where to see glowworms for free in the north island new zealand - wild lovely world
New Zealand,  North Island

9 FREE Places To See Glow Worms In The North Island

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Last Updated On 6th February 2024 By Lauren | Wild Lovely World

In this post, I will share with you the best places to see glow worms for free in the North Island of New Zealand.

Like many of you, I wanted to see glow worms so badly after hearing about the Waitomo Caves (and if you don’t know what that is, check out this tour right now because you HAVE to go there!). Before I came to New Zealand, I saw those famous pictures of hundreds of glowing blue lights above a boat inside a cave. You’ve probably seen these pictures yourself!

However, when I got to New Zealand I was amazed to learn that didn’t even need to go to those caves to see glow worms. Glow worms are not unique to Waitomo. In fact, there are many places where you can see glow worms in New Zealand. Not only that, but you don’t have to pay money to go on a tour to see glow worms! Glow worms are a very natural phenomenon that you can see in many places for FREE!

Keep reading to discover the best places where you can see glow worms for free in the North Island of New Zealand.

Ultimate Guide On Where To See Glow Worms For Free In The North Island – 9 Best Places 🪱💡

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4 The Best Places To See Glow Worms For Free In The North Island, New Zealand

New Zealand Travel Inspiration – read more of my blog posts:

My New Zealand Travel Guide has heaps of great tips, resources and information to help you plan your trip.

Interesting Facts About New Zealand Glow Worms

where to see glowworms for free in the north island new zealand
Glow worms at Ruakuri Bush Walk – Ⓒ Wild Lovely World

You Can Find Glow Worms Almost Anywhere In New Zealand & Heres Why

The truth is that in most New Zealand bush that has a running stream, you will be able to see glow worms along the banks. This is because glow worms use the river as a food source. The river carries or encourages bugs to fly over it. Glow worms stick to the rocks or earth above the water and have a long sticky string that dangles down. This silky thread traps the bugs, like a spider’s web. The bugs are also attracted to the bright blue glow that the glow worms emit. The glow worms feed on these bugs to survive.

So, you are likely to find glow worms almost anywhere that has these conditions – a flowing fresh water source and banks, bush or rock face for the glow worms to cling onto. The most obvious places are caves with streams or rivers running through them. However, you can also find glow worms along the side of waterfalls, streams or river banks in the bush. The Maori name for glow worms is titiwai meaning “projected over water”.

With this in mind, I will tell you about the best places to see lots of glow worms on the North Island for free that I know about. But if you’re travelling around and come across a place that meets the conditions I’ve described above, keep an eye out at night! You never know, you might discover the next best spot!

Glow Worms Are Not Worms

Despite the name, glow worms are not worms. They do look like a worm and they do glow. But, they are actually larvae of the fungus gnat. A gnat is a tiny flying insect. Eventually, the larvae (glow worms) turn into gnats (flying insects). When they become a gnat, they find another gnat to mate with. After that, they die! This is because the fungus gnats do not have mouths! Weird, right? So they cannot eat. Their only purpose is to reproduce and make more glow worms and continue the cycle.

Glow Worms Are Endemic To New Zealand

Arachnocampa Luminosa, commonly known as the New Zealand glow worm, is an endemic species to New Zealand. This means that it is only found in New Zealand and nowhere else! Pretty special, huh!

lauren inside waipu cave
Lauren inside Waipu Cave – Ⓒ Wild Lovely World

Tips For Seeing Glow Worms In The North Island, New Zealand

Night Time Excursions

To get the best view of the glow worms, you will most likely need to go out at night. Remember to be careful while driving and walking around at night! The roads in New Zealand can be narrow and winding and in some cases unsealed. Also, be mindful of other people using the trails and visiting the glow worms.

Take A Headlamp, But Use It With Caution!

I also advise you to take a headlamp so you can see what you’re doing! If your headlamp has a red light setting then use that. With the red light, you will still be able to see the blue light of the glow worms and you will also be able to see where you are going.

