Waitomo Caves is amazing…this is a must-see near Hamilton! We totally enjoyed the beautiful scenery in the area, weather turned out to be nice, but colder than we expected. There were numerous ticket offices before we got to the actual visitor center, which is modern and beautiful and we still fell for the i-site and bought our tickets there, which is not a big deal. General store was really cool though, good food with vegan choices. It is not allowed to take pictures or videos inside the cave, but we learned so much about the glow worm, like once they come out of their cocoon, they either get eaten by the lava or starve to death. It’s the nature’s selection that evolve these amazing creature to be able to survive without any other food sources other than themselves. The glow worms aren’t as many as I expected but the boat tour was magical. Since we had to keep very quiet in the caves (glow worms dim their lights when there’s noise or light), it was tough to keep the boys entertained. New Zealanders did a wonderful job to have the least amount of disturbance to the caves (this is such a contrast to the Chinese decorating some most amazing caves with colorful lights). We loved the fact that we are able to see the natural state of these wonders. Boys were good until we got on the boat (which should not be a surprise), it’s pitch black for tourists to view the glow worms up on the ceiling. I had Li and to keep him quiet, I breastfed him the whole way since no one could see. Lin was fussing but as soon as a Korean tourist sat down right next to Michael, he quiet down and didn’t make a sound after that. Lin was intimidated by someone who speaks a different language and wanted to hold his hand.
The tour at Waitomo Caves, even though it’s quite expensive, at $48 a person, it is the most magical boat tour I’ve ever had.
In Hind Sight
We could have tried the cafe at the visitor center, it has a magnificent view.
We totally should have visited Hobbiton, we were right there and it was open to public even before the release of the movie – but we didn’t know.