Glow-worm Kayak Tour
Relax on the edge of Lake McLaren, watching the swans and ducks go about their evening’s preparations. Let our guides lead you onto calm Lake McLaren at dusk. Gently paddle into the night and discover the magic of the enchanting glowworm canyon.
A truly wonderful, unique and magical NZ experience. If I had only experienced this one glory then this two weeks in NZ would have been justified.
Sydney Morning Herald
What a magical time we had on our recent kayak tour into the gloworm canyon. We felt it was going to be amazing but just floating in the silence and the dark, looking at those little spots of light, was something out of this world!
You will be remembered for giving us one of the highlights of our first time in New Zealand.
Nicky and Alan Dewfall
Magical, Enchanting, Surreal, Amazing!
If any of the above words described the activity you and your group are looking for the Glow-worm Kayak Tour is for you.
This is a truly unique experience; while you can see glow-worms elsewhere in New Zealand, and you can paddle a sea kayak in many places around the world, this is the only place when the two combine for a magical & truly unique experience. The tour is great fun with great refreshments, beautiful scenery, fantastic birdlife and awesome glow-worms.
Enjoy wine from the award winning Mills Reef winery, delicate New Zealand cheeses and refreshments on the edge of Lake McLaren. Our guides will prepare and brief you on how to kayak effectively before launching you onto picturesque Lake McLaren at twilight to paddle to the mysterious glow worm canyon.
The glow-worms are situated in a narrow, high-sided canyon at the top of the lake, not in a cave, so our tour only departs once a day before sunset so by the time we get to the glow-worm canyon it’s completely dark, as required to see the glow worms to the best effect.
Paddling a kayak may be something you have tried before, but you probably haven’t kayaked at night (we provide head-torches) and certainly not have kayaked in the dark to see constellations of glow-worms. It is a fully guided kayak tour, with our professional guides leading your group and providing a fascinating & informative brief about the lifecycle and peculiarities of the New Zealand fungus gnat (glow-worms).
A truly magical & unique experience; not to be missed!
Tour Duration: Approximately 1-1½ hour kayaking. Total tour duration: 3-3½ hour tour.
24-hour booking notice is required.
Tour Catering Options:
Enjoy a cheeseboard & fruit platter with NZ wines & juice at sunset during the warmer months; with salami & olives and hot spiced mulled wine replacing the fruit platter and NZ wines during winter.
Age, Fitness & Clothing Requirements:
- All guests are welcome from 8 years old and above.
- Moderate fitness required. Please inform your guide of any medical conditions.
- We provide stable, comfortable double sea-kayaks, paddles, spray decks, paddle-jackets & buoyancy aids. (fleeces will also be provided if required)
- We will provide all kayaking gear for the Glow-worm tour, but we recommend everyone brings a fleece top or similar for additional warmth while enjoying the refreshments on the lake edge (the coolest part of the evening), once we get the gear on for kayaking and start paddling you will be toasty warm. A hat is recommended in cool or wet weather.
- Please wear comfortable light warm clothing, we recommend that people don't wear denim jeans; while you are unlikely to get wet, jeans are heavy, cold and uncomfortable if they do get wet.
- This tour can operate in almost all weather conditions. Please read our tour Terms & Conditions at the link below & contact Waimarino if in doubt.
- Transport is included in the tour prices from Waimarino Adventure Park in Bethlehem, Tauranga to the activity launch site and return.
- Pick up/drop off vehicle transfers are available from & to your accommodation to Waimarino and/or the activity launch site. Vehicle transfers from & to your accommodation in Tauranga and Mount Maunganui are $25 per vehicle per collection point. Papamoa or Katikati areas are $50 per vehicle per collection point.
Standard Refreshment Tour
$120 per person
Seated Gourmet Dinner Tour
$190 per person