If you are using a torch, try not to point your light directly at the glow worms, especially the white light. The glow worms can be stunned by the light and it can cause them to turn off their blue glow in fright. This can be dangerous for the glow worms because if they do not have their light on they are less likely to be able to attract food. Glow worms can keep their light off for many days if they feel threatened, so it can have a big impact on them.

Glow Worm Photography

If you want to do some photography, take a tripod and a manual camera. It would help to also know which settings to use to take good photos in the dark!

Obviously do not use flash for the reasons I have mentioned above! Also with flash you won’t be able to see the pretty lights of the glow worms and that is probably the whole point, right?!

Personally, I found it can be pretty hard to take photos of the glow worms. Hence why I don’t really have any good glow worm photos on this blog! But then again, I don’t have the photography skills or the patience to do them justice.

So, if you visit any of these locations and take some good pics I would love to see them! Share your free glow worm photos with me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by tagging me in the pic!

north island free glowworms at ruakuri bush walks
Glow worms at Ruakuri Bush Walk – Ⓒ Wild Lovely World

The Best Places To See Glow Worms For Free In The North Island, New Zealand

Free North Island Glow Worms Map

Here is your free glow worms guide map to help you find magical glow worms in the beautiful North Island, New Zealand.

1. McLaren Falls Park, Near Tauranga

mclaren falls park lake in autumn
McLaren Falls Park Lake in Autumn – Ⓒ Wild Lovely World

The first place I ever saw glow worms in New Zealand was at McLaren Falls Park and I thought it was absolutely magical! Walking along a stream in the bush at night surrounded by hundreds of glowing blue lights with the bright stars shining above – it was an experience I will never forget!

McLaren Falls Park is a well-known spot in the Tauranga area to see glow worms. It’s a pretty cool place to go for a walk or to hang out anyway as there is a lot to do. Within the park, there is a lake, trails and camping, as well as McLaren Falls itself just outside the entrance.

How To See Glow Worms At McLaren Falls Park

To see the glow worms at McLaren Falls Park, make sure you enter the park before sunset. The gates at the entrance to the park close at sunset every day and you cannot enter after this time. However you are still able to leave the park after sunset, so if you enter anytime before this then you will be good to go.

There is parking at the entrance to the Glow worm Walk in McLaren Falls Park. The parking may be full, but there is plenty of parking throughout the park so you can always park elsewhere and walk to the start of the Glow worm Walk.

The Glow worm Walk is on the Waterfall Track. This is a loop track that leads to a pretty waterfall and then returns along another path back to the start at the car park. There are toilets here too.

You can see glow worms all along this loop track. The glow worms can be found along the banks of the stream and around the waterfall, as well as on the cliff faces at the sides of the path. There are heaps everywhere you look!

It takes about 20 minutes to walk the whole loop.

Click here to see a map of McLaren Falls Park.

What To Wear To See Glow Worms At McLaren Falls

The trail is well formed so you could do this walk in regular shoes.

It is also accessible for wheelchairs and prams.

How To Get To McLaren Falls Park

McLaren Falls Park is in Lower Kaimai, just a short 15-minute drive south of Tauranga on the SH29.

Camping At McLaren Falls Park

For a small fee you can stay overnight in McLaren Falls Park. There are several camping spots throughout the park along with toilets and hot showers. I’ve stayed here myself and I thought it was a really neat camping spot. Plus, if you camp overnight you’ll be able to wander down and see the glow worms whenever you like! Really handy if you want to do some glow worm photography. I highly recommend it!

Related Read: McLaren Falls Park Glowworm Walk: Free Glowworms Near Tauranga

2. Waipu Caves, Near Whangarei

lauren at waipu caves north island new zealand free glowworm caves
Lauren at Waipu Caves, New Zealand – Ⓒ Wild Lovely World

Waipu Caves are a pretty well-known place to see glow worms for free in the North Island. The popular caves are free to explore and you can see glow worms there during the day and at night.

