Caves have always been a unique thing to explore! History and travel adventure always gave a good amount of weightage. Waitomo Glowworm Caves, which is situated outside the main township of Waitomo on North Island side of New Zealand. The Waitomo Glowworm Caves is quite famous for a population of Glowworms which reside in the caves in sizeable amount. The word Waitomo comes from the Maori language, where the word ‘Wai’ means water and ‘tomo’ means sinkhole. The Caves are formed of Oligocene Limestone.
The Waitomo Glowworm Caves was first discovered in the year 1887, by Chief Tane Tinorau with surveyor Fred Mace. While, Local people of Maori knew about the existence of the cave, but the caves were not explored to this extend, until Tane and Fred set out for deeper investigation. Both planned and built a raft stems with candle in hand, it floated in the caves and went with the stream underground.
On entering the caves, they were amazed with Glowworm Gotto twinkling on the ceiling, making the cave shine or glow. On travelling further deep in the caves, the limestone formations toward embankment is distinctive point to observe in caves.
Several trips of discoveries were conducted to explore the cave. Triumphant on their discoveries, on one of the independent trip, the Chief Tane then discovered the upper level of the cave, which is currently the main entry of the cave. In the year 1889, the cave was opened for the tourist under the authority of Tane Tinorau. Tane Tinorau and his wife Huti, started organizing groups with small amount of cave fee.
Then in the year 1906, the administration of the cave was taken over by the government of New Zealand. Today, government look after its development and management of the caves.
Cave is rich of ?
There are several bioluminescent animals, making places such noticeable! Waitomo Glowworm Cave is one of the caves. The Arachnocampa Luminosa is a most renowned animal in the cave. There are also underwater lakes which are created by brooks and freshwater creeks. The cave is formed of limestone formation, but the wall of caves is covered with fungi and also with cave flower of Pleurotus, mushroom like fungus. The cave is also home to giant crickets, albino ants and glowworms in huge number.
Monitoring of the Cave
The Waitomo Glowworm Caves is monitored by the Scientific Advisory Group. The cave is installed with advance equipment’s which continually monitors the air with level of humidity, carbon dioxide and temperature with air flow patterns.