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Waitomo Cave

Waitomo Cave

On Tuesday (January 22nd), I left Auckland and made my way south toward the Waitomo Glow Worm caverns. Go ahead and laugh, but this was on my top 5 list of things to see in New Zealand. Many people had recommended seeing this attraction and I decided I wanted to find out why.  

I left Auckland after rush hour – I was still learning how to drive on the left side of the road – to avoid the worst of the traffic. Other than Gillian backing out my car of her extremely narrow driveway (I sense laughter again, but you’re not paying the $2500 insurance deductible), I did really well during the 2.5 hour drive.

So, I arrived at a little bit after 12 noon, bought my tour ticket and waited for our guide to show up. After a few minutes, she appeaared and went through a few rules, including the prohibition of taking pictures inside the cave. Huh? I paid $48 dollars to not only see a glow worm, but also thought I would be able to record the event. No way Jose according to the lady leading the way. Apparently, too much light and CO gas from us humans is harmful to the worms.

Area outside the caves

Area outside the caves

So we entered the cave and I was immediately captivated by the wonderful stalactites and stalagmites which were everywhere in the cavern. We walked for 10-15 minutes but didn’t see very many glow worms, primarily because they had lights on everywhere we walked  .  .  .  Then we came to this large cathedral like room and she turned out the lights. It wasl almost as if I was staring up at the night sky – thousands of small stars shining their light upon us. Everyone just stared , silent and in awe.  Then the tour guide asked a weird question or so it seemed at the time, “Would anyone like to sing a song?” No one said a word or sang for that matter. Then yours’ truly, belted out Zippity Doo Dah from “Song of the South.” Ha.

I think I upset everyone’s sensibilites for a bit, then everyone laughed and applauded. Not too much to add after that. We did transfer to a small row boat and the remainder of the tour was done in this manner. In my opinion, this tour was well worth the $48 they charged.

Tropical fauna near caves

Tropical fauna near caves

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