Here’s a news flash for those who didn’t know: even in early winter, it’s d*mn cold in New Zealand. Not subzero cold, but that rainy, wet cold that you just can’t shake because most of the lodgings are designed for summer living. Think no insulation and small heaters.
Nevertheless, there are beautiful aspects to every country in every season, as I’ll show you in the next few days! Here are the photos of the day from June 12th in Waitomo. I would have taken more, but I had to do a bunch of errands in Auckland, then find a rental car and travel a few hundred km.
Here’s the view from Waitomo Caves B&B, a nice (and affordable!) place I’d highly recommend. Colin & Janet are very friendly, give great advice on the area’s attractions, and make fantastic chocolate cookies (a.k.a. “biscuits” down here).
The rain didn’t afford me great photography options today. But I did get this long-exposure shots of glowworms up close in the Ruakuri area, at the (free!) bushwalk, in the natural cave. These glowworms are lighting up the cave ceiling around them with natural bio-luminescent light:
Glowworms are quite amazing. They hatch, and then suspend small sticky strands down from the ceiling to catch flying insects. As flies hatch from the rivers below, they try to wing their way up to the sky, but get confused by the profusion of glowworms on the cave ceiling.
Many flies end their lives trapped on the worms’ silken strands, as dinner by bioluminescent-glow. Eventually the glowworms mature and cocoon, emerging as a fly that lives only a few days because it has no mouth with which to eat. The adult glowworm flies mate, lay eggs, and die.
I’ll have a lot more photos of glowworms in the next few days, including some truly amazing shots that I got with the help of Paul, the caving guide at Green Glow Eco-Adventures!