Waitomo glowworm caves

January 6, 2014

This photograph of the World renowned Waitomo Glowworm Caves in North Island was taken in 2008.

The glow worm, Arachnocampa Luminos, is unique to New Zealand.Β They were first explored by local Maori Chief Tane Tinorau in 1887.

On arrival at the Black Water Rafting Co, we were supplied with a wet suit, shorts, shoes and a hard hat with a headlamp. It was a funny process and we looked ridiculous once we’d got all the kit on! It was a great ice breaker.

We set off on theΒ Black Labyrinth cave adventure once all twelve of us had received a black rubber tube.

In the darkness of the Ruakuri Cave, the headlamps went on and we slid onto our tubes. Floating in the water we snaked down the river together taking in the sparkling glowworms on the ceiling above us.

You wanted to scream when you had to slide down a waterfall backwards. You were thankful you didn’t when you realised it wasn’t actually that long.

Our black water rafting experience saw us slip off our tubes and chase after them on several occasions. It was dark and the rocks slippery underfoot – the relief when you caught your tube was immense.

After the noise and excitement came silence except for the sound of dripping water. Above us thousands of glowworms sparkled in the darkness. We were deep underground.

As we neared the light, we saw stalactites aplenty before we reached the exit of the cave. It was an incredible journey that touched all the senses – terrifying at times but mostly exhilarating.

Photo credit:Β Waitomo Glowworm Caves

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  • Afra Willmore January 6, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Wow that sounds amazing – a great description which really brought the place to life. Adding it to my oat of places to visit one day when we win the lottery!

    • Charly Dove January 6, 2014 at 12:53 pm

      Thank you Afra – was amazing. I do hope one day we can take POD there. We need a lottery win too πŸ™‚

  • Emma The Mini Mes and Me January 6, 2014 at 9:43 am

    That sounds like a. Incredible experience! I think I’d be screaming sliding backwards and even rafting – sounds too scary for me hehe x

    • Charly Dove January 6, 2014 at 12:54 pm

      It was a little hairy in parts Emma but an amazing experience. I’m sure you’d do brilliantly πŸ™‚

  • The Reading Residence January 6, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Oh, wow – what an amazing sounding experience! Absolutely stunning, too x

    • Charly Dove January 6, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      Thank you Jocelyn – I’ve spared you the photo of us dressed in rubber. Not attractive πŸ™‚

  • Dean January 6, 2014 at 10:57 am

    This looks amazing and sounds exciting, though I’ll probably embarrass myself by screaming my head off or pass out from trying to suppress my screams. Hahaha.

    • Charly Dove January 6, 2014 at 3:05 pm

      I’m sure I squealed a little bit but I’ve blocked it out of my memory! I’m sure you’d be absolutely fine πŸ™‚

  • sarah January 6, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    i love your travel shots, makes me have such itchy feet! gorgeous xx happy new year!

    • Charly Dove January 6, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      Bless you Sarah, such a lovely thing to say! I can’t take credit for this one sadly – photography wasn’t allowed in the cave so we had to purchase the Waitomo photos. Happy New Year to you too πŸ™‚

  • modelmummy January 6, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Hello! We meet again. I always enjoy stopping by your space for a good read.
    Great post – sounded a little exhilirating at times but what an amazing experience!

    • Charly Dove January 6, 2014 at 3:10 pm

      Mwhahaha! That you very much though, lovely comment. It was a little scary at times but overall great fun πŸ™‚

  • Louisa January 6, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Wow! It sounds amazing. A true once in a lifetime experience.

    • Charly Dove January 6, 2014 at 3:17 pm

      Thank you Louisa, really was. Shame it was so long ago now *dreams of a return visit*

  • Coombemill January 6, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    What a wonderful thing to witness, how did I miss those when we went to New Zealand?

    • Charly Dove January 6, 2014 at 3:18 pm

      Guess it depends where you were. We squidged a lot into just over two weeks. Was good to do this before our friend’s wedding – the journey back to Auckland was full on driving!

