The Waitomo Glowworm Caves

By: Yasmeena and Karina

What are the Waitomo Glowworm Caves?

The Waitomo Glowworm Caves are a collection of caves located in Waikato, New Zealand. The Waitomo Caves are one of New Zealand’s biggest attractions. Since there are millions of glowworms living inside the cave, that cave appears to be glowing with light. The cave was founded in December 1887 by 2 men named Tane Tinorau and Fred Mace. According to, they built a raft made of flax stems and floated into the cave. When they entered the cave they saw a myriad of lights reflecting off the water. Looking up they discovered that the ceiling was dotted with the lights of millions of glowworms. The underground caves are home to the famous Waitomo glowworms, tiny creatures that radiate their luminescent light.

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According to, the temperature in Waikato differs on the season. In the graph below, it shows the ranges of weather for each season. The people of Waikato noticed these changes and grow their crops accordingly, as they would do with their activities. Even though the Waitomo Caves are a beautiful sight to see, nothing is perfect. The caves create many challenges that the people have to face such as cave crumbling and caving in. The workers and the tourists are in danger if the workers don’t know how to handle this kind of situation. If the Waitomo caves do collapse, this will also destroy the habitat for the glowworms and any other insects living in or around the cave.

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The tourism in New Zealand boomed when introducing the Waitomo Glowworm Caves. With all the tourists visiting the caves, the city of Waikato can use the money for things that Waikato needs most such as schools and resources. This helps the economy in a great way. New Zealand has also used the Waitomo Caves as a learning opportunity. Students and researchers can study the history of the caves, learn about the glowworms, different geographic perspectives and much more. The people of Waikato can also mine for rocks and minerals creating jobs for many people who need employment. This is employing so many people and helping the economy. The Waitomo Caves have brought a ton of good to Waikato and it's people.

According to, limestone in this area was formed 30 million years ago when Waitomo was under the sea. Shells, shell fragments, fossilized corals, fish skeletons, and many small marine organisms on the sea beds accumulated on the seafloor. Over time, these thick layers of shells were buried and compressed together to create limestone. In time, movements in the earth’s crust lifted the limestone above sea-level. Cracks and weaknesses were created in the limestone, providing tiny channels through which water could begin to flow. The Waitomo Caves have a lot of interesting history and took a long time to form, it truly is a beautiful sight to see.