Maori Mysticism & Glow Worms Cave with Lunch
Bay of Islands, New Zealand
- Cultural mix: Observe the contrast between the native Maori and the British colonial structures in the historical villages on the western shore of New Zealand's North Island.
- Three-course lunch: Enjoy a delectable meal at the Opononi Hotel after learning about Opo, the famous tame dolphin, and seeing this beloved sea mammal's statue.
- Waipoua Forest: Take a stroll through the lush primordial forest to behold the sacred "Lord of the Forest," the ancient giant tree, Tane Mahuta, that is central to Maori history.
- Kawiti Caves: Walk through these limestone caves and marvel at the tiny bio-luminescent glow worms who live without light, yet create it themselves.
About This Bay of Islands Tour
Go primordial on this coast-to-forest-to-cave experience. Explore the towns on the jewel-blue Hokianga coast and stop for lunch in Opononi before you visit the "Lord of the Forest," the most photographed toilet in New Zealand, and the home of the glow worms.
According to Maori legend, the world was completely dark because of the loving embrace between Rangi (the sky father) and Papa (the earth mother). When their children needed room for growth, most left their parents' shelter in search of their own spaces. The strongest son, Tane Mahuta, however, chose a different path. Much to his parents' dismay, he came between Rangi and Papa and divided them into the sky and the earth, thus creating a vast openness and bringing light everywhere. Tane Mahuta then adorned his mother in green foliage. His legs are said to be the sturdy trunk that has lasted for 2,000 years – part of the world's oldest Kauri tree.
Learn about the delicate ecosystem of the forest as well as unique flora and fauna that hasn't changed much since prehistoric times.
Then leave the past behind and hop on the coach to stop in Kawakawa and marvel at the Hundertwasser Toilets – yes, public plumbing disguised as works of art. Finish with a guided tour of the Kawiti Caves and remain quiet to observe the resident glow worms. No one will blame you for humming The Mills Brothers' Glow Worm all the way back to the ship.
Get your shine on
The glow worms that you'll see in the Kawiti Caves are actually insects that emit a bioluminescent light, a form of illuminating energy that's released by a chemical reaction. The way that these tiny organisms glow depends on their bodily functions, the size of their organs, and their purpose, which varies by species. Some "worms" use this natural light to attract mates, while others use them to lure prey for their dinner.
Your guide will meet you on your ship's pier. Please look for our GoBe Representative with the displayed logo sign. Staying at a hotel? Be sure to advise the GoBe Crew so we can meet you in the lobby.
Cameras are not allowed in the Glow Worm Caves as they upset the Glow Worms (who switch off). This tour involves considerable walking so you should wear comfortable walking shoes. Travelers at the Kawiti Glow Worm Caves must negotiate 150 steps. Not recommended for Travelers with claustrophobia. Photography and video is not permitted in the glow worm grottoes.
Must be able to walk approximately 0.50 mile over varying terrain with inclines and 200+ steps. Due to the amount of stair climbing involved on this tour, it is not recommended for travelers with walkers or wheelchairs.
Cultural, Bus Tour, Full Day, Scenic, Family Friendly
Beverages - Coffee, Tea, water
Lunch - Local Favorites
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated strenuous. Travelers must consider their physical fitness level and medical history when determining whether this tour is appropriate. Travelers with pre-existing neck, back, knee and/or shoulder injuries, cardiac conditions, asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, other heart or respiratory conditions or any other medical condition must take particular caution when selecting a tour categorized as "strenuous". If you have concerns, you must consult with your personal physician before engaging in any activity that may be too strenuous for you.
Suitable for all ages.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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