Rotorua Glow Worm Kayaking Tour

Rotorua, New Zealand
Likely to Sell Out

From $102.30

Select Date and Travelers

Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance.
  • 3 hours (approx.)
  • Pickup offered
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


As the sun sets over the Bay of Plenty, take a kayak into the hidden glow worm caves around the Rotorua Caves on this remarkable after-dark tour. Instead of trying to find your own way out to the caves, take a kayak across the lakes with a guide by your side who can help you navigate the tunnels and keep you on course. Marvel at the clusters of glowing bugs and the way they light up these underground rock formations.
  • On your way, admire the Rotorua countryside as the sun sets
  • No claustrophobic crowds on each one of these small-group tours
  • Get picked up from central Rotorua or from your accommodation in town
  • Children under 13 can join this tour at a discounted price

What's Included

  • GST (Goods and Services Tax)
  • Professional guide
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off (if option selected)
  • All equipment
  • Food and drinks

Meeting And Pickup

Pickup point

  • Rotorua i-SITE Visitor Information Centre
    1167 Fenton Street, Rotorua 3010, New Zealand

Pickup details

The Rotorua Information Centre is located at 1167 Fenton Street Rotorua. Please be ready and waiting at least 10 minutes prior to your scheduled activity time.

What To Expect

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Child rate applies only when sharing with 2 paying adults
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • What to bring:
  • For kayaking in summer months (Dec, Jan, February) we recommend wearing swim wear with thermal leggings/gym type leggings and a thermal top layer, fleece jersey and light jacket. For Kayaking outside of summer (March-November) please wear swim wear, thermal leggings/gym type leggings and a thermal top layer with a minimum of three upper layers which are preferably fleece or wool. Please also bring a woolen beanie and woolen gloves. If it looks like rain a rain jacket also. Water shoes are recommended, but are provided free of charge if needed.
  • Towel and warm clothes to get changed into after the tour.
  • A sense of fun and adventure.
  • Near public transportation
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 40 travelers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

Traveler Photos

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Featured review
Awesome experience that I ever had !! A must-do check list ! Kayaking to the glow worm cave is a wonderful experience! Many glow worm just like the picture we saw at the advertisement 😂


