Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community

Glow worm cave tour from Bay of Islands

Recommended Posts

My daughter and I will be in Bay of Islands in January and had planned to take the ship’s tour to the Kawiti glow worm caves and kauri forest. Unfortunately, the tour is sold out and there is no wait list.


We have been advised that all we can do is to enquire once we are on board 😢 

I’m hoping CCers will be able to point me in the right direction to see if we can either organise our own way there or find a tour to join. 

We are mainly interested in the glow worms, so if that’s the only thing we can get to see we’ll be happy!


Thanks in advance for your help 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Do a 3rd party tour from Paihia. It's easy. and much cheaper than the ship's tour.

Here's what we did to see the Kawiti Glow worm caves at bay of islands on our own.

You will probably take a tender from the ship to a dock outside of town near the Waiting Treaty Grounds.

Our cruise line, Princess had a free shuttle to downtown Paihia. I'm sure other cruise lines do the same thing, but check with them.

In the parking lot near the Bay of Islands I-Site visitor center in Paihia, there will be tour vendors advertising trips around the area.

We found the one going to Kawiti Caves. Back in Feb 2018, we paid NZD$50 each for the 10:30 am tour plus NZD$30 each for the cave tour. The total price of NZD$80 each was much cheaper than the ship's tour cost. So we were very happy with the price. But it's cash only. There are bank ATM's nearby. We went with Mother Earth Tours and Stella was our guide. She was great! We had van of only 10 people. While the main destination was the Kawiti Caves, she also drove through the rain forest, gave wonderful commentary and made a stop at Hararu falls so we could take some pictures.

If you are reluctant to go from vendor to vendor in the parking lot, go inside the Visitor Center and they'll give you the info on which vendor goes there and even book it from the office. (which was 50 feet away from the outdoor vendor tables) (On our tour, half of the people had booked from inside the Visitor's Center and the other half, like us, just walked up to her table in the parking lot and asked about the tour.

OR if you like having a something planned in advance before getting off the ship, Go online and

Check out Shore Trips and Tours. They are a reputable New Zealand Tour company. Lots of cruise people take tours with them. They have group tours that include the Kawiti Caves.

hope this information helps.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much dkata for your detailed reply. I’m so pleased that it looks like we’ll have no trouble getting to the caves after all. Thank you for taking the time to provide the information.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

And thank you too Kiwi Kruzer! I see that tour includes a visit to a chocolate factory, could be dangerous 😜

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the company I used for our cruise last April to see the glow worms.  Phil was great, provided 2 car seats for my 6 and 4 year old and on 24 hours notice changed our tour from morning to afternoon.  Ended up only being the 4 of us on the tour.


Phil Bell

ABC Shuttle and Tours

Ph. 022 025 0800

E-mail: info@abcshuttle.co.nz


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
  • Create New...