New Zealand Learning Adventures

 Punakaiki Cavern

"Bring your torches sturdy shoes and dirty clothing to explore this  world under ground" 
  This cavern adds another layer to your experience. You have seen the outside of these majestic limestone cliffs, now you can see inside one. Inside the cavern you can see glow worms and stalactites, all you need is a torch.

The cavern features stalactites that are formed when minerals, such as calcium carbonate, drip from the ceiling creating over time hanging formations. 

The cavern extends 138 metres into the limestone cliff. It has been formed over a long period of time when acidic groundwater seeped through cracks in the rock and dissolved the calcium carbonate in the surrounding limestone.

Glow worms can also be found in the cavern. New Zealand glow worms are the larvae of small flies that undergo a four-stage life cycle: egg, larvae, pupae and adult fly.  Only the larvae can feed and produce light.  This ‘glow’ is used to attract prey which is caught in sticky silk threads that hang from the glow worm nest.  These silk fishing lines are then hauled in and the captured insects devoured. 

We earn about the processes involved with limestone caves from their beginning, through formation, growth and creation of their stalactites and stalagmites. 

Other more spectacular guided cave trips are available.  These require added costs to the budget.  Link

 take you there - on "The World's Best Tourist Highway"