Day 10: Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Itinerary for Day 10/31 was: New Plymouth > Waitomo Glowworm Caves > Hamilton

Somewhere along the State Highway 3, we spotted this signage that says The Three Sisters, the explorer in us decided to follow the road sign to find out what The Three Sisters are! We followed the road sign and got onto Clifton Road without actually knowing what The Three Sisters are.. 

(via Clifton Road) 

But we didn't manage to reach to The Three Sisters due to the slippery river bed.. 

(via Pilot Road) 

Of course, that didn't stop us from finding out what The Three Sisters are! So we drove a little down to Pilot Road then shamelessly asked for permission to get behind the small gate and had an aha moment!

Aha! All that little effort paid off, presenting to you The Three Sisters

I did a little research later and realised the one further to the back is call the Elephant Rock and The Three Sisters are the two natural rock formations in front. As the name suggests, The Three Sisters used to have three of the different rock formations. Like what's happening to The Twelve Apostles in Australia, the nature has claimed one of them away.. 

You know you've reached your destination when you see the big i-Site sign! Even if you are lost somehow, stop your car and pop in there for help. I wrote a teeny bit about i-Site in my one of my previous posts: Day 09: Whanganui (Part 1)!

We had fluffy pancakes and seafood pizza for lunch at the little cafe, NZ$28.50. 

Glowworm caves in Waitomo is one of the 27 Surreal Places to Visit Before You Die. So glad that we didn't visit just one but two glowworm caves! Each of the caves is a different experience altogether. #NZmustDO 

What exactly are glowworms? As its name suggests, it's worms that will glow and in my own words, glowworms are the cousin of firefly – bioluminescent insects. Imagine thousands of them illuminating the caves, the view is just magnificent. Who doesn't love looking up to a countless of twinkle stars! 

Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Admission fees was at NZ$48 per adult. It's an educational 20 minutes guided tour with a short walk (to introduce about the caves formation, fascinating myth and legends, how the cave was discovered) then and a short boat ride to where the glowworms are! Shady protected places + high humidity = home for the glowworms. 

Under the same management, there are two more caves – Ruakuri Cave (NZ$69) and Aranui Cave (NZ$49). Bundle packages are available for the three caves. There are no two identical natural caves, they are unique and have its own characteristics. Visit the caves to appreciate their individual beauty. 

Since we aren't allowed to take any photos inside the caves, we bought the green-screen photos. A rather unusual touristy act of us! Damage: NZ$39 comes with a nice booklet that hold the photos and information of the caves and glowworms. 

Footwhistle Glowworm Cave - CaveWorld Waitomo

As opposed to the commercialised one, if you are a photo addict like us, you should opt for the Footwhistle Glowworm Cave tour with just a dollar more in the admission fee at NZ$49 per adult. 

Since we were the last pair of the tour, our tour guide was almost like our personal tour guide! He was so friendly and passionate about what he had to share. Not forgetting, waited patiently for us as we stopped at every corner hoping to capture the best of the caves and the glowworms. 

Did I mention the cave is pitch-dark? 

He spotted Duffyzai and brought him out for me for a photo too! 

These sword look-alike are known as stalactites (grow down from the ceiling) and stalagmites (grow up from the cave floor), created by water dripping from the roof. They takes hundreds of years to form with an average of one cubic centimetre every 100 years! There is also a name for the formation when stalactites and stalagmites join together, known as helicti

Lifecycle of Glowworms
  1. Lifespan of about 11 months 
  2. 4 stages of lifecycle: (i) eggs, (ii) larva (young larvae are the ones that emit lights, they put down sticky lines to attract other insects to stick on it and feed themselves on these trapped insects), (iii) pupa (same as the cocoon stage in the butterfly life cycle), (iv) adult (looks like mosquito, have no mouth with the only function of reproduction and they only live for a few days!)  
The cave is named after this  Footwhistle 
..and finally ended the day at Hamilton City Holiday Park after yet another round of grocery shopping! Everyday is shopping day at PakNSave. 

Overview of our driving route of the day! 

Information you might be interested in:

The Three Sisters and The Elephant Rock

Waitomo Glowworm Caves
39 Waitomo Caves Rd
Waitomo Caves
Otorohanga 3943, New Zealand 

Footwhitstle Glow Worm Tour - CaveWorld Waitomo
23 Waitomo Village Rd
Waitomo Caves 

No comments:

Post a Comment

We would love to hear from you!