"Waitomo Caves" Waitomo Tip by grets

Waitomo, New Zealand: 8 reviews and 9 photos

  Underground boat trip
by grets

This whole area is riddled with limestone caves and strange formations. The caves have been known to the Maori for quite some time, but Europeans didn't discover it until 1887.

Waitomo gets its name from wai meaning water and tomo"i which is hole.

The cave complex is a large underground system with walkways and railings. We are obviously here at a very popular time, there are far too many tourists, mostly Japanese. I feel maybe more could have been made out of the caves with clever lighting. We spend a lot of the time waiting for other tour groups to move on. Apparently it is even busier in summer!

The underground journey by boat is excellent. We board in almost complete darkness and float quietly and effortlessly through the underworld, where the ceiling is full of blue fairy lights. Very impressive!

Glow worm threads hang from the roof of the grotto.

Immediately after hacthing, the larva builds a nest and lets down sticky substances called threads and turns on a light to attract food.

The whole experience is eerie, almost moving as the guide pulls the boat along the underground river using ropes. We actually come out through a different opening than the one we entered through. I can just imagine how wonderful this must have been for the first discoverers. I have never seen anything like it!

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Sep 15, 2004
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