Tuesday, March 13, 2001

Mar 13 - Waitomo

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This morning we drove to see the world famous Glowworm Caves near Waitomo. The glow worms are small bugs that stick to the roof of the cave and are bioluminescent. They have a faint green glow. When there are thousands of them in a dark cave the effect is quiet amazing.

We first did a small hike through the forest. You can see the catwalk in the upper right of the picture below.

13-010-Catwalk 13-030-Pool

The main glowworm cave is a huge tourist attraction. Large numbers of buses take people on day trips down here from Auckland. Very few people actually stay in the area. All the tours that day were full so we booked one for tomorrow afternoon.

There was another cave, called Aranui, in the area that the guide book said was a must see but it is overshadowed by the main cave. You pay a small free and a park guide takes you on a tour. There were only two other people on our tour.

13-040-Aranui Entrance 

In the picture below you can see where the stalactites have been broken off by vandals in the past.

13-060-Broken Stalactites 13-080-Jail13-090-Cascade 13-120-Jagged 13-100-Cathedral 

This large room at the end was very impressive. Since the place was not busy we could stay as long as we wanted.13-140-Amazing13-150-Steep Stairs

That night we played on the trampoline at the campground.

13-200-High Flyer13-210-A Star is Born

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