New Zealand Travel Blog: Part 9
Once I reached the waiting area before the entrance to the Glowworm caves in Waitomo, I lined up and waited with my group to enter the caves. There was a slight delay because the group before us had to finish before we entered.
The tour guides, all of them, looked like students but they all knew their stuff and were very well organised. After waiting about 20 minutes, it was our turn to enter the caves. What made me unhappy was that no sort of photo or video was allowed inside the caves. Not even without flash or with a video camera. They were selling their own high-priced photos inside, which I decided to not take advantage of.
The caves were cold and dark. There were lights to see the whole place and it was divided into sections. The ceilings were wet and the walls had water or moisture dripping. The limestone pillars and columns were wet too and their weird straight, bent, or twisted shapes felt like miracles of nature.
It felt unreal to see something that nature created in 30 million years, but could be broken by humans in seconds. And in many parts in the world, sites like these are not well preserved and humans are always destroying them.
To see the glowing of the caves, all lights had to be turned off and then another miracle unfolded. It felt like thousands of tiny lamps placed inside these rocks making them glow. The luminescent light these worms radiate is really fascinating.
We moved further underground where there was a jetty-like platform and there were cables and boats to ride and watch the glow from an even closer angle. While riding the boat on the underground Waitomo River, it felt like I was looking at a sky of living lights created by these tiny glowworms.
Tour guides used cables to hold and push the boat forward very slowly. The boat ride was not too long, but the experience was full of excitement and it felt like everyone forgot to breathe while trying to grasp the beauty of nature.
Once we made it to the meeting point outside, we went back to our tour bus. There was still about 15 minutes before the bus left for Auckland, so I took this opportunity to shoot some videos and pictures in front of the reception area.
This was the last item on the itinerary for that day. I will be heading back to Auckland from here, which will be approximately 2.5 to 3 hours on the tour coach.