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Glow-worm Cave Tour - 3.5 Hours - Charleston

Explore the enormous Nile River cave system, with the galaxies of Glow-worms in residence. A stunning natural sight not to miss!

Explore the enormous Nile River cave system, with the galaxies of Glow-worms in residence. A stunning natural sight not to miss!


  • Experience this amazing adventure through the amazing Nile River cave system.
  • Explore a wonderland of stalactites, stalagmites and discover the galaxies of glow-worms.
  • Your skilled and knowledgeable cave guide will lead you through the stunning cave system.

Experience a journey that takes you into one of the few cave systems you can see in its natural, unspoiled beauty. This is a simply stunning Eco-tour in a very special place.

Meet your skilled and knowledgeable cave guides at our Charleston Base to join us on a Wilderness Eco-tour through the enormous Nile River Cave System.

Once at our Charleston Base you will be equipped for your adventure with caving helmets providing your own warm clothes, rain jacket and sturdy footwear.

Meeting up with your guide and caving buddies you'll be taken on the Nile River Rainforest Train through the stunning West Coast rainforest surrounded by towering limestone cliffs. Reaching our secluded train station a short stroll including a steep walk up some steeps leads to a stunning high entrance to the enormous Nile River Caves.

On your Glow-worm Cave Tour, you will explore an ancient wonderland of stalactites, stalagmites in the large dry upper cave levels, experience the mesmerising sight of the Main Entrance and you will be seduced and entranced discovering deep below galaxies of glowworms in the awe-inspiring Ananui entrance series.

The Nile River Cave System is one of the few caves in the world you can walk through and see in its natural, unspoilt state, the way it was discovered.

Explore stunning natural cave systems and untouched wonders on this incredible Glow-worm Cave Tour!

Adult $125.00
Child $90.00 (5 to 16 years inclusive)

What's included

  • Caving helmet


  • Allow approx. 3.5 hours for the whole experience


  • Northwest Adventures Ltd. Adjacent to Charleston Hotel State Highway 6 West Coast South Island.


  • Minimum age: 5


  • Please Note: You must be able to walk unassisted for up to two hours on uneven surfaces for this experience.

    Camera are permitted on this experience (no tripods).

    Changes to the date and time of the adventure have to be made 24 hours prior to the original booked departure time on BookMe and has to be arranged directly with the operator. Confirmation of the new date or time for the adventure is subject to approval by the operator. The price will be the full retail price with the difference to be paid directly to the operator.

Authenticated Reviews & PhotosAll of our reviews are from people who have booked and paid for this activity thru Bookme

Authenticated Reviews & PhotosAll of our reviews are from people who have booked and paid for this activity thru Bookme


32 reviews

Showing all 32 authenticated Bookme reviews

Camille Sheriff from New Zealand wrote on 06 October 2020

So glad I did this!

I'm really glad I found this tour! So informative and really interesting. Plus I got to see how fun the cave rafting looked and I might just have to come back and do that one as well!

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samantha from New Zealand wrote on 28 September 2020

Awesome Tour

Wow, what an amazing tour I enjoyed every second of it (even climbing the 131 steps to the top lol) The tour guide was friendly and very knowledgeable on the history of the cave system. It was a fascinating tour learning how the formations grow and how long they take to grow. Thank you to you all :)

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Ruth Gerzon from New Zealand wrote on 07 September 2020

Well worth it

Loved this guided tour - learnt heaps more about caves and glowworms - very knowledgable guide an dplenty of time and care taken for us older people to make our way

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From Glow-worm Cave Tour - 3.5 Hours - Charleston

Thankyou for your kind review. We are very lucky to have been able to share our slice of paradise with you and so glad you enjoyed your journey. It was a pleasure to have your presence with us.

Jana from Australia wrote on 01 March 2020

A cave hike

This was an underground hike that got us sweating. It starts with a quick check in, a drive to the little train, a cute little ride on their purpose built train, and a walk through ancient forest to the entrance of the cave. This bit itself is fun and gives you amazing views. Then the cave tour begins. My husband is 6'4" and he struggled to get through some of the low areas but overall it wasn't a problem. The formations you see are incredible and the guide gives good insights into how they form, why they form, and how they best preserve them. It is great. The section where you see the glow worms is even better. They glow brighter and brighter as you stand in the dark learning about their intriguing little lives. We wish we could have stayed longer. Seeing them up close is fascinating and enjoyable. The walk out was good too as it all looks a little different walking the other way. The only thing I would say is that the cave walk seemed a little rushed. Not sure what the rush was other than a little impatience by the guide. We ventured down to catch the train back, and as we waited this is where the experience stalled. We were getting cold, wet, and frustrated waiting for the next groups to come through. A lack of seating was not great. A simple cup of tea at this point would make the experience so much better. After the wait our train ride and short bus ride back to their HQ was a bit of a drag and took the shine off the experience. Overall it was fun and interesting and gave us some good exercise. A little update on the guiding experience would make this even better.

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Harrison Bowers from United Kingdom wrote on 20 June 2019

Unforgettable unique experience

We booked the 3.5 hour cave tour and boy was it worth it. With a very friendly guide we set off and enjoyed the vast and awe-inspiring beauty of the cave system. We had a slight hiccup in the tour but the staff couldn't have been more helpful and accommodating. First class service and a first class experience.

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Qualmark Certification

This award identifies a business with a high level of professionalism, a keen awareness of the impact it has on the environment and a commitment to a customer centric approach.

This award is evidence of a sophisticated tourism business that consistently exceeds visitor expectations. Their proactive leadership and management ensure the business's focus on continuously improving their economic, social and environmental performance to create genuine, constantly evolving and sustainable tourism experiences.

This award recognises the best sustainable tourism businesses in New Zealand. It denotes exceptional customer experiences at the heart of everything the company does. This business is leading the way in making the New Zealand tourism industry a world class sustainable visitor destination.

When you see the Qualmark logo, your activity of choice is endorsed by New Zealand Tourism's official quality assurance organisation and backed by leaders in the industry. It's your trusted guide to iconic activities and experiences that are awarded for their exceptionally high level of quality, safety and sustainability.

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