Ruakuri Cave – Waitomo Glowworm Caves – New Zealand

Ruakuri Cave Waitomo New Zealand

A trip to New Zealand’s North Island wouldn’t be complete without a Waitomo Glow Worm Caves tour.

Ruakuri Caves are a great day trip from Auckland. Discovered by local Maori people over 400 years ago, Ruakuri Cave is a great place to discover the magical underground world of the glow worm caves in New Zealand. Being surrounded by Glow Worms, Stalagmites and Stalactites in the Ruakuri Cave had long been on my list of things to do while in New Zealand.

Limestone Formation Ruakuri Cave New Zealand
Limestone Formation Ruakuri Glow Worm Caves

Limestone Formation Ruakuri Cave New Zealand

Ruakuri Cave is the only cave in the Southern Hemisphere that is wheelchair accessible and the two-hour walking tour is an easy walk and perfect for older travelers.

Of all the Waitomo Caves Ruakuri Cave is also the only cave in the system where you can take your camera and you’ll definitely want to photograph the amazing natural structures you’ll find in the cave.

Glow Worms Ruakuri Cave
Glow Worms Waitomo Caves

Ruakuri Cave Waitomo New Zealand

Ruakuri Cave Walk

As you enter Ruakuri Cave, (Rua means den and Kuri means dog in Maori) and wind your way down the spiral entrance you soon realize you’re in for a very different and unique experience.

A variety of limestone structures formed over thousands of years, fossilized marine life, a little river, a hidden waterfall and tales of the cave’s history await you. The only way to visit the cave and experience the glow worms is on a guided tour, and although, I’m always adverse to tours of any kind, if I’d been able to venture in without a guide, I’m certain I would have got lost in no time and missed out on learning about the history and science that are part of Ruakuri cave’s attraction. The best $74NZ I’ve ever spent.

Ruakuri Cave Entrance

Glow Worms Ruakuri Cave New Zealand
Glow Worms Ruakuri Caves New Zealand


Fossil Raukuri Cave
Fossil Ruakuri Cave

Ruakuri Cave is a must see when you visit the North Island of New Zealand.

Situated in “Northern King Country” there is plenty of great things to see and do in the area. Some of the most amazing environments await you in the region.  Try the areas walks and view other natural wonders including Mangpohue Natural Bridge, Omura Falls, Waitanguru Falls or the Totara walk. Top off a great day with a lovely $3 homemade pie and a coffee from the Waitomo Homestead.

Happy Travels!


Ruakuri Cave New Zealand



  1. Cat

    I really want to visit this cave and
    didn’t realise it was the only one you
    could take photos in, perfect for me!
    Glow worms are so magical, lovely
    shots 🙂

  2. Kerri

    Always a good tip when someone who says they don’t normally have guides, actually uses one because I
    am exactly the same! Sometimes they are worth the money. Was really surprised to read that you can
    have wheelchairs here. Great they’ve been able to accommodate this and so very unusual. I’ve been in
    caves similar to this before but I’ve never managed to see a glow worm. That would be so cool.

  3. Chris Bloomfield

    We love visiting caves and Ruakuri
    Cave looks amazing. You got some
    awesome photographs too, we know from
    experience how hard that is to do.
    What were all speckles in the middle
    picture towards the bottom? They look
    like photo-luminescent creatures of

    1. Post
  4. Jas

    What a jaw-dropping sight! I’m usually terrified of worms but these are absolutely magical. Will have to
    add this and Waitomo Homestead’s $3 homemade pie to my New Zealand bucket list!

  5. Paige

    I love caves. It’s so amazing what both water and time can give you! We were supposed to be in NZ this
    January, but it didn’t work out for us. Now, I’m okay with it so we can add this to my list for a visit! I’m
    dying to see the glowing worms!

  6. Suruchi Mittal

    I am adding Ruakuri Cave to my bucket list. Watching glow worms, stalagmites and stalactites together
    will be lovely. Your pictures are amazing. I am happy that there are guided tour and the cave is wheelchair
    friendly too.

  7. Cristal

    We have something similar in Australia but these caves look a lot bigger! I would love to visit one day.
    Extra points for being wheelchair accessible and being able to take photos in it.

  8. Juliette S

    Glad you got to experience this impressive cave system! I’m a bit ashamed to say that despite living in
    Auckland for 7 years, I’ve never been to the Waitomo Caves! I’ve seen the glow worm caves in Te Anau in
    the South Island (AMAZING!) but never at Waitomo! I had no idea it was wheelchair accessible – and that
    it’s the only in the southern hemisphere. Fantastic for accessibility.

  9. Teri Speight

    This looks absolutely amazing! I look
    forward to exploring a gem like this
    one day!
    Thank you for sharing!

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