Friday, March 13, 2015

Glow little glowworm!

Happy Friday the 13th!!

Today we sadly had to check out of the Rainbow Hostel and head back to Auckland (we fly out tomorrow morning). BUT on the way to Auckland we took a fun little detour to the Glowworm Caves!!
From their website
When we first decided we were going to New Zealand, I started browsing through Pinterest for fun activities, ideas, places, things to do while we were there. One of the first things that came up wasThe above picture of the Glowworm cave and I immediately thought it was fake. (I mean- does that picture look real to you?!)

After several different pins kept popping up, I finally decided to click on it and was totally shocked when I realized it was a real place! It immediately jumped to the top of my list of things I wanted to do. 
((Funny side story:: We all got together a couple months before leaving to plan out flights, hotels, rental cars, etc. and we started taking about all the things (besides the race) we wanted to do- and everyone brought up the Glowworms Caves!!)

We got to the Glowworms Cave and realized we should have planned to spend an entire day there because they had SO much more than just the Glowworms! (We will definitely be coming back here when we return to New Zealand in 2017!!)
We randomly saw this guy riding a horse and they stopped at the stop sign! haha! 

We bought our tickets for the tour and anxiously awaited our guides arrival- which ended up being slightly delayed because he called and said he had a sheep that got out of the gate and he had to put it back. He apologized, but I thought it was the cutest thing ever! :) (Our guide was actually one of the owners of the caves- technically, his son owns it and he works for his son- haha!!)

((Fun fact:: In New Zealand, when you purchase land you own that land to the earths core. So if you happen to buy land, and realize there's a huge cave underneath it- it's yours! (And that's what happened to his son! Isn't that crazy?!?!)
We all piled into a van and made our way to caves. There was no one else on our tour- so it was really like a private tour and our guide was AMAZING! 

((Fun fact:: we passed a field of bulls and the guide told us that if a farmer ever has aggressive bulls that fight, they will put a billy goat in the field with them. Billy goats will not tolerate fighting and will nip the 'bully' in the bum with it's horns!! Isn't that the cutest thing?! They're little peacekeepers!!))

We reached the caves and as we were walking in, he showed us the Silver Fern. It's a fern that looks like a regular green tree, but if you turn the leaves upside down the bottom of them are a shiny silver color! Apparently it comes in handy if you ever get lost or need to leave a trail because it's really easy to see with a flashlight at night. 
See how silvery the bottom is?! Crazy!!
Walking down to the caves was unbelievable! There was water dripping down the rocks and moss on the walls.

Once we were finally inside, the guide turned off the lights so our eyes would adjust and we immediately started seeing the little glowworms!! 
Another picture from their website. I decided to use the pictures from their website because this really is what it looked like. All the pictures we took came out like this:
You're welcome! Haha!!

We walked through the cave looking at all the stalactites and stalagmites (which really were amazing) but the glowworms really stole the show. There were MILLIONS of them, everywhere! I loved it!
See the little blue dots in the upper right? More glowworms!! 
At the end, he showed us how they used to light the tours with a huge flair- then let me hold it for the picutre! It was insanely bright!! Once we made our way out of the caves, he lead us to a little gazabo where he gave us tea that they make there using the some of their plants and it's supposed to have a ton of benefits- it was really good too!! 
((Last fun fact:; as we were driving back, he told us that his wife runs a petting farm at their house a mile up the road and the main attraction is a bull that is 24 inches tall! Can you imagine a 2-foot-tall tiny bull?! I wanted to go SO bad, but they were closed))

*Do you like doing touristy things while on vacation? 

*What's your favorite animal?

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