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Waitomo Caves, New Zealand
Nicknamed the Glowworm Caves, bioluminescent bugs light 30-million-year-old Waitomo
Intrepid travellers will find a wealth of adventure experiences in Waitomo, a labyrinth of caves hidden beneath fern-covered hills and waterfalls (the name also lends itself to a village and wider region). This subterranean network of 30-million-year-old limestone rock formations was first explored in 1887 by local Maori Chief, Tane Tinorau, accompanied by English surveyor, Fred Mace. The caves are lit by thousands of glowworms that cling to the walls and ceiling; you can take a guided tour including a boat ride illuminated by these bioluminescent bugs. There are also dedicated ‘black water rafting’ tours, which involve floating along underwater rivers in an inflatable rubber ring. Or head above ground for a hike through the bush. Check into Waitomo Boutique Lodge, a short drive from the Glowworm Caves and with views of the Coromandel Range mountains.