Our second major stop in North Island was at Waitomo. Waitomo is famed for its glowworm caves. Recommended to us by friends and guidebooks, the glowworm caves can be experienced in a variety of ways – by walking, by black water rafting and by abseiling. We chose, what seems to be the classic experience, with the Legendary Black Water Rafting Company. This was to raft (aka float) through the black (aka in the dark) water filled tunnels on a rubber tube (aka a rubber ring).
The glowworm light in the caves was very magical. At first I was unsure we were really seeing animals as the light was so uniform and bright but when we turned our headlamps on we could see their little bodies with light coming from their bums. Very weird. The unique experience of the worms and the thrill of floating around in the dark and jumping off mini waterfalls was very cool. However, the water was very cold and so after an hour or so of floating through the tunnels I was happy to see sunlight pouring in and to emerge into the warm evening for a hot shower, soup and bagels.
Glowworm bright bums: Hundreds
Hot showers: 2