Glowworm Caves.

glowworm-caves-waitom-3[6]Photo Credit: Glowworm Caves

In Waitomo, New Zealand we ventured down into the famous glowworm caves. We weren’t allowed to take photos inside so above is a professional photo of what we saw. There were thousands of tiny bits of light above us as we floated in a small boat below. It was hauntingly beautiful and quiet. We learned a lot about the glowworms, they are not as magical as you would think but interesting nonetheless. They use their light to attract food and have a long sticky string (below) that catches flies and other insects for them to eat. It’s wild, I know.

Waitomo-Glowworm-Caves-New-Zealand-Glowworm-strings-Closeup(Glowworm’s sticky string. This catches their food, much like a spider’s web)

Photo Credit: Glowworm Caves

We also walked into a separate cave called Ruakuri Cave. This was less about observing the glowworms and more about the cave formations inside. The walk was filled with stalactites and stalagmites which are created by deposits of minerals escaping slow drips of water. These ones in particular are said to be millions of years old. WOW!

DSC_0183(The illuminated spiral staircase lead us to the cave below)

DSC_0250(Look how still the water is below, it makes for a beautiful reflection. This group is referred to as “the pretties”)

DSC_0283(The hole is on piece of the cave shows the illuminated piece in the back)

DSC_0244(This is an example of how the first explorers came in to check out the caves. Scary job!)

DSC_0281(Close up of the mineral ceiling. Can you see the bits of water on the sides of it? In about 100,000 years there would be another formation just like it built from those tiny drops of water)

If you have any interest in exploring this further, the tours we took are here: Glowworm and Ruakuri. I loved them both, the guides that took us down were energetic, personable, and really knowledgable. I just love how excited they are about their culture and it’s a fascinating one.

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