Glow Little Glow Worm
Trip Start Dec 01, 2009
42Trip End Ongoing
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The Waitomo Caves are a network of twisting subterranean limestone caverns. They are also home to the Glow Worms, which are unique to New Zealand and Australia. Our group had a young couple from Germany and an older couple from the Netherlands. The dutch man was our favorite, as he sang the whole way, and the soundtrack changed depending on what stage of the trip we were on.
We put on our hot caving outfits, complete with wet suits, rubber boots, helmets and leggings and headed off
Once inside the cave, we were knee deep in freezing cold water. Luckily, our wetsuits kept us warm enough. We were all given tubes, and then we set off into the darkness. Floating down the river, we turned our headlamps off and the cave was illuminated by thousands of tiny glowworms. The Glow Worms are the larvae of a fly. They glow to attract their food, and trap their prey by hanging "mucous hammocks" (tiny sticky strings) below them.
We also got to try out spelunking techniques like squeezes, which is contorting your body into extremely small spaces. We pulled ourselves laying down through tight crawlspaces, and flattened ourselves against walls. We also tubed through the deep parts of the cave in the darkness. After 3 hours we made our way back to where we had entered the cave, and rock climbed out.