Day 2 began rested and ready to go. Auckland is a fine city but that’s exactly what it is. Let’s go explore. Steve walked the
3000 blocks to get the rental car while I waited in the hotel lobby. Someone had to guard the bags right? Armed with paper google maps (because my super smart friends reminded me that I wont have a GPS) we are driving today to Waitomo to visit the Glow worm caves. It’s about a 2 hour drive winding through the beautiful countryside. The average speed limit is 80-100km
We even saw one of these!
Māori are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand. The Waitomo glow worm caves were discovered by the Māori chief. He owned the property and discovered the caves. Photographs were strictly prohibited in the caves but what a gift it was to see this spectacular creation. Here is a picture of the boat we rode in to see the section of the caves where the glow worms live. Glow worms are 2 inch worms that hang from top of cave. Saliva called “fishing line” hangs from their mouth to catch food. The life expectancy of a glow worm is 11 months. Their final is adult which is a mosquito like fly. They only will live 2-3 days as an adult. They have no mouth so they cannot eat but mostly they get tangled in the fishing lines of the hanging glow worms and are eaten by their children and grandchildren. They glow from their bottom like a fire fly. One glow worm would put out less light than a firefly but when there are thousands upon thousands in one place, it is spectacular. During the boat ride, there is absolute silence.
Prior to the boat right we walked through the caves. The caves are made of limestone. There were enormous stalactite which grow 1 cm every 100 years. According to studies, as long as there are trees and rain above the caves they will continue to grow.
While we were on the walking tour, there is a section of the cave called the cathedral. The group ahead of us were Korean men. All of a sudden, there were approximately 50 men singing. I have no idea what they were singing, but to stop and listen was a highlight of the tour. It was amazing.
After the cave tour, we took a hike up to the Waitomo Viewing Point.