Sunday, May 15, 2016

NZ Day 5 - Waitomo & Ruikuri Caves

Every day we had something interesting planned!
This day, we went to the Waitomo Glow-Worm caves.

Quick fact: there's no such thing as a glow WORM.  These "worms" are maggots - mosquito larvae!
Their phosphorescence is the way their bodies burn off waste (it's glowing maggot poop!)

In the morning, we discovered some strange things about our motel.

The door knob was very high, making Greg look like a Hobbit.

And the shower head was very LOW, making Greg look like a giant! 

Even I (5 inches shorter than Greg)
had trouble washing my hair. 

At one of the second-hand shops we visited in Hamilton, I bought this necklace.  It is a more feminine, more modern version of the kukui nut necklaces worn by the indigenous peoples of Fiji, Hawaii, Australia, and New Zealand.  I thought it looked wonderful with the stripes of this sweater, but it was a gift for my friend Jen, so I put it back in its bag! 

Here's a close-up: 

And here's the rest of my outfit.
jeans: Style & Co from Macy's
tank, socks, shoes, sweater: Target!

Some of the street and place names are wonderfully long and exciting!

And as we were winding through the hills around bendy roads, we saw this guy, out for a walk with his cow!  He was guiding the cow back home, it appeared. 

Bathrooms were labeled in Maori 
(it's a Polynesian language very similar to Hawaiian and Samoan): 

 The cave with the most glow-worms is Waitomo.
"Wai tomo" means "water hole" in Maori.

We also saw the Ruikuri cave.
"Rua kuri" means den of dogs (click here to find out why!)

We had our lunch before the tours because we had time and were hungry!
Everywhere had gluten-free and dairy-free offerings, but often they weren't the same food.
Thankfully, I had brought a snack as always! 

The picnic area was covered by a huge dome, but it wasn't enclosed.
It felt as if we were eating in a treehouse. 

There were a LOT of bees and wasps, and sadly, they loved my hair (shampoo that smells like lemons might be a bad idea if a person is trying to repel bees and wasps!)
I put my apple core on a plate left on a different table, and it worked like a charm to attract them away from me! 

Then it was time for the glow-worms! 

We weren't allowed to take photos or video of any kind in this cave to protect the glow-worms.
But this is a promotional photo that shows what they look like: 
from here

I like to be close to the guide in order to get the best information
and ask questions!

In the Ruakuri cave, we were allowed to TRY to take photos and videos, but of course, 
that was obviously difficult, since it was very dark!  We managed a couple in the lit areas of the caves: 

Here's a tour of our motel in Hamilton!

As a bonus today, here's how the crosswalks in New Zealand sound!
They're adorable!

Check back soon for the next chapter in our New Zealand saga!


  1. So excited to see these updates!! Looks like you are having a blast, miss your face<3 Melanie & Parker

  2. The high door knob and low shower head made me laugh. The glow worm info was more than I wanted to know :)