The Waipu Caves are the second place I saw glow worms in New Zealand and the first cave in which I saw glow worms in New Zealand. It was a really cool experience to be able to go inside a cave, but to see glow worms in there too was amazing.

When I was there, I couldn’t stop thinking why this cave had not been commercialised yet! It’s a really cool cave and with the glow worms even more so. So I recommend you go to explore Waipu Caves before anything changes (hopefully it never does)!

How To See The Glow Worms At Waipu Caves

You can see glow worms in the caves during the day and night. At night they will be much more bright and visible, especially near the cave entrance.

The glow worms can be found just inside the entrance of the cave on the cave roof. You may need to bend down while looking up in order to see them above the water.

If you enter the cave, you’ll need to climb down a steep bank and cross a small stream. But if you go deeper inside the cave, you’ll be rewarded with lots more glow worms. There are also pretty cave formations to explore deeper inside the cave. The cave is quite big and you can go a fair way inside it. We explored far enough until we couldn’t go further due to the passage becoming too narrow.

What To Wear To Enter Waipu Caves

When accessing Waipu Caves, I advise you to wear wellies (gumboots) or water shoes. It’s very wet, slippery and muddy inside, so be careful! I wore wellies and found that the water is quite shallow. It came up to around just above my ankles (I’m 167cm tall).

Bear in mind that you are going inside a cave so proceed with caution and wear a hard hat if you have one.

It’s also chilly inside the cave so wear a warm jacket.

How To Get To Waipu Caves

It takes about 35 minutes to get to the Waipu Caves from Whangarei on SH1. To get to the Waipu Caves from the SH1 highway, you’ll need to drive down a few sealed roads and then a gravel road for about 5km to get to the car park. However, the journey isn’t too long and the road is not too bad, so I think it is worth it.

Freedom Camping At Waipu Caves

You can stay overnight at the Waipu Caves car park which allows freedom camping. Self-contained, non-self-contained and tents can stay here. I stayed overnight here in my campervan and it was a nice place to sleep overnight. There is a toilet here too open 24/7.

inside waipu cave northland new zealand
Inside Waipu Cave, New Zealand – Ⓒ Wild Lovely World

Related Read: Waipu Caves Glowworms: The Best Free Glowworm Cave In New Zealand

3. Abbey Caves, Whangarei

Another cave spot with glow worms near Whangarei is the Abbey Caves.

I haven’t been here myself but from recommendations and reviews it looks like a really interesting place to visit!

You can see glow worms at the Abbey Caves during the day.

The circular Abbey Caves Walkway takes about 40 minutes. The walkway has naturally formed limestone features and three caves – Organ, Middle and Ivy. They are all free to enter.

Entering the caves is quite dangerous, slippery and steep. There are risks of rapidly rising water and roof falls. So be very careful and enter at your own risk.

How To See Glow Worms At Abbey Caves

It is best to visit Abbey Caves during the day. You can still see glow worms deep inside the cave.

The trail is signposted to get to the caves.

You will need to climb through small holes and scramble over slippery rocks to explore the Abbey Caves. Only attempt it if you feel able.

Apparently, the Middle Cave is the best cave to see a lot of glow worms.

What To Wear To Enter Abbey Caves

The track is supposedly muddy and there is a lot of water, so I suggest that you wear wellies that have good tread.

Also, remember you are entering a cave so a hard hat is advisable.

A headlamp is essential to see what you are doing!

Wear warm, waterproof clothes and maybe have a spare change of clothes back in the car.

How To Get To Abbey Caves

It’s just a 10-minute drive from Whangarei to Abbey Caves. There is a lay-by and roadside parking on Abbey Caves Road.

4. Ruakuri Bush Walk, Waitomo

ruakuri bush walk waitomo north island new zealand free glowworms
Ruakuri Bush Walk – Ⓒ Wild Lovely World

In the heart of glow worm tourism on the North Island, there is one particular place where you can see glow worms for free in Waitomo!

