Waitomo Glowworm Caves: Like the Night Sky

In New Zealand, there is a cave filled with tiny bugs that glow like a thousand stars in the night sky. Tane Tinorau, Laurence Cussen, and Fred Mace did extensive exploration of the caverns in 1887. They found the glowing cavern and amazing limestone formations. Later the cave was opened to visitors. To learn more about the detailed history of the caves then click here.

The cave keeps growing in popularity so book your tour early as they only let a certain number in. There are a variety of tours that you can go on from super adventurous to tame. I went on a tame version of the trip due traveling with my lovely grandparents. The trip leads you down a series of stairs and a calm boat trip through one of the caverns that a portion of the glow worms or Arachnocampa luminosa live. A guide provides tons of unique pieces of insights. Our guide named Reign told us his family story as his family has helped managed the caves for generation. He even told us the shapes and forms to look for in the limestone formations. He was funny. He pointed out a SpongeBob and a Patrick Star. There was even a family of rock people. However, that wasn’t my favorite feature.

My two favorite pieces from my tour were the biggest opening in the cave that was a favorite of many famous singers and  the cavern with glow worms. The biggest opening is amazing because any sound produced doesn’t bounce of the cave walls. The opening even has formations for the choir, the orchestra, and much more. It was amazing and perfect way to see the majesty of the limestone formations. The second feature being what the cave are famous for. The glow worms are tiny and by the way are actually are maggots ( which may make them less cool). They live short lives and glow brighter the more hungry they are. But they are amazing to see as they are surrounding you in the boat. They look like little stars in the night sky despite the bright sunshine outside the cave.

I really wish I was able to take photos but to preserve  these creatures only a select few are allowed to take photographs. Though I do have a few suggestions if you do take this adventure. It is a bit of a drive so be prepared. I suggest staying near the cave (my town of preference is Hamilton) as trying to get back to Auckland makes it a very long day since the cave is out in the country. Make sure that you can physically go down a large number of staircases that don’t all have the best railings and easily board a boat that can tip if all the weight is one way. Be prepared for dark passageways that have little light and you can’t use a flashlight. You can ask your guide for assistant if you have trouble seeing then I suggest going with caution.

I truly suggest visiting this spectacular cave. It is unique and once in a lifetime experience.

Photo credit: Here

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