New Zealand: Waitomo and Glow Worms

By Cubie - February 02, 2018

Inside Ruakuri Cave
I first saw glow worms in Gold Coast, at the Glow Worm Caves Tamborine Mountain. That was many years ago, photography was not permitted.

I think everybody who made a stop at Waitomo would have included a visit to the glow worm cave. You can visit up to 3 different caves - Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Ruakuri Cave and Aranui Cave but glow worms is not available at Aranui Cave.

Ignore those legs reflection...
For the more adventurous, you can try Black Water Rafting which is water rafting in the dark which I heard also include jump starting with rafting off waterfall or something. I think my heart is not that strong for this activity. This page on their website gave a good table summary. We did the Glowworm Cave and Ruakuri Cave. Photography also not permitted in the Glowworm Cave but allowable in Ruakuri Cave. We were allowed a small bag and we had backpack which were told to carry as front pack so that we don't accidentally rub or knock against the walls.

The highlight of Glowworm Cave was definitely the boat ride. The glow worms were all across the roof of the cave, it also feel like sky full of stars (try not to think that those are worms...). Aside from that, I personally enjoyed the Ruakuri Cave better, maybe the guide was more engaging and makes it more interesting.

Entrance down to the Ruakuri Cave
In both guided tours we went (Waitomo Glowworm Cave and Ruakuri Cave) the guide talked of how glowworms attract other insects with their light and trap them in threads for a tasty meal.

The said threads...

No pictures of the glowworms though because no tripod to take amazing photos and limited time to set it up even if I do have one.

Here are some structures in the caves, this was said to be resemble a curtain, or if you are more familiar with chips, does it look like a piece of Grain waves chip?

While this one here said to look like cauliflower.

Our visit to the Waitomo Glowworm Cave was actually on Christmas Day itself and Ruakuri Cave on Boxing Day. We overnight at Waitomo Caves Hotel which on their website described that it provides a taste of the early 19th century. Totally described it to a T and it did look majestic when one was approaching in a car. The rooms gave a similar feel as well... umm, let's say I won't recommend this one either. 

Moving on, after we completed the Waitomo Glowworms Cave, Little P and Y went back to their room for a rest while MMC and I decided to visit the cows at the farm down the room.

I told my friend that the cows looked a bit hostile, he replied me, "I would be too if some farmer wanted to milk me every morning." Makes perfect sense :P

After that, it was time for food again. As it was a Christmas Day, Little P had pre-book dinner at Roselands Restaurant Waitomo for a barbeque buffet dinner, NZD 36. We were given a protein choice of sirloin steak, chicken or NZ greenlip mussels in sweet chilli sauce. The protein is not part of exactly part of buffet as it was only served once but there were other mains as part of the spread. Y and MMC chose the steak, Little P had the chicken and I chose the mussels.

Lonely steak on a big plate
This was where the main buffet, some pasta, rice, salad and vegetables.

My first round of main buffet spread
There was a separate dessert table of fruits, cookies and cake. 

This is round 1 of dessert, washed down with coffee while we played monopoly cards. I think we were all still pretty clueless by the end of it except Little P who tried very hard to explain to us how to play the game to us, even though we played 3 rounds.

 We left before it gets too dark, the road leading to the restaurant was quite a winding one.

We had breakfast at the hotel the next day. The name of the restaurant was inline with our sea life theme - The Lazy Trout.

MMC had pancakes from the ala carte menu, NZD 16

I was greedier, I had the continental breakfast buffet, NZD 14. I thought the price for breakfast is pretty good.

Side note: There were a lot of chocolates with hokey pokey flavour in NZ. Hokey pokey is classic NZ honeycomb toffee made with golden syrup, butter and baking soda. 

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  1. Whoa! That's a great photo of an impressive cave!

    And looks like a great steak as well!

    1. plus many blur ones :|

      Yes - the steak was good, I had food envy when I got my mussels. Ha