  • Jen aka The Mad House January 6, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Wow, just wow. I would love to go to New Zealand. My Neice has just returned home after living there for 7 years

    • Charly Dove January 6, 2014 at 3:21 pm

      Thank you Jen. Feels like so long ago already. Would love to go back one day. You should definitely try and get there, I’ve only seen North Island but it’s a beautiful country πŸ™‚

  • Honest Mum January 6, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Oh wow, New Zealand is on the list-just wish it wasn’t so far away-what a wonderful adventure!

    • Charly Dove January 6, 2014 at 3:22 pm

      It’s an amazing country – you must visit one day. Would love to go back with POD at some point πŸ™‚

  • Pinkoddy January 6, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    You are so inspiring – you have really lived life! This sounds amazing!

    • Charly Dove January 6, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      What a lovely thing to say although I’m really not. We did a fair bit before POD came along. Be nice to do it again but with her one day πŸ™‚

      • Pinkoddy January 7, 2014 at 11:08 am

        I guess because I didn’t (pregnant at 17) and it makes me look to what I can and will do in the future. You write down where you’ve been and what you have done I’m sure you’d be surprised at what you’ve achieved.

  • Jenni January 6, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    What an amazing experience!

    • Charly Dove January 6, 2014 at 5:43 pm

      Fabulous place Jenni πŸ™‚

  • Mums do travel January 6, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    How exciting! I’ve never heard of these glow worms before. It sounds like a fascinating experience.

    • Charly Dove January 6, 2014 at 5:50 pm

      It was fabulous albeit a little scary at times – exciting though definitely πŸ™‚

  • Foz January 6, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    That sounds like an amazing experience! Although think I would freak out going over the waterfall!

    • Charly Dove January 6, 2014 at 5:53 pm

      The waterfall was especially scary but it was mortifying when you looked back and saw how small it was πŸ™‚

  • Louise January 6, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    how cool! You know we did this exact thing on our visit to NZ in 2003! It is an amazing country, these memories stay with you for ever!

    ps what was weirder was a saw someone there who looked like an exboyfriend from the UK, I thought I must be going crazy so we didn’t speak but then years later we bumped into each other and he said “were you by any chance in NZ doing black water rafting…?” small world!

    • Charly Dove January 6, 2014 at 5:57 pm

      How brilliant – it’s amazing isn’t it! And what a small world – crazy story about the person that looked like your ex. I saw someone I knew the day I arrived in Australia (lived there a couple of years in 90’s) – he was getting married πŸ™‚

  • Niki January 6, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    That sounds amazing, what a great experience πŸ™‚

    • Charly Dove January 6, 2014 at 6:02 pm

      It was definitely memorable that’s for sure Niki πŸ™‚

  • anna m January 6, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    It sounds so fascinating but I think I would be scared!

    • Charly Dove January 6, 2014 at 6:04 pm

      I’m sure you wouldn’t Anna – I guess that’s the good thing about being with strangers πŸ™‚

  • Funky Wellies January 6, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Not sure about sliding down a waterfall backwards!! A fascinating experience though, thanks for sharing. xx

    • Charly Dove January 6, 2014 at 6:05 pm

      Me neither! Felt like such a fool afterwards though – the waterfall was very small πŸ™‚

  • Karen Bell January 6, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Wow, that sounds like an amazing experience! Not sure I’d like the going backwards though x

    • Charly Dove January 6, 2014 at 6:05 pm

      It was definitely memorable Karen that’s for sure πŸ™‚

  • Fritha Strickland January 6, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    wow it looks amazing! I’d love to visit! x

    • Charly Dove January 6, 2014 at 6:06 pm

      Thank you Fritha – definitely pop it on your list! Would love to do it again one day πŸ™‚

  • Aisha from expatlog January 6, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    What an amazing experience – so envious!

    • Charly Dove January 7, 2014 at 7:12 am

      Thank you Aisha, feels like such a long time ago now πŸ™‚

  • Vicky January 6, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    This is something I would never be able to do (caves not wheelchair friendly) so how great to be able to live it vichariously. Your description is so vivid I closed my eyes and it was like I was right there with you. What a fantastic experience. Thank you for sharing x

    • Charly Dove January 7, 2014 at 1:13 pm

      Thank you – I’m glad you enjoyed it πŸ™‚

  • liska January 6, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    Slide down a waterfall backwards – oh dear God *gulps*.
    Stunning photo
    xx

    • Charly Dove January 7, 2014 at 1:19 pm

      Hehe – it was scary but only because it was dark I think. The actual waterfall wasn’t very big at all πŸ™‚

  • Mummy of Two January 6, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    You really have visited some amazing places – what a great photo!

