Frequently Asked Questions
How does the glow worm tour work?
Tours last 30 minutes and leave from our garden area. One of our highly qualified guides will lead you on a short walk through the rainforest into our cave, where you'll be shown a brief documentary on the glow worms. After the film, your guide will lead you into the magical glow worm tunnel, filled with thousands of shining glow worms, and give everyone the chance to see a glow worm up close and learn about them. Because our cave is not a natural site, you will not be climbing or hiking, the tour is held at a slow walking pace on our boardwalk.
Do I need to make a reservation or buy tickets ahead of time?
We only take bookings for groups over 10 people, so if your group is smaller than 10, just come into our glow worm office and we will put you on the next available tour.
Tours are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis, so we cannot guarantee specific tour times for small groups until you purchase tickets at our office. If you would like to request a specific tour time, we recommend coming to our office early in the morning, so you can purchase a spot on the tour of your choice before it fills up!
Don’t worry there is plenty of things to do at Cedar Creek Estate. Head down to Frog Hollow, a complimentary exhibit featuring native frog species and some amazing local insects. You can also grab a bite to eat in our Cafe and Restaurant, walk through our grounds and vineyard or sample the wonderful wines on offer in the Wine Centre(18+ only).
Can we do a self-guided visit to the caves?
We only allow access to the caves via a guided tour to ensure our glow worms are kept safe. Working with one of the foremost scientists on the glow worms and with the supervision of local wildlife experts, we have created the world’s only purpose-built environment to protect these amazing creatures.
During a tour, highly knowledgeable guides educate visitors on tours on how to safely interact with glow worms and provide scientific information about the species. By coming to visit our eco-certified, purpose-built environment, you are guaranteed to see these amazing creatures and help us to preserve the vulnerable South East Queensland glow worm species.
Is the cave open all year round, even in the rain?
Yes! Our purpose-built cave is open all year round, so we can provide tours with no matter the weather. There is, however, a short rainforest walk to the cave so rain jackets are recommended if it's wet outside! We are open every day except Good Friday and Christmas day so regardless of the outside weather our glow worms will always shine. Please keep in mind that light-up shoes are not allowed in the cave with our glow worms.
What's the best time to see the Glow Worms?
At our site, during the daytime, all year round! Because our glow worms are in a purpose-built environment which is kept dark during the daytime, they glow during our opening hours. This allows our guides to care for the glow worms and provide food for them during the day. Because the glow worms are in a controlled environment, they glow throughout the day, so everyone has an equal chance of seeing the glows.
Is this experience good for young children?
Our cave was constructed to allow people of all ages the opportunity to get up close and personal with glow worms, and our tours are very family-friendly! Many of our customers find glow warm cave tours are quite educational and enjoyable for the children.
Many people bring small children on our tours, and since all children under four are free, our tours are very affordable for families. Please keep in mind, loud noises do echo in the cave so if you have a young child with you, please keep in mind excessive noise can be disruptive to other guests.
Our caves are quite safe, but we do ask parents to supervise their children and ensure that they are comfortable in the darkness before coming on a tour. We also ask prams are left outside of the cave for the safety of all visitors while our cave passageway.
How strenuous is a glow worm tour?
Our cave is easily accessible, and doesn't require any hiking experience to access! The pathway in our cave is uniformly flat, and there are handrails present in the glow worm alley to help guide visitors. The most strenuous aspect of our tour is our three-minute rainforest walk, which is conducted on a flat boardwalk at a leisurely pace. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about any assistance you may need.
Is there transportation to Tamborine Mountain?
We do not provide any transportation to our cave- our site is easily accessible by car or tour buses. Tours on Tamborine Mountain, Queensland Day Tours, Southern Cross Day Tours and Coast to Bush Tours provide hotel pickup services to Mt. Tamborine, and while taxi and shared-ride services like Uber also visit our mountain, we recommend that you book a round-trip journey.
We are located just 50-minute drive away from Surfers Paradise, and 1 hour away from Brisbane CBD. Get more information of direction to Glow Worm Cave.
How do I make a group booking?
The best way to make a booking for a group of 10 or more people is to email our team with your date and preferred time slot, and the total number and age distributions of your party. We can be reached at email@example.com
Are there any restrictions in the cave?
We do not allow photography or artificial lights inside with our glow worms since they do interfere with their glowing behaviour. Due to this requirement, we cannot allow light up shoes, GoPros, or other electronic lights inside the cave. While in the cave, we ask that you keep your hands behind the railing and do not touch the glow worms, and place a hand over your nose and mouth when close to the glow worms to avoid tangling their delicate snares.
Glow Worms are pretty fascinating animals! With known 8 species across Australia and New Zealand, they're a unique and special part of our ecosystems. Glow Worms live in dark, wet environments, preferably caves if they can find them, although on the Gold Coast of Queensland they don't have any caves to live in, so the local species, Arachnocampa flava are usually found beside waterfalls.
What are Glow Worms?
Glow worms are the larvae (immature stage) of a small fly. The larval stage is the only stage in their life cycle that can glow. The adults are delicate flies that do not have working mouthparts, and as such, only live for a small number of days (females two days, males six days). As the adults are unable to feed, glow worms must gain enough sustenance during the larval stage to get them through the rest of their lifecycle. The larvae are believed to live for approximately one year, although this is heavily dependent on environmental conditions and availability of food.
Why Do Glow Worms Glow?
Glow worms glow to attract small insects that emerge from the leaf litter and water to where the glow worms reside. The glow worms construct "snares" (like a spider's web) made from silk threads and sticky droplets to capture and eat the insects attracted to their glow.
How Do Glow Worms Glow?
The light of a glow worm is also known as bioluminescence or light produced by a living organism. There are many different animals which have bioluminescent properties including:
Fireflies, glow worms and other insect larvae
Annelids (ringed worms)
Some deep-sea fish and squid
And certain varieties of bacteria and fungi
In the case of glow worms, the light they emit is produced by a chemical reaction. A pigment called "luciferin" reacts with the enzyme "luciferase" and adenosine triphosphate (also called ATP*) and with the oxygen in the air to create the blue-green light that you see the glow worms emitting in our cave.
All images on this page are copyright to Anthony O'Toole. Written permission must be gained before use.
* ATP molecules are found in all living cells. ATP molecules make any energy consuming actions (running, jumping, moving fingers etc) possible by storing the energy obtained by food and releasing it when needed. ATP is a necessary part of the reaction needed to create the light a glow worm produces