Carbon dioxide and the Waitomo Glowworm Caves

​The caves are a natural resource and very occasionally, weather and environmental conditions prevent us entering the caves.​ 


Waitomo Caves for kids

Limestone caves are a natural resource and we take our responsibility to manage the caves for future generations seriously. To protect this unique environment we monitor the CO2 levels in the caves constantly. Cave closures due to high carbon dioxide (CO2 ) can occur 3-10 times a year and may last between 30 minutes to 2 hours or in extreme climatic events may result in the cave being closed all day.

We open the caves as soon as the CO2 levels drop to a level which where we can be sure re -entry protects the natural resource. There are a variety of factors to be taken into account when making the decision including wind, outside and inside air temperature , stream water level.

If you have experienced a cave closure, we apologise for the delay and promise to re-open as soon as we can. On the rare occasion that CO2 levels do rise to this level, your tour should never be delayed more than two hours, and in this instance, you will be notified by email.

To learn more about CO2​​ in our caves, the environmental section of our site here . Furthermore, download this Simple CO2​ Guide​.