Just a stone’s throw from the beautiful Ruakuri Cave (Get Your Guide) and Aranui Cave (Get Your Guide) (both well worth a visit) is the Ruakuri Bush Walk. Despite the location of Ruakuri Bush Walk to the famous Waitomo attractions (Viator), this special spot is very quiet and not so frequently visited.

The free loop walking track heads into a wonderful forested gorge. The paths wind through native bush and amazing naturally formed limestone caves and tunnels. You can also see the Ruakuri Natural Bridge here and lovely cave formations. Due to the stream running through the gorge, there are plenty of glow worms to see when visiting at night!

The Ruakuri Bush Walk is well worth visiting during the day and night because it’s a lovely place to explore. I have really enjoyed my visits here and I’ve been here more than once!

Visit The Famous Waitomo Glow Worm Caves

You can easily fit the free Ruakuri Bush Walk glow worms on the same day as taking a trip to see the ticketed Waitomo Glow worm Cave (Viator) tours just around the corner. A note on the pay-for caves: I’ve been on all these tours and even though it was expensive I do think it was worth it! Each cave is unique and to experience each of them was, for me, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Book your tickets for the world-famous Waitomo Glow worm Cave, Ruakuri Cave and Aranui Cave through the links on Viator and Get Your Guide.

How To See Glow Worms At Ruakuri Bush Walk

If you want to see the glow worms you will need to go at night.

You can park right at the entrance to the Ruakuri Bush Walk. There is a large car park here but there are no facilities. The nearest facilities are in Waitomo Village.

There are some information signs at the entrance and a trail map.

To see the glow worms, you only need to walk for 5 minutes along the path to the bridge. You’ll see glow worms all along this track on the walls of the gorge, but most glow worms can be seen at the bridge. Keep right on the path to get to the bridge.

Once you are at the bridge crossing the stream, you will see glow worms on all of the cliffs and in the bush around the flowing water. It’s a really magical spot. Take time to enjoy this spectacular sight!

When finished, return back to the car park the same way.

What To Wear To See Glow Worms At Ruakuri Bush Walk

A torch or headlamp is essential as it is very dark here at night.

The track is very well formed and the bridge where you can see the glow worms is a wooden boardwalk bridge. You do not need any special footwear. I think I wore sandals.

I can’t be certain but from memory, the path up to the bridge is accessible for prams and wheelchairs.

How To Get To Ruakuri Bush Walk

Ruakuri Bush Walk is just a 5-minute drive from Waitomo Village. Park in the Aranui Cave car park.

You can also get there by walking along the Waitomo Walkway. This is a walking path which goes from Waitomo Village to the Ruakuri Bush Walk. It follows the Waitomo Stream through forest and farmland. It takes about 1 hr and 15 minutes to walk it one way.

Where To Stay & Eat Near Ruakuri Bush Walk

Waitomo is kind of in the middle of nowhere so I recommend you take a couple of days to chill here and explore the area. Here are my recommendations for where to stay and eat in Waitomo.

YHA Waitomo – JunoHall Backpackers Hostel

We stayed at JunoHall Hostel (Booking) for around 2 nights in 2020 and we thought it was really good value for money! We parked up in our campervan and had access to all the hostel facilities. There is a large shared lounge, kitchen and even an outdoor swimming pool! There are also private and dorm rooms available to book too. The hostel is close to all Waitomo attractions. As a YHA member, you will get a discount on your stay! Rated 9/10 from guest reviews.

Check availability and prices at YHA Waitomo – JunoHall Backpackers here (Booking)

Waitomo Top 10 Holiday Park

A popular Top 10 Holiday Park (Booking) in the centre of Waitomo Village. There are chalets available as well as camping and campervan parking. On-site is a swimming pool, hot tub and communal kitchen. Rated 9/10 from guest reviews.

Check availability and prices at Waitomo Top 10 Holiday Park here (Booking).

