Worms who glow, rushing water cascading down into dark caverns, a darker than dark cave, with an unworldly beautiful green glow shining down from the ceilings. That’s what you’ll see, and hear, when you visit the Glow Worm Caves of Te Anau, New Zealand.
A magical place that came with, for me, an eerily scary feel as you climb into your motor-less boat, trust your guide to keep a hold of the rope as he silently pulls you along the caves passage. Along this journey you listen to water rushing…. rushing where? You can’t see it, you just hear it… roaring somewhere in the utter darkness… causing you to wonder… if he (the guide) lets go, will we all tumble down some deep dark waterfall? But that’s my “control” side getting a hold of me. We stop, all is utterly still and quiet except the roaring of water. We turn around and that’s when I breathe deep, take my husband’s hand, and look up….
Wow! Just an oh my gosh WOW! Resembling thousands of small fiber optic light tubes the emerald “lights” emitting from the worms shine down from above us. There is just enough light that you may catch a glimpse of your fellow explorers craning their heads to look above at this extraordinary sight. We sit silently utterly amazed at this incredible sight. Rushing water is forgotten as we take in the other worldly glow above us.
Creation is a wondrous thing… these worms have been occupants of this cave for untold centuries, a Maori legend for years. In 1948 the cave was discovered by Lawson Burrows and has since become a major attraction for the area. The limestone caves that contain these magnificent creatures are still relatively young – 12,000 years – and are constantly being carved by the water that endlessly rushes through. All the while the little glow worm goes about his industrious day… dangling up to 70 sticky gooey fishing lines down from the ceiling hoping to entrap a clueless moth or flying insect who has been drawn by the green light above.
Since we could not take photos while in the caves all photos shown here are courtesy of NZ real Journeys – http://www.realjourneys.co.nz/Main/GlowwormCaves/ and were included in the package of photos we purchased.