Yes, glowworms are real and I’m not referring to the children’s toys that were popular in the ‘8Os.
After staying a few days in Raglan, I got the chance to visit the glowworms in Waitomo. Seeing the glowworms was an adventure I missed when I passed through NZ quickly last year, so I was excited to finally see them!
To visit the glowworms, I had to go into the caves at Waitomo. I chose to participate in what they call Tumu Tumu Toobing, which is black water rafting.
I spent four hours underground and I’ll admit that I was a bit nervous about being under the Earth’s surface! The terrain was a little rugged and unfamiliar, and there were times when it was necessary to swim in or tube accross pools of cold black water:
However, after I got acclimated to my new surroundings and realized I could in fact breathe while underground and swim in a full wetsuit with boots, I had heaps of fun rooting around in the caves.
The glowworms were an awesome sight and actually lit up the cave well enough that I could see their reflections in the water below stretching far down the tunnel. The photo I’ve got simply does not do the experience justice, but it is the view I got when I laid on my tube and stared at the cave ceiling!
As magical as the glowworm caves were, I realized two important things when we reached the end of the tour: 1) It’s only a good idea to head into the light when one is caving. 2) I love the sun! Next stop: the Kaituna River for some white water rafting!