    • Charly Dove January 7, 2014 at 1:19 pm

      Thank you – can’t take credit for the photo on this occasion πŸ™‚

  • Lori January 6, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Wow this sounds amazing! Definitely a one for the wanderlust list. x

    • Charly Dove January 7, 2014 at 1:20 pm

      Do pop NZ on there Lori, we’ve only seen some of North Island but it’s an amazing country πŸ™‚

  • Notmyyearoff January 6, 2014 at 7:42 pm

    Wow that looks absolutely amazing! My friend is visiting there soon, I’m going to tell her about this!

    • Charly Dove January 7, 2014 at 1:20 pm

      Oh you must Tas – if they’re going to North Island πŸ™‚

  • amanda walsh January 6, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    They look amazing

    • Charly Dove January 7, 2014 at 1:20 pm

      Thank you Amanda πŸ™‚

  • Kara January 6, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    New Zealand is top of my list for dream holidays and I love caves! Beautiful photo, you make me want to leave the UK and go now

    • Charly Dove January 7, 2014 at 1:21 pm

      Good call that is Kara – amazing country and the people are wonderful πŸ™‚

  • mellissa williams January 6, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Rather you than me! I’d be scared!

    • Charly Dove January 7, 2014 at 1:22 pm

      I’m sure you wouldn’t Melissa – I think you’re less scared when with others. There’s pride at stake!

  • LauraCYMFT January 6, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    Sounds amazing although I’m not a fan of dark places underground!

    • Charly Dove January 7, 2014 at 1:22 pm

      It really was albeit a bit scary at times, it was pretty magical too πŸ™‚

  • Cass@frugalfamily January 6, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    That looks amazing 0 how lucky to have been there x

    • Charly Dove January 7, 2014 at 1:22 pm

      Thank you Cass πŸ™‚

  • Jetta January 6, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    That sounds so amazing and fun. I used to teach caving (in a manmade cave) at a kids camp. I loved it! xx

    • Charly Dove January 7, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      How amazing to have taught caving, you’d love it here too πŸ™‚

  • Jenny January 6, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    Sounds like an incredible experience.

    • Charly Dove January 7, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      It really was Jenny – one to remember anyway πŸ™‚

  • Mary @over40andamumtoone January 6, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    Wow, I would never have been able to do that – amazing experience

    • Charly Dove January 7, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      Hehe I think you would – amazing though yes πŸ™‚

  • Katie January 6, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    What an adventure!

    • Charly Dove January 7, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      Really was Katie πŸ™‚

  • Vaidehi @vaichin January 6, 2014 at 11:25 pm

    That looks spectacular. What an adventure it must have been!

    • Charly Dove January 7, 2014 at 1:24 pm

      It so was Vaidehi – would love to go back one day πŸ™‚

  • Emily @amummytoo January 6, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    Wow I love your description – it reminds me of the old text adventures of the 80s with the super cool descriptions of mysterious caves πŸ˜‰

    • Charly Dove January 7, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      What a wonderful thought – thank you Emily πŸ™‚

  • Hellie's Corner January 7, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Wow, what a brilliant photo and a great adventure πŸ™‚

    • Charly Dove January 7, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      Thank you very much πŸ™‚

  • Kizzy January 7, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Wow what an amazing experience and stunning image

    • Charly Dove January 7, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      It really was fabulous Kizzy – seems like such a long time ago now πŸ™‚

  • oana79 January 7, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    I would most definitely been terrified, I don’t particularly like dark and damp places. But they look amazing!

    • Charly Dove January 10, 2014 at 9:03 am

      Thank you very much – I’m sure you’d love it once you got used to the dark πŸ™‚

  • hannah clementson January 7, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    This is amazing. Just wow!

    • Charly Dove January 10, 2014 at 9:04 am

      Thank you – it really was fabulous πŸ™‚

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