The Waitomo area is famous for its numerous caves which also happen to be home to glow worms. New Zealand glow worms are a species of fungus gnats that are about the size of a mosquito. The gnat’s larval stage is luminescent, producing an blue-green glow in pitch black caves.
We had intended to take just the the general boat tour through the caves, but we were drawn to a company that offers subterranean adventures. We opted to do a tour that had us climbing over and through limestone formations, leaping over waterfalls, and tubing in the pitch black caves getting up close views of the glow worms. Unfortunately, photos were not allowed but our guide took the photos of us posted below. This was truly an amazing and bizarre experience that photographs cannot really capture (at least these photos 🙂 ) For an idea of what the glow worms look like click here.
After the caves, we headed to the coastal town of Marokopa to camp. The road offered several short hikes to scenic rivers and waterfalls. It ended at a beautiful black sand beach surrounding by green hills and of course, sheep.
The trip to the coast concluded our camping and outdoor adventures on the North Island. Up next….big city living in Auckland!