106 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 106 reviews
CHILEONG_S, Jun 2023
Awesome experience that I ever had !! A must-do check list ! Kayaking to the glow worm cave is a wonderful experience! Many glow worm just like the picture we saw at the advertisement 😂
Wonderful Paddle. Beautiful Setting
John_D, Apr 2023
Our group was comprised of folks that have paddled together for years so we really appreciated our Guide adjusting the pace to suit the group so we could cover a good bit of water. Explored a half dozen caves or so on an absolutely perfect night. Flat water. No wind. The Glo Worms were fascinating. Great time in a beautiful setting.
Response from Host, May 2023
Thankyou John for writing this review. So good to hear. This is why we do what we do. Happy Travels.
The tour guides were...
Daniel_G, Apr 2023
The tour guides were helpful and knowledgeable, and seeing the glow worms was incredible. Thanks so much for the memories!
Response from Host, Apr 2023
Hi Daniel thanks so much for taking the time to post this review. Greqt to hear you had an incredible time. Your so welcome
Good experience but slightly chaotic
Naomi_P, Mar 2023
Seeing the glow worms was amazing as well as the enthusiasm of our tour guide, however the trip was just a bit poorly organised to give it any more than 3 stars. Viator had said that a transfer to the lake was included but when I emailed the company to organise it, they told me the bus was full so we'd need to make our own way to the lake. However, the 'find us' instructions on the website that was given didn't work so I wasn't actually sure where I was going! I tried calling and emailing but no answer. Managed to find the location on another third party website. On arrival at the allotted time, we had to wait for the bus transfer to arrive which took about 30 mins, then more time to wait for that group to get ready. It was quite quick getting into the lake - possibly too quick - with the instructors hurriedly checking we'd all kayaked before and then we just launched off. It was hard to hear instructions whilst on the lake and it got a bit confusing as to who needed to go where. Can't fault the instructors enthusiasm though and her knowledge of the glow worms. We were probably on the lake at most about 90 minutes.
Response from Host, Mar 2023
Hey there, Thank you for taking the time to leave a review, we really appreciate the honest feedback as it allows us to make improvements as we always strive to be better! As most of your review refers to our operational efficiency, I have had a look at our staffing that night and can see that we were 1 person down from our ideal ratio. We can still safely operate at this guide to customer ratio and we always prefer to run a trip than to cancel it entirely. However, it should not affect the quality of service at all so we apologise for not meeting our usual 5* standards here. It sounds like you still had a great time on the water which we are very pleased to hear. Thank you so much for coming and safe travels in the future!
Unique and fun night
Elizabeth_M, Feb 2023
Very unique experience both in seeing the magical glow worms and paddling a canoe in the dark. The guides were wonderful, very knowledgeable and fun! The wet suits offered were a real benefit as well. As it was rainy and the water was choppy, it did take take away from the experience slightly but it was still fun. And yes, time on the water is just over an hour. A little kayak e periemce before you go would be a good idea 👍
Roei_R, Feb 2023
Very special experience, we had a good time even though it was raining. Friendly staff. Bring bathing suits and exchange clothes
Amazing experience
lisa_p, Feb 2023
Small group. Amazing experience kayaking at night. Very informative about the glow worms. We did the late 8:00 pm one and it was great. Last about 1.5 hours. Got on the lake around 9. Wear the wet suit they offer and the clogs they’ll keep you dry.
Elaine_L, Jan 2023
The tour said 3 hours long, they should have told us because we drove there ourselves that it would only be approximately a little over an hour! I feel that because we drove there we should not have had to pay the full amount! Kayaking was fun and seeing the Glow worms was awesome but overpriced 😞
Response from Host, Jan 2023
Hi Elaine thanks so much for your feedback. We certainly agree with you, and apologies for this trip being shorter than usual. We would like to offer you a refund in full as it is completely not our intention to oversell this experience so please contact us to arrange. Can you please contact us to let us know where the trip is advertised as 3 hours duration? Our website advertising on our paddle board Rotorua website advertises 90 minutes on the water kayaking but to allow 2.5-3hours for the trip. There may be some issue we need to resolve with viator advertising (we do not have full control over the agents description of this activity). We will follow this up and ensure that moving forward we return to our 5 star over delivery on experience that we strive for. Best regards Nev (owner)
Fun activity with the kiddo!
Matthew_C, Dec 2022
This was a terrific activity! I went with my 8 year old son and he had a great time. The lake was beautiful and it wasn’t too difficult for him to keep up. The glow worms were amazing and we got to tour multiple caves. Highly recommend!
Rotorua Glow Worms
Michael_C, Dec 2022
It was a beautiful evening paddle to the caves and our guide was very knowledgeable about the area and the experience! She and all the guides certainly helped make the activity memorable!
Response from Host, Dec 2022
Thank you so much for the wonderful review. We really pride ourselves on making it a memorable experience!
Easy going yet still amazing
Kevin_L, Nov 2022
Wonderful tour guides and easy going kayak trip. My pants did get a little wet sitting in the boat but that was to be expected. The provided booties and headlamp was nice though.
Response from Host, Dec 2022
Hi Kevin thanks so much for taking the time to review us. Glad you had a great time.
Mesmerizing and fun!
Randy_S, Nov 2022
Beautiful sunset, wonderful guides, full moon, glow worms, bats and a quiet, serene lake! Who could ask for anything more!
Seeing the glow worms...
Casey_S, May 2022
Seeing the glow worms were great. You aren't paddling through caves though, just entering the entrances of them and out again.
Response from Host, May 2022
Hi thanks so much for taking the time to place a review. Glad you thought the glow worms were great. Yes the tour does not include paddling through caves. Can you please contact us to confirm where this expectation came from. Our paddle board Rotorua website description states "scenic evening paddle across the lake before adventuring into small caves filled with constellations of glow worms". We provide information to Viator about our tours, however they manage/update and edit the final product page in their product channels. Your review has prompted us to review the latest Viator product information, we see this might be the confusion and will contact Viator immediately. Thanks and sorry this tour did not meet our usual 5 stars. Happy Travels
Magical tour
Cathy_N, Mar 2020
We had a wonderful amazing night on this tour. Jesse was our guide. She guided us to 5 caves to see glowworm. Paddling under the stars filled sky on the dark calmed lake was so peaceful and beautiful. The luckiest thing was watching the stars train- SpaceX starlink satellite train! That was a rare sighting! The whole tour was magical. Thanks Jesse!
Response from Host, Mar 2020
Hi Cathy thanks so much for reviewing this tour. So glad you had an amazing night. Happy travels
Superbe spectacle !
Diane_D, Apr 2023
Nous avons fait l'activité kayak et l'avons trouvée géniale ! Intimiste, elle permet d'aller voir de petites caves dans lesquelles les vers luisants, en plus d'être nombreux, sont réellement à portée de main. Le temps est vraiment laissé dans chaque cave pour vraiment profiter du spectacle et les explications du guide sont intéressantes. Ayant en plus eu la chance d'avoir un ciel sans nuage, cette soirée nous a offert le spectacle de 2 magnifiques voutes étoilées... :)
Response from Host, Apr 2023
Hi Diane thankyou so much for this review. Glad you had an awesome time with us. Happy Travels

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