HuHu Cafe & Chalet

I recommend booking a table at HuHu Cafe in Waitomo. I went here for lunch on the recommendation of a colleague and I thought that the food was excellent! They are open for lunch and dinner.

In the winter they may close earlier if it is quiet.

They also have a one bedroom AirBnB available to rent which looks lovely!

5. Mangapohue Natural Bridge, Waitomo

mangapohue natural limestone bridge north island new zealand
Mangapohue Natural Bridge – Ⓒ Wild Lovely World

I haven’t been here to see glow worms myself but I truly believe they are there because this place fits all the criteria! I have, however, been to Mangapohue Natural Bridge during the day, and it is really is worth visiting!

The natural bridge is a 17m high limestone arch which is all that remains of an ancient cave system. The bridge spans the Mangapohue Stream.

There is a loop track that you can follow for around 20 minutes.

The first section is a boardwalk through the impressive limestone gorge and to the bridge. The second section climbs up steps under the bridge. From here the views are really stunning and give you a sense of scale of the place.

You can return the same way or continue on the loop track. Going over farmland, you can see 25 million-year-old fossilised oysters exposed to the limestone rocks dotted about. It’s really a fascinating place!

How To See Glow Worms At Mangapohue Natural Bridge

To see glow worms here you will need to go at night.

There is a small parking area by the entrance.

You’ll find glow worms along the first section of the trail on the boardwalk. Look for glow worms on the limestone walls and along the banks of the stream.

This section of the walk is pram and wheelchair accessible.

What To Wear To See Glow Worms At Mangapohue Natural Bridge

Take a headlamp or torch with you.

The path is well maintained so just regular walking shoes will do.

How To Get To Mangapohue Natural Bridge

Mangapohue Natural Bridge is on the road between Waitomo and Marokopa. It’s a long and winding road. It takes about 30 minutes to drive there from Waitomo Village.

You can combine your visit here with a trip to Piripiri Cave and the stunning Marokopa Falls.

Freedom Camping At Mangapohue Natural Bridge

The parking area at the entrance to Mangapohue Natural Bridge is a freedom camping area for self-contained vehicles.

For more North Island inspiration check out this post: 28 Amazing Waterfalls To Visit In The North Island

6. Kakahi, Near Taumarunui

Kakahi glow worms are gaining in popularity as more people learn about their existence! The glow worms here live in a human-made limestone cutting.

The limestone cutting is now a road but it was originally dug out for a proposed railway. The railway was abandoned but all was not lost as the glow worms made it their new home.

Kakahi is a small village north of Tongariro National Park along the SH4.

How To See Glow Worms In Kakahi

Head to Te Rena Road near the Whakapapa River. There is a small parking area by the roadside. From there, walk further along the road towards the river. You’ll be able to see glow worms along the steep sides of the cutting at night. It runs through the hillside for about 500 metres.

What To Wear To See Glow Worms In Kakahi

The glow worms are along the side of the road, so regular shoes will do. Be mindful of vehicles.

How To Get To Kakahi

Kakahi is about a 20-minute drive from both Taumarunui in the west and National Park in the south.

Where To Stay Near Kakahi

Kakahi is quite remote so you may want to consider staying in the area.

Further south along the Whakapapa River is Ohinetonga Scenic Reserve. This is a freedom camping spot with a toilet. I have stayed here overnight and found it to be very peaceful.

Even further, in National Park, is a very good freedom camping spot at the Kiwi Camp. I’ve stayed here many times and it’s by far the best freedom camping in the area.

Taumarunui Holiday Park is about 15 minutes from the Kakahi glow worms.

There are also motel and B&B options in Taumarunui (Booking).

7. Along The Timber Trail Near Piropiro, Pureora Forest Park

lauren under big rata tree pureora forest loop track
Lauren under a big, ancient tree in Pureora Forest – Ⓒ Wild Lovely World

Another abandoned railway cutting to see glow worms for free in the North Island is on the Timber Trail near Piropiro.

The Timber Trail is an 80km mountain biking and walking route that goes through Pureora Forest Park. It is also part of the Te Araroa Trail.

