Thursday, March 22, 2012

Waitomo Glow Worm Cave, New Zealand

 Its always very fun to talk about New Zealand Ex-Tavel-Ganzer. This island is very beautifull with so many the miracle of nature over there such as Lake Taupo and also Mildford sound you will aware immediately that this country is very unbelieveable. You must realize how  this country is very blessed with so many nature “talent”. I can imagine what else we can found in New Zealand but today lets enjoy our travel first exploring the beautifull cave with such a extraordinary glow. Thats the secret you must reveale to the world.
Waitomo Glow Worm Cave, New Zealand
 The Waitomo Glowworm Cave is located in the Waikato region of New Zealand's North Island. It is part of the Waitomo Caves system, which includes Ruakuri Cave and Aranui Cave. As the name suggests, the cave serves as the home to glowworms, specifically Arachnocampa luminosa, which are a type of fungus gnat species that glow in their larval stage. Because it was underwater 30 million years ago, the cave is made from limestone composed of fossilized shells, skeletons and coral.
Waitomo Glow Worm Cave, New Zealand
 The glow worm is a catch-all name for the bioluminescent larvae of various species. The larvae of the beetle fireflies (Lampyridae), beetle larvae (Phengodidae), and of Arachnocampa, a type of fungus gnat all bioluminecse. It is these fungas gnats that can be found in massive numbers in Waitomo caves. The fungus gnat larvae cling to rock walls and hunt with long strings of sticky mucus. When seen in large groups they are truly astounding.
A glowworm is the larvae stage in the lifecycle of a two-winged insect. It grows as long as a matchstick and looks a bit like a maggot. There are many different types of glowworm. The one we have in New Zealand is arachnocampa luminosa. 'Arachno' means spider-like, which refers to the way glowworms catch flying insects like spiders do. 'Campa' means larva and 'luminosa' means light-producing.
Waitomo Glow Worm Cave, New Zealand
 A glowworm uses its glow to attract food and to burn off its waste. It's tail glows because of bioluminescence, which is a reaction between the chemicals given off by the glowworm and the oxygen in the air. This chemical reaction produces light, which the glowworm can control by reducing the oxygen to the light organ. Insects fly towards the light and get stuck in the sticky lines that the glowworm hangs down to catch food. Glowworms also use their glow to put other creatures off eating them.
Glowworms can survive only in very damp, dark places where their light can be seen. They need a ceiling that is fairly much horizontal from which they can hang their sticky feeding lines, and a sheltered place where wind does not dry them out or tangle their lines. The Waitomo Glowworm Caves provide a perfect environment with an abundance of insects brought into the cave via the river.
Waitomo Glow Worm Cave, New Zealand
 Waitomo is a Maori word made up of two parts. 'Wai' which translates as water and 'tomo' which means entrance or hole. Waitomo can be translated as the 'stream which flows into the hole in the ground'. This meaning is reflected through its fantastic geological history and landscape, however it also has a rich tourism and cultural history. As a region it is one of New Zealand's original tourist destinations.
Waitomo Glow Worm Cave, New Zealand

The Waitomo Glowworm Caves were first explored in 1887 by local Maori Chief Tane Tinorau accompanied by an English surveyor Fred Mace. Local Maori people knew of the Caves existence, but the subterranean caverns had never been extensively explored until Fred and Tane went to investigate. They built a raft of flax stems and with candles as their only lighting, floated into the cave where the stream goes underground.
 As they entered the caves, their first discovery was the Glowworm Grotto with its myriad of tiny bright lights dotting the cave ceiling. As their eyes adjusted to the darkness, they saw a multitude of lights reflecting off the water. Looking up, they discovered that the ceilings were dotted with the lights of thousands of glowworms. Debris and logs littered the waterway, but by poling themselves toward the embankment they were able to leave the raft and explore the lower levels of the cave. Here they found themselves surrounded by the glorious cave decorations.
Waitomo Glow Worm Cave, New Zealand
 Jubilant at their discovery, they returned many times to explore further, and on an independent trip Chief Tane discovered the upper level of the cave and an easier access. Only after many subsequent visits did they discover an entry point on land. This is the same entry point used today by thousands of visitors annually. By 1889 Tane Tinorau had opened the cave to tourists. Visitor numbers soared and Chief Tane and his wife Huti escorted groups through the cave for a small fee. In 1906 the administration of the cave was taken over by the government.
The Waitomo District, encompassing the main town and service centre of Te Kuiti and the townships of Waitomo, Mokau, PioPio, Awakino, Marokapa and Benneydale amongst others, is home to around 9,700 people. The prosperous local economy is built around tourism, farming, mining and forestry.
Waitomo Glow Worm Cave, New Zealand
 Waitomo is amongst New Zealand's most tranquil areas, with one of the country's lowest population densities of just 2.7 people per square kilometre compared to the national average of 14.1.
This relative solitude makes the Waitomo District a wonderful place to spread one's wings and shake off everyday urban frustrations. Whether your recreational interests extend to the wildly adventurous or just the ever-so-gently relaxing, a visit to Waitomo will leave you feeling refreshed and very much alive.
Waitomo Glow Worm Cave, New Zealand
 The guided tour through the Waitomo Glowworm Caves brings the visitor through three different levels and begins at the top level of the cave and the Catacombs. The levels are linked by the Tomo, which is a 16 m vertical shaft made of limestone. The second level is called the Banquet Chamber. This level is where early visitors stopped to eat and there is evidence of this in the smoke on the ceiling of the chamber. From here it may be possible to link back to the upper level to see the largest formation called the Pipe Organ but on busy days this area is closed to the public because the build-up of carbon monoxide may be hazardous.
The third and final level goes down into the Cathedral, demonstration platform, and the jetty. The Cathedral is an enclosed area with rough surfaces and is about 18 m high, giving it good acoustics. A number of famous singers and choirs have performed here including Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. 
Waitomo Glow Worm Cave, New Zealand

The tour concludes with a boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto. The boat takes the visitor onto the underground Waitomo River where the only light comes from the tiny glowworms creating a sky of living lights.

How To Get To The Waitomo Glow Worm Cave

Waitomo is situated within easy reach of the North Island of New Zealand's main centres.
Hamilton, the heart of New Zealand's dairy farming industry, is the nearest major city lying just 1 hours drive away. New Zealand's largest city Auckland is around 2½ hours (200km) driving distance and the holiday playgrounds of Taupo, Rotorua and Mount Ruapehu are a mere 2 hours from Waitomo.
Depending upon your personal circumstances and preferences, you can choose to travel by private car, self-drive hire car, motorhome or coach.
The Waitomo Glowworm Caves are located in the southern Waikato region of the North Island of New Zealand, 12 km northwest of Te Kuiti. This cave is about 2 hours south of Auckland, 1 hour south of Hamilton, and 2 hours west of Rotorua by car. The directions to the Caves are to exit State Highway 3 onto Waitomo Caves Road and to continue on the road for about 8 km.


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