Te Anau is cancelled - so no glow worm caves

I had planned to squeeze in a trip to the famous glow worm caves on a free day in Te Anau, but Tauck just notified us that Te Anau is now cancelled. Is it worth it to try to fit it in anywhere else or is it simply too far? They've added an extra day in Queenstown and in Auckland to make up for Te Anau, but I'm thinking that will be too far. I'd love to hear your thoughts from those of you who have been there. Thanks in advance!


  • edited May 2022

    I was there on a different tour. But what I remember it was a long bus ride to Te Anau and checked into a hotel overnight and then early evening we took a boat over to the cave. Yes I would say it is a out of the way and while it is different in my opinion not a 100% must do. But that is my opinion!

    PS: I should also add that this cave is not for physically challenged people. To get in you have to be able to duck down to make yourself about 4' tall and some slippery pathways to get to the boats to tour the cave in.

  • edited May 2022

    I’d take extra days in Queenstown and Auckland any day over that.Maybe fit in the islands in Auckland instead
    Is it certain Australia and NZ tours are going. When. I last looked them up, they were not

  • IMO, Auckland was one of the biggest duds of a city, from a tourist perspective, compared to just about any other city I've been to.

  • I would skip the caves if I had a choice. While they're OK, we didn't find them spectacular, and if it is going to be a long day, there's more things to do.

  • We loved Queenstown…so much to do…a bonus day would be…well, a bonus! Enjoy…when is your trip?

  • I had a great time in Auckland (though agree Wellington deserves more time) maybe b/c I loved the Langham Hotel. But then I also enjoyed several days in Calgary, which has also been pooh-poohed here. I've always been a bad tourist. How else explain three trips to Vienna and still haven't gone inside Schoenbrunn? Ditto for Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, and most palaces, castles and forts. Melbourne and Wellington are my favorite cities in Australia and NZ, and it's disappointing that Tauck's itineraries barely stop there. Sometimes indy travel is the only solution.

  • Marketart, you didn't miss much at Schonbrunn. We went and I honestly don't remember much. I've often found the big name itinerary stops a bit disappointing and been pleasantly surprised by stops I didn't know much about.

  • Marketart, we took the Australia and NZ tours separately in different years both to suit which seasons we could see them for the best weather and because doing them together, almost three weeks was too long for my husband to be off work, so we were able to arrive In Wellington two days early, including going to the fantastic Zeelandia and going to see a play at the theatre there. We stayed a day extra in Auckland, but that was when my husband became very ill along with a few others. On our Australian tour, we arrived early for Melbourne and stayed on two days extra in Sydney including seeing my husband’s cousin in the suburbs. I particularly remember the end of that tour as it was so relaxing to do our own thing when the tour was finished….but anyway, this is really off topic.
    I don’t think Tauck uses the Langham any more.

  • We took the Aust/NZ tour a few yers ago. In Welllington, we went to the NZ Museum, fantastic. The tour there was perhaps 2 hrs long, but we went back in the afternoon to see more on our own.

    Melbourne was fascinating. We got there a day early and walked around on our own.

    Queenstown is fine, but if it rains there isn't too much to do. It is very outdoors oriented.

    Auckland was OK, as someone said, it is a city. The trip to Waiheki (spelling?) Island was very scenic and a good day

  • edited May 2022

    Thanks for all the commentary. I know I am more city-oriented than some, interested in contemporary culture more than monuments and animals (yikes...flaggable!). I designed my own separate Australia & NZ itineraries in July/Aug for coolest weather to escape our summer heat. Locals were pleasantly surprised I included Tasmania on a first visit. One thing you can do when not on tour is leisurely, late breakfasts...the Langham (now the Cordis, same hotel group) had a chocolate fountain, and I see the new hotel now has 2! Am hoping to revisit Australia with Tauck (on waitlist; Sept. is only Tauck month I would consider) and looking forward to adding Adelaide; Brisbane is also on my bucket list. Hobart's Saturday Salamanca market btw is amazing, such a wonderful introduction to the locals...love the Ginger (beer) Man. Don't think Tauck sched allows a visit...always a frustration, as Australia is a market lover's dream. Happy to see Adelaide Central on Day 3!

  • edited May 2022

    On my trip to OZ, NZ and Fiji I arrived 3 days ahead of my tour in Melbourne, don't call it that, it's Malbin and you get told right quick Melbourne is in Florida.
    But if anyone has free time in Malbin be aware that the Public Transit system is absolutely free in a very large downtown area there.

  • Wow! Thanks for your responses! I won't worry about missing the glow worm caves anymore. My trip is in December - January. I wanted to go when it's warm enough to snorkel the great barrier reef. It's also convenient for me to use the two weeks I have off from work over the holidays - that way I only had to take another week off for this trip. Thanks again - I'm looking forward to this trip!

  • This is a reply for DrVon. I just booked a long day tour that includes both Waitomo caves(glow worms) AND Rotarua. I am opting out of the America's Cup sailing excursion which is the last day of the trip. I will likely miss part or all of the farewell party depending on when they bring me back. Something to consider doing. The company is CheekyKiwiTravel.com I wanted to book it the following day since I am staying over a day after the tour ends but they were totally booked. Good luck and have a great trip and please give a review of the total tour

  • Hi Jill! When are you traveling?

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