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Battling it out against some of the most picturesque places in the world, New Zealand’s Waitomo Glowworm Caves has made Pinterest’s Top 10 Pinned Destinations for 2016.
In the company of stunning waterfalls and breath-taking sheer cliffs, what it is about Waitomo that makes this underground wonder such an inspiring and popular destination to visit? The star of the show at Waitomo is no doubt the sparkling emerald coloured light radiating from the glow worms. Through this they form the luminous galaxy that the New Zealand caves are famous for.
Deconstruct this enchanting phenomena and you’ll find the glow worms are actually thousands of Arachnocampa lumniosa larvae. Found only in New Zealand these larvae live on the ceiling of the cave, using their sparkling glow to attract prey into their sticky filaments. A tour through the caves includes the world famous boat ride and gliding down the cave’s river in complete darkness reveals in full effect the spectacular, outer-space like constellation created by the thousands of glow worms. It’s not only the glow worms that make this place so special.
From the moment you descend into Waitomo Glowworm Caves the unique beauty of the caves is apparent. No ordinary cave system, it is underground streams that have shaped the cave, carving out the limestone over thousands of years. During this time dripping water containing limestone crystals has formed the delicate and unusual stalactite and stalagmite layered rock formations. These line the path down to the largest chamber of the cave, the ‘limestone cathedral’. The size and formation of this space is incredible, resembling the interior of a cathedral in both size and structure. The domed shape of the ceiling providing fantastic acoustics, good enough even for New Zealander Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, the opera legend from our shores who once sung here.
Take the enrapturing galaxy of glow worms together with the highly unique and delicate limestone cave environment and it’s easy to understand how Waitomo holds its place within this prestigious rank of Top 10 Pinned Destinations.