience that must be seen to be believed. It will leave you open-mouthed, awe-struck and humbled by the sheer majesty of nature.


The Waitomo glowworm, Arachnocampa luminosa, is unique to New Zealand. Thousands of these tiny creatures radiate their unmistakable luminescent light as our expert guides provide informative commentary on the Caves' historical and geological significance.

Over your 45 minute guided tour, you'll take in the spectacular Glowworm Cave with its majestic and ornate cave decorations, the deep limestone shaft known as the Tomo and the equally magnificent Cathedral cavern where New Zealands own opera diva Kiri Te Kanawa once performed. Your tour guide will deliver an informative and entertaining commentary, sharing stories, cultural legends and the natural wonders of this living masterpiece.

Your visit concludes with a brief, yet remarkably moving, boat trip through the Glowworm Grotto.

Important Notes


Tours depart daily at 9:00am, 10:00am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm & 3:30pm. Tour is approximately 2 hours (1hr 30 mins underground)



Open 365 days a year, tours depart every half hour between 9am-5pm.

Book Now


Duration 3 hours

Departs From: Waikato

Tour Type: Day Tour & Activities

Similar New Zealand Day Tours


Day Tour & Activities

NZONE Skydive

Located In: Queenstown

From: $299

Day Tour & Activities

Milford Sound Coach - Cruise - Scenic Flight Day Trip

Located In: Queenstown

From: $570

Day Tour & Activities

Doubtful Sound: Overnight Cruise

Located In: Queenstown

From: $539

Day Tour & Activities

Milford Sound Kayaking - Milford Must Do

Located In: Fiordland

From: $149


1 reviews
May 2016

Nice and unique experience. Never expect to see such beautiful glowing creature.

Downside on the tour is that the time to see the glowing creature is very short. We were seated on a boat and we did not have any opportunity to be up and close with the creature. Within the next couple of mins, we are already out of the cave and the tour ended.

I will recommend going to Ruakuri cave as you can be really close to the glowing worms. But do note that there will be about 1 hr of walking in the cave. But is worth trying.

Trip Date: March 2016

  • Overall Rating
  • Accomodation
  • Experience On PlanitNZ
  • Transportation
  • Meals
  • Guide