Small Group Tour (2-10 passengers)
Luxury Mercedes Vehicle
Entry fees to Glowworm Caves
Child car seat (0-7 year olds)
Departure point is outside the port main pedestrian gates. Your guide will be standing outside the exit (port gates) on the grass area holding up a sign board with your names on.
Recommended Departure Time is 8AM
Tour Departure Details: We operate ALL our tours to fit in with the cruise ships arrivals and departure times. However, we recognize some ships arrival times are outside of this time-frame. If your ship is one of these which arrives later into port than the regular time stated, we ask that you disembark as soon as is possible and check in with your guide who will be waiting for you as per the above instructions.
Waitomo Glowworm Caves are a must see for travelers to New Zealand. Lonely Planet recently voted the Glowworm Cave experience as the most illuminating experience in the world. Glowworms are unique to New Zealand; they are world renowned and a magnet to both local and overseas visitors.
Come and enjoy the world-famous boat ride under thousands of magical glowworms and become a part of over 125 years of cultural and natural New Zealand history. Marvel at Mother Nature’s light display as you glide silently through the starry wonderland of the Glowworm Grotto. Thousands of tiny little creatures radiate their luminescent light as expert local guides provide informative commentary on the history of the cave and its geological significance, stalactites, stalagmites, and columns commanding your attention; natural formations caused by precipitation of minerals and water dripping from the ceiling of the caves, providing a wonderland experience.
Depart from outside the port of Tauranga main pedestrian gates, travel around Mount Maunganui seaside resort where we take a brief stop and let you out to walk on the beach and touch the sand. Then its across the Harbour bridge to Tauranga city, pass by the fresh fish market, the local Waka (Maori canoe) past the rose gardens & the Mission station before arriving at Gate Pa. Step out for a photo stop of the 8 Poū (Maori Carvings) which depict the history of the historic Battle fought on this historic Pa site. Depart Tauranga and traverse the Kaimai range and into the lush pastureland of the fertile Waikato valley, world renowned for its rich heritage in the Dairy industry.
Enjoy the scenery of spectacular pastures, a huge amount of dairy cows, hydro lakes and forested mountains as we continue to Waitomo.
On arrival at the Waitomo Glowworn Caves, you will have a wee opportunity to look at gift shop before you venture forth into the caves for your caving & glowworm experience. A local Maori guide will look after you throughout your journey, whilst sharing local stories and relevant information about the cave system in the area and the unique little glowworm and its life cycle. This will take approx. 1 hour.
We will make opportunity for you to have a lunch break at this point – we have arranged a New Zealand style BBQ lunch at Waitomo Homestead. They will cook to perfection your favorite cut of New Zealand meat or fish and serve with the addition of salads, fresh fruit and sweets. This is a typical New Zealand meal hosted in a relaxed natural setting and atmosphere.
Depending on our timings we may take a brief stop at the Otorohanga Kiwi bird nocturnal house for viewing of the New Zealand native endangered Kiwi bird and maybe we will get to see the ancient reptile – called the Tuatara. Both these critters are unique to New Zealand. – – – – This stop is always time dependant.
It is then a leisurely drive back to your cruise ship across some of the local hydro sites along the mighty Waikato River with a short stop at McLaren’s Falls park to enjoy some of New Zealand’s nature and beauty. It is a short stroll (optional and time dependant) to a waterfall along the pathway under the canopy of lush rainforest. Your guide will introduce you to Rongoā – Maori traditional medicines using plants before taking you back to your ship.
NB: The order of which attractions we visit may alter – these are dependant on cruise ships arrivals and departures.
Kiwi Bird House – Adult NZ$26.00 Child NZ$10 Family NZ$65