Glow worms and Houhora Heads

Lars Alfredson
Mon 5 May 2014 10:28
Houhora Heads/Harbour
Position: 34:49.50S   174:08.89E

2nd May.  Today is my sister's Birthday so I must remember to send Frances our Love after
I've finished the Blog today.  We plan on seeing Glow Worms in the Kawiti Caves today.  It's about
an hours drive. Everywhere you drive you see something new.  Today it's the huge Ferns that
are like trees.  They grow all over the place. Other flowers and bushes that grow like weeds are
Busy-Lizzy and Elephant Grass.  Elephant Grass grows at the sides of the road and are gigantic.
Busy-Lizzy grows as tall as I am and is grown as a garden bush or as a weed by rivers or brooks.

Before we get to the Glow Worms we pass through Kawakawa where we are told, is the oldest
steam train and it goes right through the middle of town.  I haven't seen any other trains except
Freight Trains so Lars will Google, as he does, to find out if there is a passanger train anywhere. 
As we go through town we meet the train and have to wait while it passes us.  The train and carriages
look very well kept and looked after.

                   Tourist train. No steam today though.

            Douglas! They need some help with the Bowls Green. 

A lot of the roads have names that are nearly the same which is why we ended up in the wrong place for
the Glow Worms.  After a quick stop and a check on the TomTom we discovered that the road we want is
just outside of Kawakawa.

Our guide is called Kysse and she tells us that the caves were firstly found by a Mauri girl who
had ran away from her husband who wasn't very nice to her, around 1650. The Mauri Chief in the area
was a woman, who didn't understand why their sweet potatoes "Kumara". One day she saw smoke
coming out of a cave and followed the cave and found the girl with Kumara all around her.  The Mauri
girl joined the clan and now her descendents own the land around the caves.


        Entrance to the caves, no photographing inside.                                                  Can you see Elvis the resident eel, 30 years old.

The Glow worms have only been in the caves for about 150 years. Before they were deep in the forests
around rivers and streams.  The more people took over the land, the Glow Worms moved into the caves
as it was safer for them.  We were only allowed to photograph outside the caves, so we don't have many
photo's but it was amazing.  It was like looking up at the sky and seeing millions of stars, both bright and
not so bright.  Mosquitoes, which are their food, have a very quick life because as soon as they see the
lights they think its the sky but then they get caught by the long fine like fishing line that the Glow Worms
make when it's going to rain out side they make even longer ones. The Mossies are breakfast/lunch and dinner. 
The Worms only have to feed every 2 weeks.  When the Glow Worm hatches it's a little fly and it has to find
a partner within 3 days to make eggs and then they die.

After the Glow Worms we made our way to Wagener Holiday Park for the night.  The weather has been
with us all the way, sunny and about 22 C. Perfect weather for me.


From Caroline and Lars
(Caroline, who is trying to keep up with our trip but sometimes we don't have Internet in some places so
it been hard to send the Blog every day. It will just come to you when it comes folks, Sorry)