Go NZ travel: A family weekend visiting the Waitomo Glow Worm caves

When I think of Waitomo, I remember the one glow worm cave we all went to as kids when relatives visited from overseas. I had no idea there were more than 300 limestone calcified cathedrals of varying sizes and shapes running labyrinth-style under farms, properties and public spaces all around the region. For me, this was mind blowing.

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For nostalgia’s sake, I wanted to go back to that original tourist cave to show our kids, and I’m happy to report (unlike many childhood experiences relived as an adult) it was even more enchanting than we remember. Wandering between giant limestone columns, stalactites and stalagmites and descending to the boat in darkness, it was hard not to be wowed by this natural wonder which was formed more than 30 million years ago.

I loved that the guide made us all stay quiet as we drifted through the underground passage; there’s a fine art to getting large groups to experience a true sense of wonder but the enforced silence made us feel like the only people in the place. Our boys even paused their usual scrapping to absorb the magic of gliding silently through the tunnel of twinkling bio luminescence.

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