The Te Anau Glowworm Caves are one of New Zealand's most mesmerizing natural wonders, boasting a labyrinth of grottoes, tunnels, dramatic rock formations, and underground waterfalls. Adventure abounds—visitors can cruise across Lake Te Anau, scramble through the caves, and marvel at a glittering canopy of tiny glowworms.
Tours of the glowworm caves set out from Te Anau and include a scenic cruise across Lake Te Anau, a visit to the Cavern House, a walk through the caves, and a boat ride along an underground river. For the best value, super-saver tours combine a visit to the Glowworm Caves with a tour of Doubtful Sound or a Milford Sound wildlife cruise.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Only guided tours by boat can enter the caves.
- Wear comfortable shoes and bring insect repellent and a waterproof jacket.
- The caves are not wheelchair accessible, and access might be tricky for those with mobility problems.
How to Get There
The Te Anau Glowworm Caves are located on Lake Te Anau in Fiordland National Park, on the southwest coast of New Zealand's South Island. The nearest international airport is in Queenstown, about 170 miles (273 kilometers) northeast of Te Anau, or roughly 2.5 hours by road.
When to Get There
Summer (December through February) is the most popular time to visit, but it can get crowded, so be sure to book in advance. It's possible to visit year-round, although there will be fewer glowworms in winter.
Where to See Glowworms in New Zealand
The Te Anau Caves aren't the only place in New Zealand to spot these majestic glitterbugs—there's also the famous Waitomo Caves, Waipu Caves, and Kawiti caves on the North Island, as well as Paparoa National Park and Lake Rotoiti on the South Island.