You are currently viewing New Zealand Day 5: Glow Worms

New Zealand Day 5: Glow Worms

If you grew up in the 80’s then the mention of a glow worm may conjure up an image of a worm shaped doll that when squeezed it’s cute little head lite up.  Good concept wrong glowing end.  You see the glowing end of a glow worm is it’s butt.

So off we go to see a bunch of larva with glowing butts.

Join us, will you…

Now this type of excursion may not sound that exciting to most.  I would beg to differ and tell you the excitement isn’t necessarily in the destination but in the journey.

First, we must wriggle, grunt and contort our way into the many layers of thermals and wet suit gear. Imagine squeezing into 2 layers of Spanx: the full body version (Guys if you have no concept of what this is ask the women in your life).  Needless to say I was sweating profusely and we both looked like we were distant cousins of Gumby.

Why the thermals and wet suits you may wonder, because we are going to float our happy asses down a very cold river (it is only late September) to get to said worms.  However, before we float we must drive to our location (still sweating and starting to feel a little nauseated) and then hike to our starting point.

Yes, we are going to hike (semi-waddle) in what I am now convinced is bondage gear (and not in 50 Shades sexy way) through muddy trails all while lugging our cumbersome tubes.  Are we having fun yet?  Questionable.  Still sweating.

That glow is sweat people!

Finally we are instructed to toss our tubes over the edge of the “hill”.   Fine by me!  I just want to plop my sweat drenched, bound body into that tube.  Oh, wait now we have to shimmy our way between a crevice in the “hill” to reunite with our tubes.

Reunited and it feels so good…

I digress.

I am so ready to get this party started and I’m busting for a pee!  Listen, I may not be able to poop in nature and I struggle with peeing in most places that don’t have a proper toilet but once I hit a body of water that’s it game on (no shame in my game).  Besides there was no other option.  Hellooooo warm wet suit.

The water is crisp and clear.  We floated, we walked through the shallow parts (mind your bum in the shallow end) and then floated some more.

At last we reach the cave of glow worms.  Here we are told the only way in is to paddle backwards.  We have to do WHAT!?  No, paddling backwards isn’t difficult.  But paddling backwards into a deep dark cave not knowing what is in there is just a bit unsettling.

So Jules being the gentleman he is goes in second and leaves me in the last position, ugh.  It’s as if the man has never seen a scary movie in his life!

Disclaimer:  Jules is always a gentleman he just wasn’t very aware of my lack of wanting to be last.  So I’ll forgive him this time.

Slowly we descend into the darkness.   I’m starting to wonder what the hell is in the water and on these walls as scenes from the movie Alien start to flash through my mind.  Where is Sigourney Weaver when you need her!

The Abyss.

It’s ok, stop panicking.  Whatever is in here surly wants to snack on our guide and Jules first, right?

We reach our viewing spot (unharmed I might add).  Above us is a ceiling of glowing butts.  It’s actually quite beautiful.  Our guide produces a thermos of hot chocolate and some snacks.  We enjoy our treats and the “light show”.

Ok, shows over!

Back into our tubes we plop and back out of the cave we go.   We float for a bit longer until we have made our way back to where we parked the van.  Once we arrive back at base we peel ourselves our of our casings and jump into the hot tub.


Here we are given a glass of wine for me, a beer for Jules and a couple of warm muffins.  And for our viewing pleasure they load up a slide show of our pics and videos (which of course we purchased).  Now this is entertainment.

Glow worms check.

If this is on your bucket list may I recommend WildWest Adventures.

Safe Travels,

Amber & Julian