Glowworm Grotto

Waitomo Travel Blog

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glowworm grotto at Waitomo Caves

After breakfast we left Rotorua and headed west to the Waitomo Valley.  It was raining when we arrived, but we were headed underground into the Waitomo Caves, which is well known for its glowworms.  We took a walking tour through the caves where the vertical webs of the glowworms could be seen and then we boarded a boat that floats along the river that flows through the lower portions of the cave system.  At this point, there are no artificial lights so that the glowworms may be seen in all their glory.  The guide stands up in the boat in total darkness and pulls you along using a series of cables.  No photography is allowed inside of the caves.  While drifting along in the darkness and almost total silence, you gaze upon the ceiling, which are littered with thousands of phosphorescent glowing dots that mimic the night sky.  This is exactly what the glowworms, which are the larval stage of a flying gnat, intend to do.  They trick other flying insects into flying upward to exit the cave, but instead they become entangled in the glowworms webbing and then are reeled in to be eaten.

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glowworm grotto at Waitomo Caves
glowworm grotto at Waitomo Caves
Mark outside Waitomo Caves
Mark outside Waitomo Caves
Waitomo
photo by: MadeleineGL