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Glow Worm Cave Tours
in the Milky Way Glow Worm Cave at Waipu Caves Farm Park

to see the world-famous Glow Worms.

Small tour groups on an easy access concrete path,
suitable for all ages.

Learn all about Glow Worms and Caves.

The beauty in the darkness of the underworld will leave you in awe.

Take photos of this special place to share with your friends.

Adults (age 16 +): $40 each.

Kids (age 5 to 15): $30 each.

Plus a small online booking fee.

Ages 0-4: free.

Anchor 1

More information......

See New Zealand's world-famous glow worms and stunning cave formations on a guided 1 hour tour in the Milky Way Glow Worm Cave at Waipu Caves Farm Park.  The sound of the stream, the stalactites and water dripping, the sparkle of glow worms so close in the darkness of the underworld, this intense beauty will leave you in awe. 

See ancient moa bones in the cave from a time when they roamed the bush.  We focus on educating our visitors about the cave, how it was formed and how to look after caves.  So, if you love learning and seeing nature you need to come here.  We also allow you to take photos, which many other cave tourism operators will not allow.  The tour path is set up in such a way that you get a real feeling of the cave environment in a safe way.   


Adults (age 16 +): $40 each.

Kids (age 5 to 15): $30 each. 

There is a small amount added to your transaction which is charged by the online booking software (Fare Harbor). 

Preschool (under 5): free.



Several 1 hour tours daily.

Closed during heavy local rain.

Light and short rain showers are usually OK.


Open Hours & Tour Times

We are open throughout the year but closed on Christmas Day.

Gate opens at 8.30am.

First tour starts at 9am followed by tours throughout the day, last tour about 5pm, most of the year. 

In winter - June, July, August - the number of tours is reduced. 

How to book.     

Book online by clicking the several big blue buttons or you can email us:, or phone us: 09 430 27 22.

We do keep some space in each tour for people who have not booked online.  However, we encourage you to book online to reduce risk of long waits or missing out. 

Cancelation or Reschedule Policy

If you cancel, change, are running late, don't show up...

Up to 48 hours out from tour time you get a full refund or reschedule.  Email us.

Up to 24 hours out 50% refund or free full reschedule.  Email us.

Within 24 hours, No refund, however, we could reschedule to a later time if possible.  Phone us to reschedule.

If you are running late to get here we will try to move you to a later time.  Phone us.  

If we cancel....

In the event of bad weather we may not run the tour and can either refund you in full or reschedule you to a different time.  Whichever you prefer.  If you have booked online we will try to let you know before you arrive.


School groups including home school groups who come as a class during the week get a special tour suited more for age appropriate education.  

Price is $17.50 per person whether they are students, teachers or parent help.  This price includes use of the rest of the property to run activity rotations.  You may also want us to run other activities for you, such as archery.

Contact us to arrange booking as this can't be booked online.  You will be allocated a time which fits with the online booking schedule.

Rain and safety around flooding.

This cave, like most caves, is affected by heavy localised rain, and can flood.  We monitor weather maps every day and several times when storms or heavy rain is due or near.  If water levels in the cave rise or is likely to rise we do not run the tours.  If in doubt phone us. 

What to wear.

The temperature in the cave is about 15 degrees Celsius and so during warmer months it is nice and cool.  During cooler months you may want to wear a fleece or jacket.  Any footwear you feel comfortable in walking on a gravel walking track to the cave is ok and in the cave it is a concrete path.  We provide torches, but you are welcome to bring your own if you like.  You don't need a helmet. 

Cave care.

Don't touch the rock walls, roof, cave formations, glow worms or their webs.


Will we see glow worms? 

Yes, you will see them at any time of the day and throughout the year, and you will see them very close up.

How long is the tour?

1 hour return to the office with about 35 minutes in the cave.

How far do we walk?

From the office to the cave entrance is 300m and inside the cave is 160m so a total of 900m return. This is at a slow pace.  If you have a physical impairment, we can arrange for you to park your vehicle 50m from the cave entrance.

Is it cold in the cave?

It is about 15 degrees Celsius or 60 degrees Fahrenheit.  In summer this is a nice temperature to walk into for the time of the tour.

Do we get wet in the cave?

No, you are on a formed concrete path.

Do we need a torch?

No, we provide you with a torch, but you can bring your own if you like.

Can we walk in by ourselves without a guide?

No, this is a privately owned cave and it is strictly managed to protect it, which is why it is so pristine.

Can we take photographs or video?

Yes, and please share with your friends.

Is this cave connected to other caves?


Can we bring our dog with us?

No.  This is a 'no dogs allowed' property.  If you are traveling with your dog, it can stay in your vehicle or be tied beside your vehicle.


Can we have a private tour?

Yes.  Email or speak to us.  A private tour means no other tourists will join the tour.  You could have up to 15 people in your private group.  This could be good for a photography club of famous people.  The price is $600.  If you are after a larger group then speak to us.

Can we have a wedding or ceremony in the cave?

Yes.  Speak to us about this.  

Waipu Caves and Mangapai Caves

Many people refer to or research about Waipu Caves thinking there is only one cave, commonly called Waipu Cave.  However, this is incorrect.  In the area of Waipu Caves, which is most of Waipu Caves Road, there are many caves, mostly small and on private land.  Unfortunately, many people who write blogs and travel information, including the Department of Conservation and the Whangarei District Council, have perpetuated incorrect information about Waipu Caves.  The Waipu Caves Area has 2 caves which can be accessed by public.  The Milky Way Glow Worm Cave is privately owned and is managed with guides taking tours on a safe path.  The public owned cave at Waipu Caves Scenic Preserve, incorrectly called Waipu Cave, has had about 100 years of public access and all the small formations have been broken off long ago.  It regularly floods including across the entire car park making it a dirty cave covered in mud without any formed path and access is down a muddy slope to a stream which you walk in.  It's OK if you want to do dirty caving. 


However, the Milky Way Glow Worm Cave is clean, safe and very pristine.   All other caves in the Waipu Caves Area are on private land and are mostly very small or have entrances, often vertical holes, only suitable for experienced cavers.  Waipu Caves Farm Park has several caves on the property. 

So, what about the Mangapai Caves?  There are no Mangapai Caves.  This was started long ago by the settlers of Mangapai as they called the Waipu Caves Area the Mangapai Caves, hence Mangapai Caves Road.   The best way to mention the cave known as Waipu Cave is like all the serious caving enthusiasts, which is, Waipu Public Cave or the Public Cave at Waipu Caves Scenic Preserve. 

This page edited by Ian 7th June 2024 by Ian Fox.

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