Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Waitomo Caves


The family inside Ruakuri Cave.

Today we went to Waitomo Caves to see the glow worms, stalactites and stalagmites. I do have to mention that on our way to the Caves we stopped in a small little village on the way to have an Original Kiwi Pie. Now I have had meat pies in my life, but I had the best chicken pie I have ever had! The crust was flaky and light and the chicken filling was extremely tasty.

We had a nice day at Waitomo Caves. We opted for the two cave package of the Glowworm Cave and Raukuri Cave. There are so many things that you can actually do at Waitomo Caves, but it is definitely for people who are more adveturous (than me anyway) and someone with adveturous older kids (10 & up). You can do everything including caving, black water rafting, abseiling, and much more. The Glow Worm Cave was a 45 minute tour with a 10 minute boat ride out of the cave. We were able to see thousands of glow worms. It was a cool thing to do around Christmas because it looks like the cave is lit up with thousands of Christmas lights.

The second cave was a longer tour of Raukuri Cave which included a close up look at the Glow Worms along with amazing stalagtite and stalagmite formations. Here are a few pictures of our day.


A column, when a stalagtite and stalagmite join together.


One interesting fact was that it takes 300 years for a stalagtite to grow one cubic inch!


This is how they grow. There are minerals in the water which cling to the existing formation.


I thought these stalagtites were the most beautiful. They reminded me of icicles and what a better place to see icicles than at Christmas in a country where it is summer!


Here are the fishing lines (as our guide called them) of the Glow Worm Larvae. This how they catch their food.

glow worm_1

Glow Worm hanging from the rock formation.

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