Glow worms in the Waitomo Caves

Waitomo Travel Blog

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light fittings at the hostel

Sunday morning I was up nice and early (thanks to the trio of coughing americans sharing my room) and headed for Rap, Raft and Rock for some abseiling, black water rafting and climbing to see the glow worms in the Waitomo cave system.

After being dressed up in wetsuites, gum boats, hard hats and harnesses (alas, I refused to buy the photo cd so no photographic evidence exists) we headed to the entrance to the caves. The intial abseil into the caves was rather good fun, it was an absolutely stunning environment to slowly lower yourself into, this was followed by walking and wading into one side of the cave system.

after a few hundred metres, a few specs of light could be seen on the roof - but it wasn't until we'd stopped and turned out the lights did the full extent of the glow worms become apparent. They were absolutely stunning, the entire roof was carpeted with them, each with their own little garden of silk threads. The beauty of the occasion was some what spoilt be the english 'lads' who made up the rest of my group. As the guide told us to 'stand in silence and darkness and just appreciate the sound of the water and the glow worms' they began to make farting noises and try and push each other in the water. mmmhhh.

Due to the low water levels the 'black water rafting' was none existant and we had to paddle our inner tubes along the other arm of the cave. This of course gave ample oppurtunity for the rest of my party to try and push each other in, rather than appreciate the glow worms.

By this point the guide just started taking lots of posed photos for the $20 photo cd and I was getting bored. Not unlike the glacier walk, it began to feel like they were filling time and it lack purpose. It would have been nice to know more about the caves and the glow worms, but his knowledge was woeful.  I don't want to sound negative, it was well worth doing to see the glow worms and the caves. Just a shame that they feel that the photos are more important than the actual experience.

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light fittings at the hostel
light fittings at the hostel
Waitomo
photo by: MadeleineGL