Waitomo Glowworm Caves Visitor Centre

Begin and finish your Waitomo Glowworm Caves tour here.


The unique Waitomo Glowworm Caves Visitor Centre features an innovative crisscrossed roof that evokes a Maori hinaki (eel trap).


Proudly awarded with New Zealand architecture’s most coveted prize, The New Zealand Architecture Medal, the Waitomo Glowworm Caves Visitor Centre is an innovative building that showcases the beautiful surrounding landscape. This structure reflects the local culture and landscape using sustainable but durable materials.

When visiting the Waitomo Glowworm Caves Visitor Centre give special attention to the magnificent Pou that stands at the entrance to the building which was carved by the local people of Waitomo. This intricate carving features Tane Mahuta, God of the forest, protector of all living things, separator of the earth and sky. Below Tane is the Kawau, a bird special to the local Maori tribe, glowworms and their feeding lines, an eel, and other symbols of the unique Waitomo area and the people who reside here. The grid structure evokes a hinaki (eel trap) and is set out by the curve of the Waitomo stream that also flows through the caves.