Waitomo, on New Zealand’s North Island, is known mostly for its glowworms. This is one of the few places in the world where they exist and millions of visitors descend onto the village every year to walk through the dark caves and see the sparkly insects in person. For those looking for a more adventurous way to see the natural wonder, there’s nothing better than black water tubing through the underground cave system.
The adventure isn’t a lazy river by any means, the water can be rough at times and more than once I found myself jumping backwards off of small waterfalls. But it was fun – a lot of fun. We actually did get our lazy river at the end when the water calmed and we could all lounge back in the tubes and watch the millions of glowworms sparkle overhead like a biological universe of stars.
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Exploring the Waitomo Glowworm Caves
While there are many places in the world you can go caving, rappelling, and underground rafting, how many locations can also boast having millions of glowworms dangling above you while exploring?
The Waitomo Caves are famous in New Zealand for the unique beauty of twinkling neon blue glowworms that cover the roofs of the caves.
With different tours to chose from that suit every sort of adventurer, my favorite is the Black Abyss tour - 5 hours of underground rafting, rappelling, ziplining, climbing waterfalls and exploring the caves.
It's one thing to float serenely underneath the glowworms nice and dry in a boat, but it's another matter entirely to do it in a wetsuit covered in mud after climbing down a 115 foot hole in the ground.