About Glow Worms

Where are Glow Worms Found

Watching Glow Worms is truly a mesmerising experience. These insects in their larvae stage have tails that glow. Pretty as their glowing tails are, these are designed for a deadly purpose --for their prey at least. Glow Worms use their glow to attract prey and lure them into their webs to be trapped and devoured. These unusual creatures are typically found in Australia and New Zealand but can also be found in America.

Aside from our fantastic Glow Worm caves here on Mount Tamborine, read below to find out where else you can enjoy Glow Worms. However, observing Glow Worms in the wild can have a devastating effect on these delicate creatures if you are not careful. Remember never to touch Glow Worms, and cover any lights with red cellophane so as not to disturb their hunting behaviours. The most important thing humans can do when observing Glow Worms is to ensure that the larvae's mucus strands are not damaged, and larvae are not exposed to artificial light sources which can disrupt their natural cycles.

The best way to protect Glow Worms in the wild is to see them in captivity, where trained guides can show you them up close in a safe environment. Our Glow Worm cave at Mt. Tamborine offers the only site to see Glow Worms during the day in Queensland, and offers a safe experience for both people and our resident Glow Worms. To find more information, visit our Admission page. 


Waitomo Glowworm Cave, New Zealand

Known as the best cave to spot Glow Worms in the wild, the Waitomo Glowworm Cave is located on the North Island of New Zealand.  It is home to the Arachnocampa luminosa Glow Worms that cover the ceiling of the cave like stars. For visitors to witness this breathtaking scene, they will need to go 150 feet below ground.

Natural Bridge in Springbrook National Park, Australia

The Australia’s largest population of Glow Worms can be found in Natural Bridge. Glow Worms can only be seen at night, and are best from December to March. Unfortunately, like all other wild Glow Worm colonies in Queensland, tourism at Natural Bridge is threatening the survival of the Arachnocampa flava Glow Worms, due to continual disruption of their natural light cycles and damage from hundreds of tourists visiting the site nightly. 

Dismals Canyon, Alabama, USA

The North American Ofelia fultoni, also known as Dismalites, are the reason for the blue green glow of the dark forests and caves in the Dismals Canyon. Visitors may be lucky enough to see the beauty of these illusive bioluminescent creatures at night with a guide during spring and summer time. 

Te Anau Glowworm Caves, New Zealand

Cruising along Lake Te Anau in a small boat will lead visitors to the narrow Glow Worm grotto. The shiny sparkling ceilings of the Te Anau Glowworm Caves can be viewed either day or night.  Visitors may need to bend upon entering the caves due to narrow limestones passages which are still being sculpted by the river until now.

Melba Gully, Great Otway National Park, Australia

Glow Worms ideally inhabits in dark, dense, and humid places. Hence, the Melba Gully known as the “Jewel of the Otways” is the perfect habitat for these glowing creatures. They can be seen at night glowing on ledges and along walking tracks. Visitors are advised to cover their lights as artificial lights near the insects cause them to hide their glow. The best time to witness this starlight beauty is during the wetter months of the year – December to March.

Wellington Botanic Garden, Wellington, New Zealand

Visiting the capital of New Zealand? Don’t miss a chance to witness glow worms in the Botanic Garden located in the heart of the city. You can visit anytime as the garden is free for everyone, but the sparkling insects are best watched after it has rained on spring nights.  

Hokitika Glow Worm Dell, New Zealand

Just a minute walk from the road, you can enjoy a mini fairy land scenery in the cutest Glow Worm dell in Hokitika. The glow is present year-round but only in the dark. Don’t forget to bring your own torch but never shine your light on the insects. 

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