Look up and you’ll be greeted by thousands of living stars
Then again, the stars are not stars but worms – magical glowworms that radiate an unmistakable luminescent light.
Located in Waitomo region of New Zealand, the Waitomo Caves were first discovered as early as 1887 by a local Maori Chief, Tane Tinorau and an English surveyor, Fred Mace. The duo ventured into the caves on a makeshift raft, relying on candles as their only light source. The candles soon proved to be redundant with the later discovery that the ceiling dazzled with a myriad of lights from the New Zealand glowworm. Arachnocampa Luminosa. The bright light emitted by the worms is a way to attract food (smaller flying insects) which are caught in their nests made from mucus and silk.
The fascination of the caves doesn’t just stop at these twinkling insects. Thanks to a 30 million-year-long period, limestones formations. found in the caves, seek to astound with varying shapes and sizes that act as alluring cave decorations.
Boasting 125 years of cultural and natural history, the Glowworm Caves is explored on a gentle boat ride, where you’ll be in complete darkness and silence with the exception of the tour guide’s informative commentary and blinking glowworms speckled all over the caves’ walls and ceilings. The tour takes roughly 45 minutes. Prices are from NZD$51 per adult.
Waitomo Glowworm Caves, 39 Waitomo Caves Road, Otorohanga, Waitomo Caves, Hamilton – Waikato, 3977, New Zealand