Waitomo - Wai (water) tomo (cave). This famous region is known for it's glowworm caves. In fact, they are actually maggots but the tourism department didn't think that would draw in the tourists. The 'glowworm' predominantly reside in the caverns alighting the interior with little blue lights, they look like mini stars and constellations in outer space. They cast 'fishing' lines to catch their meal, much like a spiders web. Their glow intensifies when something catches in their lines, or through a loud sound vibrating in the cavern. The main activity here is to go caving. We joined the Black Abyss. Only four of us with our guides Troy and Loyd. After being suited up: wetsuits, booties and helmets - a short briefing and training session we departed for the centre of the earth. First we abseiled into a small hole that opened up into a huge cavern - we dropped about 40 meters, then climbed along some interior walls of stalactites and stalagmites. It had been raining the past couple of days and it was very wet and chilly. Inside we had our first glimpse of the glowworms - crazy. The sound of the river inside was a bit ominous, knowing we would have to jump into it in order to get out. Our guides were very helpful and funny, helping us out and challenging us. Next was a flying fox, or zip line- for this we turned off our headlights and had to do it in the dark. I still kept my eyes closed and screamed. Mike was first and they tried to scare him/us by smacking an inner tube that reverberated throughout the cave system. After hot cocoa and cookies sitting on the ledge above the river, we took our tubes and hopped into the VERY refreshing water. Pulling ourselves along by a rope up the stream. Only to float back in almost complete darkness and silence. Glowworms everywhere, like floating through space. The only sounds were the rushing water and our ooh's and ah's. Next up was wading over and under rapids and tunnels and yes, climbing up raging waterfalls - still underground! It was exhilerating and crazy and so much fun.