Te Anau Glowworm Caves

Te Anau

Stare up at constellations of glowworms on an underground boat ride. First described in Māori stories, this 200m-long cave system was lost in time until it was 'rediscovered' in 1948. Its sculpted rocks, waterfalls and whirlpools are impressive by themselves, but the bluish sparkle of glowworms, peculiar territorial larvae who lure prey with their come-hither lights, is the main draw. The caves can only be reached by a 2¼-hour guided tour with Real Journeys, departing from its office on Lakefront Dr.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Te Anau attractions

1. Lake Mistletoe


An easy 45-minute return walk leads through forest to Lake Mistletoe, a small glacier-formed lake.

2. Punanga Manu o Te Anau

9.67 MILES

By the lake, this set of outdoor aviaries offers a chance to see native bird species difficult to spot in the wild, including the precious icon of…

3. Mavora Lakes Conservation Park

21.86 MILES

Within the Snowdon State Forest, this conservation park's huge golden meadows sit alongside two lakes – North and South Mavora – fringed by forest and…

4. Mirror Lakes

22.71 MILES

Fifty-eight kilometres north of Te Anau along the Milford Hwy are the Mirror Lakes, a popular stop on this world-renowned road trip. A five-minute stroll…