Giants and Glowworms

Experience the natural beauty of the unique Hokianga region and hear its legends from local guides

Giants and Glowworms

Adult ($ nz)


Child ($ nz)



8 hours


Journey into a unique part of New Zealand, first discovered over 1,000 years ago by the Māori voyager Kupe. Visit the Waipoua Forest and meet a national icon, the mighty kauri tree Tāne Mahuta. You'll also spend time in seaside towns and inside glowworm caves on this full-day tour from Paihia.

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Tour description

Travel to the Hokianga and meet your local Māori guide, then venture into the ancient Waipoua Kauri Forest for an unforgettable encounter. Learn about life in the forest and hear Māori waiata (songs), myths and legends as your guide takes you on an intimate journey through nature and explains how the lives of local Māori are intertwined with the forest.

Hear Māori waiata (songs), myths and legends
Meet the giant kauri tree Tāne Mahuta in the Waipoua Forest
Visit the remote Hokianga region
Follow the original stagecoach trail
See the Kawiti Glowworm Caves
Informative and engaging driver commentary

Meet a national icon, the truly impressive Tāne Mahuta (the Lord of the Forest). The largest known kauri tree in the world aged up to 2,500 years old, his mighty girth is over 13 metres and he stands an impressive 51 metres (167 feet) high. Stand beneath this ancient giant and hear the legend of how he separated earth and sky at the beginning of the world.

After your forest encounter, spend some time in the Hokianga town of Opononi before turning back towards Paihia along the old stagecoach route. This trail was first marked out by early Māori and then frequented by traders and merchants who transported supplies, kauri, gum and timber between the coasts.

On your way back, stop at the Kawiti Glowworm Caves and discover one of Northland's best-kept secrets. These family-run caves will delight you with twinkling glowworms, amazing limestone rock formations including stalactites and stalagmites, all surrounded in lush green native forest.

Useful Info

  • BRING:

    Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, walking shoes, camera and warm clothing.

  • HEAR:

    A full commentary is provided by your driver and guides. The Māori language is spoken at key points throughout the journey, with English interpretation provided.

  • EAT:

    Refreshment stops are made for morning and afternoon tea (own expense). Enjoy a pub lunch at Opononi Hotel (own expense).


   departs  arrives
 Paihia  8:00 am  4:00 pm

Tours depart Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Please report 15 minutes before departure.

Easy Cancellation

Cancel or change your booking any time before 6pm on the day before departure  - no cancellation fees!

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