One of our 'we will pay to do this' excursions that we planned for New Zealand was a trip to do black water rafting in the glow worm caves at Waitomo. Our chosen guides and protectors where 'The Legendary Blackwater Rafting Company' who offer a tonne of different activities down in the caves from our more relaxed 'Black Labyrinth' option to more extreme activities with ziplines (aka 'flying foxes' in NZ) and abseiling so if you are a bit more adventurous - definitely check those out.
The ticket gets you the gear - helmet with head torch, wetsuit, boots and a thermal layer if it is cold - and several lovely guides to take you through the caves.I can't remember all our guides names but one of them was called 'Pirate' so take from that what you will!
Us geared up and ready to go!
They have clearly been doing this route for a good amount of time now and have honed it to a great experience. There is a great balance between a few fun (but not terrifying!) jumps and chutes and a great, calm bit where you float quietly through a cave illuminated only by the glow of thousands of glow-worms overhead - a really awesome experience I don't think I'll get to do again!
The voyage ends as the cave opens up out into the forest again - another really nice sight.
Now I know you kind of wish that description above was accompanied by a few photos to show off these really cool sights but unfortunately we weren't allowed to take cameras through with us (even the waterproof one) - the guides take photos and sometimes video along the route but we weren't very keen to fork out $30 (at time of writing) for a few shots. I guess you do have that option if you are a little less stingy than us!
Now glow worm caves are a great unique experience and all but I must say I loved that at the end of the trip, once we had clambered back out into the bus back to the site, got changed and enjoyed a much needed warm shower, we were all offered a free bagel and hot soup - never has a meal been more appreciated.
A great end to a great experience - this one has my full recommendation!
Just in case you are in a rush - we normally can get back to you in less than a day!