Waitoma Glowworm Caves

Once again sorry for the delay. I try to only write these posts when I have wifi. I have run up quite the substantial data bill and consequently will try to limit my posts to when I have free wifi (or as the French say “wee fee”).

Luckily, I am on a 14 hour bus ride to Sydney with free wifi so I will be able to blog quite a lot.

Anyway as one of my last adventures in New Zealand, I went to the Waitoma Glowworm Caves. They are limestone caves very similar to the caves back home albeit with two major distinctions. 1. There is a river flowing through the caves. 2. The roof of the cave is lit up by glow worms.

To get into the caves we had to put on a wetsuit, a helmet, and a headlamp. Since there is a river running down the middle of the cave, we also were given an inflatable inner tube.

The journey was about three hours. 50% of the time you had to walk carrying your inner tube. The other 50% of the time we floated down the river looking up at the glowworms. I enjoyed the floating mostly. We also had two waterfalls we had to jump over. They weren’t too high but it was quite the rush jumping in the dark.

Glowworms are not really worms but maggots. They don’t call the caves “Glow Maggot Caves” because no one would come visit. Glowworms survive by growing in long threads towards the bottom of the caves. These thread like bodies catch insects as they fly throughout the caves. The glowing part of the glowworms is actually the feces of the glowworm.

When there are thousands together it looks like stars. Floating on an inner tube with your headlamp off on a pitch black river while looking up at thousands of glowworms was probably one of the coolest natural rides of my life. It felt like a combination of Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean taking place in a cold dark cave.

Unfortunately I couldn’t bring my camera since I would have probably lost it anyway. But I pulled some photos from the web to show you what it was like.






2 Comments on “Waitoma Glowworm Caves

  1. Great job Bret, loved your glowworm post! Sounds like an amazing trip! Looks like you’re having fun. Safe travels!
    Love, Aunt Trish

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