"Waitomo Glow Worm Caves" Waitomo Caves by joanj
Waitomo Caves Travel Guide: 57 reviews and 169 photos
On our N.Z, trip, our coach stopped at Waitomo Glow Worm Caves, where this small village has an enormous reputation for the cave trips, be it by a gentle boat ride, or a full wet suite adventure,(the latter was not for me).
The boat ride along the underground river, was in total darkness, and you had to be quiet, and still, but look above you and it was like looking into the starry starry night.
Waitomo means "water entering shaft", so it is aptly named. The passages were first discovered in 1887 by Maori chief Tane Tinorau and English surveyor Fred Mace, who built a raft of flax stems and drifted along an underground stream with candles as their only source of light. Further exploration ensued, and within a year Tane was guiding tourists to see the spectacle.
In1906 the government took over the operation, and it was not until 1989 that the caves were returned to their traditional Maori owners, who now receive a percentage of all the revenue generated and participate in the site's management.
Only a fraction of the 45 kilometres of cave passages under Waitomo can be visited on guided tours.
check out this site Waitomo Caves for all the information you need on the caves and the attractions
Exiting the boat after gliding along the underground river.
The life-cycle of the glow-worm is in 4 stages lasting a total of 9 months. Eggs hatch in 3 weeks into larvae which grow up to 40 mm (1.5") long. They live in threads feeding on insects which are attracted by light the glow-worms emits. Each glow - worm drops about 70 threads during their 8 month span. The larvae then changes into pupae hanging from the ceiling by threads. The adult emerges after 2 weeks - females living up to 3 days and males 4 - long enough to continue the life cycle.
This photo shows the steps leading out of the underground river after the liesurely boat ride, and on up to the gift shop and exit.
- Pros:worth a visit
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Latest: May 16, 2013