This is the second part of my tour of New Zealand’s incredible north island. To read the first part of my tour, click here. In this post I discuss my time in Auckland, a beautiful coastal city, and at the incredible Waitomo Glow Worm Caves.
Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand and most people’s gateway into the country. Auckland’s location at the top of the north island makes it a great jumping off point for some of the most popular coastal areas in New Zealand. The city is home to a range of museums and restaurants, as well as some interesting architecture. I especially enjoyed spending a quiet afternoon sitting among the trees and flowers in Albert Park.
Waitomo Glow Worm Caves
Glow worms are bioluminescent insects that glow at night in order to attract other insects into their webs. The name ‘glow worm’ is a misnomer. The ‘worms’ are actually maggots. Once they have eaten enough, the maggots enter a pupal phase before emerging as an adult that looks like a fat mosquito. The adults do not have mouths so they are only alive for a few days with enough time to reproduce before dying. Although glow worms do not come as advertised, they are a fascinating insect, and seeing them glow like the night sky on the roof of a cave is beautiful. Glow worms can be found in various parts of New Zealand, but the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves is the best place to see them on the north island. If you are into a little more adventurous activities, you can go cave tubing or climbing to explore a pitch black cave and see the glow worms in a more intimate environment. I used the Legendary Black Water Rafting Company for my trip and had a blast.
The north island has a lot more to see than the places I visited. You should also check out Wellington, Bay of Islands, Napier/Hastings and Mt. Taranaki, among other attractions.