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The Magnificent Ruakuri Caves in Otorohanga

The Ruakuri Caves was the second stop on our first tour with gray line tours.

The only thing we knew about this place was that there was a good chance that we could see real life glow worms. Eeeeek!

We first went to the central hub of the black water rafting company and picked up our guide ‘Demi’ and made our way to what seemed an abandoned car park in a very random part of the road. We walked on a path that led us through an opening between two bushes and as we walked down towards a door in the rocks. Weird! But I’ll go with it.

Slightly random but a guide lead us on through and explained to us that we couldn’t take flash photos while in the depths of the cave as it startles the glow worms and disturbs their life cycle.

We entered this incredible dark building, and we were told to walk up, walk up!!! But caves are underground aren’t they hmmm! As we stopped a light flickered and revealed what we were standing! It was an incredible semi-circular sweeping slope that hugged the sides of the cave it was very impressive as you walk your way around you can see water dripping down the middle and land on a lit rock at the bottom. As you’re getting lower and lower you can see the rock actually has a hole in it and that’s because of the dripping water. Our guide spoke about the experiment of showing people the process of the erosive water.

We walked through into the main section of the cave and took the lit paths in front of us. Our guide Demi took us through and explained the different parts of the cave, she was very knowledgeable and very enthusiastic.

We came to a section that was completely dark and I’m not joking I couldn’t see anything, not my hand in front of my face, nothing! We walked a little further (it felt very disconcerting) but it became lighter and as we looked up, hundreds of tiny greenie lights twinkled in the darkness, it was so beautiful, you just stand there and flicker from one bug to the next. It was stunning and as we walked on, they weren’t miles up in the top of the cave, they were almost right in front of your face, it was incredible, they are so pretty, sparkling in the cold, dark caves.

Demi showed us the fishing lines they weaved to catch midge’s and other small flying creatures and explained their life cycle; she even showed us what they look like in the light of day, and they’re certainly not as pretty as in they are with the glorious glow. It was a great tour and a fabulous cave to explore, definitely a must.

Tina Webber
Tina Webber
Well what can i say? I'm complicated! Although my fundamentals, my core, what makes me, me i suppose is: Glorious food (especially the sweet stuff), the stunning beauty of nature and natural things and my love of excellent art and design.

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