Whether you have had the pleasure of observing this fascinating species or it is your first time, this excursion is extraordinary. The Real Journeys Glow Worm Cave expedition includes so much more than just glow worm sighting.
What is involved with the trip you ask?
Let me walk you through what you might expect to see and do on this amazing journey. Firstly, you’ll be greeted by the super friendly Real Journey’s staff at the Te Anau visitor center which is just 2 minutes’ walk from us on the Lakefront.
They’ll accompany you down to where your purpose-built scenic cruise vessel awaits. This 23m Crusing Catamaran has both indoor and roof top seating to make the most of the spectacular trip up Lake Te Anau. I told you it wasn’t just Glow Worms! You’re cruising the lake!
If the Southland weather allows it, grab a perch on the top viewing deck. The views are amazing and unobstructed from up there. As the boat leaves the dock feel the fresh lake air against your face. It pays to bring along some warm clothes, it can be rather cold up top. You will begin by heading towards the western shores of Lake Te Anau. Throughout the cruise you’ll receive an in-depth commentary on the surrounding area and if you’re lucky enough you’ll be treated to a few cracker jokes along the way. Soon it’s time to disembark and start the short walk to the Cavern House where your new guide awaits.
Grab yourself a nice hot cup of tea, take a seat and listen to your knowledgeable guide explain this astonishing piece of geological wonder before you head underground. Here is the time to ask any questions as it can be quite noisy inside the cave. Once everyone is ready to go, the larger group split into several smaller groups. Some heading into the beautiful beach forest to learn about Fiordlands flora and fauna while the others venture into the depths of the cave. As each group’s expedition comes to an end, they switch activities and start the next chapter of the tour.
Now comes my favorite part, I’ve been to the Te Anau Glow Worm Caves several times and it’s not just the beautiful glow worms that I get excited about. The cave itself is really young, only 12,000 years old. There is a fierce river that carves its way through the limestone creating hollows and whirlpools before descending into lake Te Anau. The sculpted rock is astonishing! The echo of rushing water falls bellows around the cavern. Some bending is required at the caves entrance and as you follow the walkway deeper into the cave you will start to notice a star or two glinting in the ceiling above. The stalactites hang sturdily from the roof as beads of water trickle to their tips ready to drop on the next unassuming traveler.
Here comes the part you’ve all been waiting for.
Your guide will safely assist you onto a small vessel floating on what seems like black nothingness and pull you out into the darkness of the glow worm grotto. As your eyes adjust, take in the magic of the glow worms as they twinkle above like stars in the night sky. The piercing silence and pitch black will transport you to a world away from the rushing waters of the lower section of the cave. You will peacefully float back towards the walking platform and back to reality as you head down, back to the entrance of the cave.
After walking out the opening of the cave, you will join the rest of your group and reflect on an awesome experience as you meander down to your boat and cruise down the lake and return to Te Anau.
Whenever I have family or friends come to visit, I take them on this incredible tour and know they’ll enjoy every second of it! I would have to say it’s a must do while visiting Te Anau. During the summer they have up to 9 departures between 9am and 9.30pm so take the time and give it a go. It’ll be 2 hours well spent.
Let me point out- this is not a paid advertisement, we just really love this trip! This tour is not normally recommended for young children under 3. We know how tricky it is to keep a small human silent!
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