The Waitomo region is located midway between Auckland and Rotorua and one of the top attractions here is the Waitamo Glowworm Caves. The Waitomo caves are one of New Zealand tourist icons and are an amazing display of glow worm caves and River Rafting.. They were discovered in 1887 by a local Maori chief Tane Tinorau and an English surveyor called Fred Mace.
Using a raft, Tane and Fred floated into the caves and were amazed when they drifted into the now famous Glowworm Grotto. Later chief Tane found the entry point on land, the one that is still used today.
For more than 100 years Waitomo caves has been a top attraction for millions of people from all over the world. Tours are available that will take you through the long galleries and chambers of the caves filled with Speleothems, these formations results from the thousands of years of water dripping through the cave. As the water drifts through the cave root it leaves a tiny deposit of limestone which eventually builds up to form stalactite and when it lands it also grows up to form stalagmites. The highlight of visiting Waitomo caves is an unforgettable boat ride through the Glowworm Grotto illuminated by thousands of tiny living lights. It’s a surreal experience floating silently through the darkness with its ceilings twinkle with the lights of thousands of glowworms. The glowworms are actually the larvae of a type of insect and they emit light to attract food.
A lot of the limestone caves are also used for adventure activities such as black-water rafting and abseiling.