Rappelling 135 Feet Into the Waitomo Caves, New Zealand ::Snapahot XXXL::

The highlight of my time in New Zealand, this March, was rappelling (aka abseiling) 135 feet into the Waitomo Caves. These Caves are believed to be over two million years old.

Although I’m afraid of heights, and can get a bit claustrophobic, the opportunity to see New Zealand from the inside overcame all my fears. So I stepped off the platform and began my decent.

Bouncing down the whole 135 feet, below, the adventure began

The trip was lead by Black Water Rafting Company. The team was top notch, and the experience was truly unforgettable.

Sliding on my belly

Once in the caves we explored for nearly four hours. Clad in wetsuits to protect us from the cold water, we trekked from ground to floating on innertubes.

Fashion forward cave exploration

The common thread were those hanging from the cave ceiling. Produced by the famous glow worms, these silky sticky threads allow them to capture their food that is drawn into their glowing light.

With their glowing bodies they draw in the prey

Upon closer examination it turns out these Waitomo ‘worms’ are actually maggots. Nonetheless, they were truly ethereal. Creating a star like speckled sky deep underground through bioluminescence.

The larvae stage is the longest phase in the creature’s life and lasts around nine months. It then turns into a pupa in a cocoon and emerges as a two winged flying insect, which looks like a large mosquito.

The adult fly lives no longer than a few days as it has no digestive system and so cannot eat. Instead it uses this time to mate and lay eggs. The glowworms found in the Waitomo Glowworm Caves is a species unique to New Zealand.

BAM!!! Waterfall in the face

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