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Born in the Southwest, raised in the Northwest, I have called the South Pacific home for over 30 years. I founded J2 Travels in the late 1990s to share our knowledge with other like minded travelers – remembering always, that the joy is in the journey. I currently live on Maui, I'm endorsed by IATA, and am a member of the Fiji, Tahiti and New Zealand Tourism Boards.

Te Anau Glowworm Caves

Explore > New Zealand > Queenstown > Te Anau Glowworm Caves

Te Anau Glowworm Caves

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Te Anau Glowworm Caves - Te Anau Glowworm Caves. Copyright Te Anau Glowworm Caves.

Explore a mysterious underground world of rushing water before drifting in silent darkness beneath the luminous shimmer of thousands of glowworms.

An excursion to the Te Anau Glowworm Caves begins with a cruise across spectacular Lake Te Anau on a purpose-built scenic cruise vessel.

After disembarking on the western shores, there is time to view the informative displays at Cavern House before your friendly nature guide accompanies you into the caves in a small group (maximum 14 per group).

This underground world is astonishingly beautiful. By geological standards the caves are very young (12,000 years) and are still being carved out by the force of the river that flows through them. The result is a twisting network of limestone passages filled with sculpted rock, whirlpools and a roaring underground waterfall.

Deep inside the caves, beyond the roar of the water, you will be taken by small boat into a silent hidden grotto inhabited by thousands of glowworms.

In the subterranean darkness, they produce a glittering display that is nothing short of extraordinary.
* Duration 2hrs 15mins
* Suitable for all ages with exception of infants
* Some bending is required at caves entrance and steps are involved

Te Anau Glowworm Caves

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Hidden beneath the mountains on Lake Te Anau's western shores is an underground network of caves lit by thousands of glowworms.

Described by the Sydney Morning Herald as "one of the most unusual limestone cave experiences on the planet", a visit to the Te Anau Glowworm Caves is a must-do for anyone visiting Fiordland.

For many years the Te Anau Glowworm Caves were lost in legend. Their presence was hinted at only by the ancient Maori name for the area - 'Te Ana-au' - which means 'caves with a current of swirling water'.

They remained hidden until their rediscovery by local explorer Lawson Burrows in 1948. Fascinated by the ancient stories, he spent three years searching for the caves before discovering a stream emerging from under a rock structure on Lake Te Anau's western shores. Burrows squeezed underwater through the entrance and surfaced into a cavern shimmering with thousands of glowworms.

Today we know that these magical caves are the lower section of a much larger cave system which extends deep under Fiordland National Park.