New Zealand Travel Blog: Part 8
From Te Puia to Waitomo is about a 1 hour-50 minute drive. I was watching the scenery pass by out the window from the tour bus and the natural beauty of New Zealand felt like I was watching something from a movie. Sometimes I felt like I was having a dream because everything can’t be so unimaginably beautiful.
The Waitomo Glowworm Caves are located in Waitomo District, Waikato Region, North Island. If you are visiting New Zealand, these caves should be one of the must-see spots.
These caves glow because of a kind of glow warm called Arachnocampa luminosa. These glowing worms are unique to New Zealand and their luminescent light is what makes the caves glow. These caves are underground and connected to the Waitomo River.
The Waitomo Glowworm Caves withstand the test of time. It took 30 million years of geological and volcanic activity to create these caves. The limestone formation started when the area was under water 30 million years ago.
The limestone is made of small marine organisms, seashells, fish and other sea animal skeletons, corals, and much more. Over millions of years, the fossilized rocks layered and compressed to create the Waitomo region.
Earth movement and sea level rise formed these caves. Air exposure and seabed movement caused cracks in the limestone, allowing water to flow through them and forming the caves slowly over time.
Also, water dripping from the ceiling and dripping over the wall caused limestone to form something like pillars and columns. These pillars can be straight, bent, twisted around each other and so many other peculiar shapes that it’s hard to believe they can all be created by earth and ocean elements without human intervention.