Piropiro is an old historical village in the middle of Pureora Forest Park. The forest used to be logged, and workers and their families built this village and lived there for many years. The village was abandoned in the 1970s when the logging stopped. The area where the village once was is now a freedom campsite.

The Timber Trail mostly follows the route of the old railway lines that were built to carry the logs down the mountain. Close by to Piropiro, there are glow worms living inside one of these historical railway cuttings.

Pureora Forest is a pretty magical place due to its remoteness and natural beauty. The Timber Trail itself is a tough old slog, but people love it. If you are keen on mountain biking or multi-day walks then you might be tempted by it!

How To See Glow Worms In Piropiro

It will take around 15-20 minutes to walk to the glow worm spot from the Piropiro campsite.

From the Piropiro Campsite, head down the Timber Trail in the direction towards Pureora. You will see the Timber Trail Lodge up on a hill to the right. Continue past it, keeping on the trail.

Once the trail leaves the wide open space and heads back into the bush, you will be able to see glow worms on either side of the gorge.

Continue further, following the stream, until you reach a railway cutting. It is around the 36-37km point on the Timber Trail. You will see glow worms here along the steep-sided walls on the path.

Click here to see a map of the Timber Trail.

What To Wear To See Glow Worms In Piropiro

The area is very exposed and elevated so wear a warm jacket, even in summer.

You will need good shoes to walk along this trail as it is very rocky and dusty.

A headlamp or torch is a must. The skies in Pureora Forest are some of the darkest in New Zealand.

Be mindful of bikes and vehicles that may also be using the track.

How To Get To Piropiro

Piropiro is not the kind of place that you would go without much reason to. It really is in the absolute middle of nowhere. I know this because I worked on the Timber Trail for 6 months one summer.

Most people reach Piropiro by walking or biking the Timber Trail. The trail starts in Pureora and finishes in Ongarue. Piropiro is almost exactly in the middle, near the 40km marker.

If you don’t want to walk or bike, then there is a very long gravel road from Waimiha village that will eventually take you to Piropiro. Piropiro is about 1.5 hours from Te Kuiti and Taumarunui which are the closest towns.

Where To Stay In Piropiro

Many mountain bikers and walkers doing the Timber Trail/Te Araroa will stay overnight in Piropiro.

The Piropiro Campsite is a freedom campsite owned by DOC. It is popular with families and hunters in the summer months, as well as walkers on the Te Araroa. There are drop toilets and shelters with stoves. There is no treated drinking water but plenty of streams. It’s a really nice campsite with plenty of space. You can really get away from it all!

Close by to Piropiro Campsite are other accommodations used by mountain bikers and walkers using the Timber Trail. These are Camp Epic and Timber Trail Lodge.

8. Limestone Creek Reserve, Manawatu

This is an off-the-beaten-path place to see glow worms for free on the North Island. I have not been here myself, but it looks really interesting. I would say this is one of Manawatu’s best-hidden gems.

How To See Glow Worms At Limestone Creek Reserve

You can see glow worms at Limestone Creek Reserve during the day and at night.

The walk at Limestone Creek Reserve is a 600m loop track through the caves, gorges and across a running stream.

The track is on private property so stick to the path.

When entering the track, turn right at the bottom of the stairs. Follow the track upstream and down into the gully. The main cave is located about 80m from the bottom of the hill.

The main cave has glow worms. Look up at the ceiling of the cave to spot them!

What To Wear To See Glow Worms At Limestone Creek Reserve

When walking along the track, be mindful of ongaonga tree nettles. Do not touch them as they cause pain and are harmful to humans and animals. I advise you to wear long trousers.

The track surface is uneven and slippery. You need to walk through the stream numerous times too. So wear wellies or other sturdy, waterproof shoes.

A raincoat would come in handy too because it is often wet inside the cave.

If you are visiting at night then you will need a headlamp.

In case you do get too wet, keep a change of clothes in your vehicle.

