waitomo cave

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Glowworm Caves in Waitomo

In the Waitomo region of New Zealand, there is an underground labrynth of caves that have been forming over the last 30 million years. And in one of these caverns is a very special animal – one that has evolved to thrive in wind-free places exactly like these caverns. The species is Arachnocampa luminosa, a species of fungus gnat that is luminous during the larval stage. When a person travels by boat or inner tube through the pitch black Glowworm Grotto, as the cavern is called, the ceiling looks like a galaxy of blue stars.

Watch the glowworms light up caves in Waitomo, New Zealand.

Building Castles in the Sky / Justin Foley

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“I don’t think I’ve ever just stopped and taken in the night sky,” you whisper, pulling the blanket tighter around yourself as the cool breeze suddenly hits you. 

Justin, who was sitting beside you, wraps his arm around your shoulders and pulls you towards him. Kissing the top of your head, he nods in agreement, “It is nice to just sit back every now and then and just take this all in.”

“It’s so beautiful,” you sigh, leaning into his hold, appreciating view of the first clear sky you had seen in a while. “Thank you for convincing me to come up here,” you smile.

Justin laughs slightly, “Anytime,” he grins. 

You were both sitting on your roof, huddled together under the starry sky. The window to your room had the perfect access to the spot you now deemed as your favourite. 

“There’s something about the stars that always makes you think,” you begin. “It reminds you that there is such a huge world out there, that there’s so much more to see and learn in life.”

“Anything in particular that you wish to do in your lifetime?” he asks, looking down at you. 

You meet his gaze and smile, “So much,” you admit. His expression urges you to continue. “At the risk of being cliche,“ you say rolling your eyes, “I want to see the Eiffel Tower at night and watch the sun set between the pillars of Stone Henge,” you start to list slowly, “I want to walk the length of the Great Wall of China and visit the Victoria Falls, see the Glowworm Caves in Waitomo, travel the canals in Venice and swing at the end of the world.”

Justin remained silent as you continued to list everything you wished to do-all the places you wanted to see and the people you wanted to meet. 

“I know it’s stupid,” you sigh.

“No,” he insists, his grip on you momentarily tightening, “it’s not stupid at all.”

Your laughter fills the air, “It kinda is though. It’s not like I’m ever going to get out of this town.”

“Don’t say that,” he frowns, moving away and shifting his body in your direction. 

“I don’t particularly have anything going for me once I finish school, do I?”

“(Y/N), stop,” he mumbles, his tone displeased. 

“What? Being realistic?”

“Being pessimistic.”

You snort, “I’m afraid there’s not much difference.”

“Let’s talk about something else for a while,” he groans, knowing how stubborn you can be. You shrug and let Justin pull you back into his arms. “Tell me what else you dream for,” he finally says after a moment of silence, wanting to hear more.

“I want happiness,” you tell him. “And I want to live in a house full of laughter and have a garden covered in all of the colours.” You move your head so you could see his eyes that were staring down at you, “And what I really want,” you tell him slowly, “is to come home each day and know you will be there and to go to bed each night and have you by my side.”

All the emotions cross his face, one after the other, “That’s one hell of a dream,” he whispers. 

“I thought so,” you smile. “Maybe we’d also have a dog or two,” you continue, your amusement etched in your face. Justin leans back against the roof, taking you with him. You shift so you were lying on your side, your head resting in the crook of his arm and your hand flat against his chest. “We’d cook dinner together each night and dance down the hallways and fall asleep on the couch in each others arms.”

“We sound very happy,” Justin comments.

“That’s the point,” you laugh. “You do make me very happy,” you tell him, your fingers tracing circles on his chest over his shirt. “And I don’t see that changing anytime soon.”

Justin tugs on your blanket that had slightly slipped when you both had moved so it covers you, “I can’t ever see myself without you.”

“I hope you never want to,” you counter, “I don’t think I could ever not be with you.”

Justin frowns at the thought, “It’s weird to think of not having you in my life. Before we met…” he trails off.

“I know,” you say softly, understanding what he couldn’t put in words.

“I’m so grateful to have you,” he mumbles against your forehead before placing a kiss on it. “So much would be different, would be different.”

“You give me too much credit.”

Justin shakes his head, using his hand to stroke your cheek lovingly, your eyes close at the contact, “I don’t give you enough. You’ve made my life so much better. It’s because of you that I get up each day-you make it worth something.”

“Justin…”

“It’s true,” he smiles.

Silence encompasses the both of you, Justin continues to let his fingers outline the features of your face. 

“Tell me,” Justin announces, “if you could be anywhere right now, where would it be?”

“Anywhere in the world?”

“Anywhere in the world,” he confirms.

He lets you take your time as you think of an answer, “As long as you’re with me,” you begin, “I don’t really have any preferences.”

Justin snorts at your reply, “You really are pulling all the cliches tonight.”

“Justin,” you groan, pinching his side.

“Sorry, sorry,” he laughs. “It was a good answer.”

“Yes,” you say, pressing yourself closer into his side, “it was.” His chuckles fade and you smile into his chest, “I love you Justin,” you tell him quietly, tilting your head to kiss his neck gently, making him release a small sigh.

His hand moves to rest on the side of your face, his fingers slightly buried in your hair, “I love you, too,” he echoes.

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The Waitomo Glowworm Caves attraction is a cave on the North Island of New Zealand, known for its population of glowworms, Arachnocampa luminosa. This species is found exclusively in New Zealand.

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Blackreach in reality - Waitomo Glowworm Caves​​​​​

World renowned and a magnet for both local and overseas visitors, the Waitomo Glowworm Caves occupy a high placing in the New Zealand vacation wish-list.

The glow worm, Arachnocampa luminosa, is unique to New Zealand. Thousands of these tiny creatures radiate their unmistakable luminescent light as our expert guides provide informative commentary on the Caves’ historical and geological significance.

Waitomo Glowworm Caves are a must see for any traveller. Enjoy the world famous boat ride under thousands of magical glowworms and become a part of over 120 years of cultural and natural history.