A glowing adventure

Here in Waitomo is a well known glowworm cave and as a good tourist you really need to visit this place. I was torn between booking the typical stuff which is a boat ride or doing a raft in your own tube which is more expensive but worth it as everyone told me.

So looking for a good deal I found another opportunity to explore the cave: a 3 hours hike! That’s so me so I booked it and 2 days later I experienced the most beautiful thing so far here in New Zealand.

Arriving at the cave I learned that this Glowing Adventure company exist for 11 months. It is owned by a family who owns the land where part of the cave is underneath and our guide is a man who was born and raised here in Waitomo and comes to the caves since he was 5 years old.

We are only 6 people and first thing to do: changing clothes because we will be wet! I am wearing pants and shirts with stripes, a fleece, shorts and gum boots. Looking hilarious we are having the first laughs together which is good for warming up and becoming friends with each other.

The path to the cave is muddy due to all the rain and the river, which flows through the caves, is high so we are expecting water till knees or worst case hips! 



Entering the cave with just 10 degrees is an awesome feeling. We are going through the river and due to the fact that I am the shortest one, my gum boots are full with water within the first 10 minutes. But it is what it is being a real explorer you need to take it 😉




Hiking above rocks, through small holes and being in the water the whole time is a good feeling and everything around you is dark. Only the lights of the helmets are shining and guiding us the way. 

Entering the first cave and turning off the lights and facing hundreds of glowworms. WOW how beautiful. 

Ok great let’s heat back! Heith, our guide is laughing because we need to make our way to two other caves. 

Arriving at the second cave it is the first time that we are out of the water and turning off the light we don’t see a single thing. Nothing except of darkness. That’s the thing with the worms, they are just there where a river is so we need to be in the river for seeing them and their lights.

While hiking through the cave we are passing a lot of stalactites- 1 cm grows in 100 years so we need to be careful with touching. The ground is slippery but we do have an eye on each other and due to the fact that the river water reached the level of my hips twice, I am going in the middle of the group because Heith is a bit afraid to lose me 😉
This world down here is breathtaking. The colors, the temperature, the texture and the landscape – everything so different compared to the outside. I am freezing a bit and can’t feel my feets anymore but I am not a pussy, I am a real explorer down here with my helmet and my gum boots so I am not telling the others that it’s fu***** cold 😀

And then we finally arrived at the biggest cave. We are turning off the lights once again and there it is – thousands of green shining glow worms above us and only the sound of the river is with us. Sitting there in the darkness and being owned by the cave is a feeling that I will never forget. Peaceful, quiet and overwhelming and all these worms above us. It is like facing a beautiful sky with millions of stars and in fact one part is looking exactly like the milky way! 


With every minute passing my I am able to see more lights because my eyes are adapting to the darkness. How beautiful can a place be? It is amazing that these caves own such a beauty and I haven’t expected that. Wow, wow, wow and once more tears come up and I am just thankful for the moment, for this group and this cave and all the glow worms which are sharing their lights with us.

A glow worm lives for 9 months and uses the light to attract mosquitos and flys as food. After these 9 months as a worm it becomes a fly. The price for the wings is the loss of its mouth. So the fly only survives for 3 days and leaves 100 eggs behind. Only the first worm will survive because he will eat the other eggs as breakfast. “Being first or being breakfast”, as Heith told us 😉
A strange circle not life, isn’t it?
Another beautiful day, another impressive adventure and once more tears of happiness in a cave deep down under the earth.
Back at the office we had cookies, hot tea and a hot shower and I can tell you one thing: if you want to experience the glow worms in a unique way with less tourists than do it with Glowing adventures. My ice cold feed were so worth it and I will never forget the feeling of sitting in this cave and facing all this lights sparkling above me.

Yours Kristin 

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