New Zealand Escapes: Waitomo Blackwater Rafting

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  • new zealand
  • oceania
  • travel
  • rotorua

There’s more than one way to see the glowworms in New Zealand’s Waitomo Caves, everything from completely sedate to incredibly adventurous. The easiest way to experience these caves is on a leisurely walking tour or a boat cruise beneath the ground. However, when you are in New Zealand, sedate is a word that should not be there in your dictionary. There are several different adventurous trips offered, a three hour wet or a dry option and a five hour wet & dry option.

Guess which one we decided to do?

At the allotted time, we met our guides and the rest of the group. After some friendly banter and the telling of the rules we were handed our wet wetsuits and sent off to get changed. This was the 1st time I was putting on a wetsuit but it has to be one of the harder things I have had to do. Then it was time for a few photos before we jumped into a van to go to the caves.


But first, we had to find tubes which would fit around our bums. Who knew the size of the tube mattered?


To test that we don’t slip through the hole, we had to jump backwards off of a wooden ledge into a stream.


We then headed into the caves ready for it all to begin. We stayed in our tubes, linked together in a long line allowing us to turn out our torches and stare at the glow worms. This happened on several occasions be it in our tube or just sat around on the rocks looking up.


There were a few optional jumps but I would strongly suggest not taking the option of not to jump


The glow worms were incredible, so bright and a thick continuous trail of them the whole time. I can see why people head to Waitomo to get a look at these amazing little creatures. The rafting was such a fun way to experience the caves and glow worms despite the chilly winter weather.

Unfortunately, my camera and water don’t go well together so all the photos were taken by our guides of the Legendary Black Water Rafting Company. After what felt like a really short time, we were back for a shower and some hot soups and bagels.


We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, the guides were excellent keeping it fun but also being very helpful. You felt safe throughout the whole trip with the correct techniques and equipment.

Waitomo is certainly an NZ Must Do. Have you been tubing in a cave? How was your experience?