How To Get To Limestone Creek Reserve

Limestone Creek Reserve is around 1-hour drive north of Palmerston North. It is located next to the boundary of Ruahine Forest Park.

To get there, follow the signs to Sixtus Lodge. The last few kilometres to the Limestone Creek Reserve is a windy, narrow gravel road. The road is not accessible by buses and trailers.

Once you arrive at the reserve on Limestone Road, there is limited roadside parking.

The local village of Apiti has camping and toilet facilities. It is around an 18-minute drive from the reserve.

9. Wellington Botanic Garden

You don’t need to go out into the middle of nowhere to see glow worms for free on the North Island. You can see glow worms in the capital at Wellington Botanic Garden!

How To See Glow Worms At Wellington Botanic Garden

To see the glow worms at Welling Botanic Garden, enter the park at the Glen entrance from Glen Road. You’ll need to go at dusk or at night.

From there, walk along the Mamaku Way track. The track follows the stream downhill all the way to the Duck Pond near the Pipitea entrance near Glenmore Street.

You can of course walk the opposite way too, but you’ll be walking uphill.

You can find glow worms along the banks of the stream, hidden between the foliage and in the shady areas.

Have a look at the Wellington Botanic Gardens map here. Mamaku Way is labelled number 8.

It’s free to enter and I believe it’s open 24 hours.

What To Wear To See Glow Worms At Wellington Botanic Garden

The tracks are well formed so you do not need anything special.

This track is accessible for wheelchairs and prams.

Related Read: 12 Best Free Things To See & Do In Wellington

How To Get To The Wellington Botanic Gardens

One of the easiest (and most fun) ways to get to the Wellington Botanic Gardens is to take the Wellington Cable Car (Get Your Guide). You can get on at Lambton Quay in the city centre and travel to the top station at Kelburn. The journey just takes a few minutes. Get a return ticket for $9 here (Get Your Guide). Or use a Snapper card and you can ride the cable car for just $3.

By walking, it will take around 30 minutes to get to the gardens from the city centre. You could take the cable car up and then walk back via the City To Sea Walkway.

Book your ticket on the Wellington Cable Car (Get Your Guide).

wellington cable car at the kelburn station terminal
Wellington cable car at the Kelburn Station Terminal – Ⓒ Wild Lovely World

Free North Island Glow Worms Map

Use this map to help you find all these amazing free glow worm locations on the North Island.

How To Find Glow Worms In The North Island | New Zealand

Due to the remoteness of many of these free glow worm spots, it’s a good idea to drive yourself around the North Island to see them.

If you don’t already have a vehicle to travel in New Zealand, here are some handy tips.

Rent A Car Or Campervan To Travel In New Zealand

To get a great price on car and campervan rental in New Zealand, I recommend the vehicle rental comparison website Discover Cars. Begin your search here with the handy Discover Cars search box below.

Buy A Car Or Campervan In New Zealand

Buying your own vehicle in New Zealand will give you ultimate freedom!

For everything you need to know about buying a car or campervan in New Zealand, including where to look and which model you should get, check out these posts which are full of all my amazing tips:

Get free accommodation wherever you are in New Zealand by housesitting! Become a housesitter with Kiwi Housesitters and never pay for accommodation again.

Ultimate Guide On Where To See Glow Worms For Free In The North Island – Thanks For Reading!

In this post, we have looked at 9 spots to see glow worms for FREE in the North Island. This includes free glow worm caves! You can find glow worms in many locations in the North Island and across New Zealand. Following my tips will help you to find them and have the best experience ever seeing these amazing creatures in the wild. Thanks so much for reading and happy glow worm finding! – Lauren x

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Thanks for reading! 🙂 – © Wild Lovely World

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Lauren is a coffee and cat obsessed travel writer from the U.K., specialising in solo female, couple travel and budget backpacking. She has previously lived in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, England and Scotland. Follow her adventures around the world on her blog WildLovelyWorld.com