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Paddle Board Rotorua – Magical Kayaking Experience + Glow Worms in New Zealand Caves

Paddle Board Rotorua Cover Image Paddle Board Rotorua Glowworms Kayaking Glow Worms in New Zealand Caves
5 min read

Glowworms. They are fascinating creatures that dwell in dark deep and hidden caves, faintly liting up the caves like twinkling stars in the night sky. They are truly remarkable creatures for us to marvel at, especially the Glow Worms in New Zealand caves. The question is, can it be any better? Yes, it can, just combine that with a paddleboard or kayak experience down a lake that begins at sunset. 

And that experience is real, in Rotorua, a famous city situated in the North Island of New Zealand.

How the Story Began @ Paddle Board Rotorua

Being avid explorers since young, both Matt and Nev have had their fair share of adventures. Matt was a tour guide at Canopy Tours for 2 years, sharing with people around New Zealand’s marvellous landscapes. He is a surfer and a national white water rafter. Oh, did we mention he also occasionally performs gigs as a musician around Rotorua as well? Nev works as an engineer and is a full-time dad to 3. He is also an avid surfer and a white water kayaker. 

When 2 experienced outdoorsmen who dream of running their own business outdoors join forces, you get Paddle Board Rotorua

July 2017 marked the start of Paddle Board Rotorua and their ultimate goal is to give back to the lakes as they have huge respect for the local lakes around. They wish to continue the conservation of the lakes as there has been a huge influx of algae bloom and catfish who are unfortunately degenerating the beautiful lake.

What are Glowworms – Fast Factsheet

  • The Glow worms are babies of a fungus gnat fly.
  • The Fungus Gnat Fly lives for an incredibly short period of time (2-3 days) however its larvae, the glow-worm, can glow for around 6-9 months before the metamorphosis into the brief adult fly stage of its life cycle.
  • The life cycle of the Fungus Gnat consists of four stages, the Egg stage (2 weeks), the Larvae stage (6-9 months), the Pupae stage (2 weeks) and the Adult Fungus Gnat Fly stage (2-3 days) .
  • Glowworms secrete silky mucus-like sticky threads that dangle from their bodies. These threads help with catching insects such as the dreaded mosquitoes and flies which are food for the glow-worms’ consumption.
  • The glow-worm’s tail glows because of bioluminescence produced by a reaction of proteins within the digestive system of the worm.

Level Up your Glowworm Game with Added Convenience

We all know about the Waitomo Caves – the famous one to see the glowworms. But if you’re already in Rotorua, why make such a long drive from Rotorua just to see glowworms that can be seen right here as well? 

The Rotorua Glow Worm Kayaking/PaddleBoard Tour is just a short 15-minutes drive from Rotorua, a huge plus point for those who are touring with a jam-packed itinerary in New Zealand. You can also opt for a pickup and return transfer from any central Rotorua accommodation or the Rotorua I Site at 1167 Fenton Street.

A ‘Non-Touristy’ Evening Kayak Down the Lake

That’s right, the Guidesify Team has truly found a better alternative to the over-commercialised Waitomo Caves. Say no more to overcrowded attractions and tons of operators providing their own glowworm experiences!

Specialised with small group kayaking options only, it is easy to see how much more attention to detail Paddle Board Rotorua was from start to finish. 

Although we took the self-drive option, it was easy to navigate to the meetup point. From there onwards, the Guidesify Team was geared up with high-quality kayak equipment and a good old safety brief from the professionals. This didn’t take long at all and we were out paddling Lake Rotoiti towards the magical glowing caves. You will be guided along either Lake Rotoiti or Lake Okareka, depending on the circumstances and weather conditions on the day itself.

Image Source: Paddle Board Rotorua

Tip: Photos can be taken while there is still night but when the sun sets, it might be difficult to take pictures and it is even harder to take good pictures of the glow worms. If you would like to capture your memories similar to the imagery above, do let them know of your needs and a private trip (NZ$200 per pax) can be operated for you. 

Zero Kayaking or Paddleboard Experience? No Biggie!

You do NOT need to be experienced in kayaking or paddleboarding. Most of their customers, in fact, have never done paddle boarding before or have only slightly kayak-ed before. 

It is also alright if you aren’t a swimmer as everyone on the tour is supplied with a personal flotation device which keeps you well afloat if you do fall. The guides are also well-trained in assisting you to get back up the board. 

Afraid that you will fall off the paddleboard or that your kayak will overturn and get wet? Well, every activity that involves water comes with a certain level of risk. Although we cannot say for sure that you won’t get wet, ours was definitely a safe one.

It is also good to note that most of the lakes they operate in are small and are generally placid. 

Note: Paddle Board Rotorua promises and strives to decrease the likelihood of risks and accidents with a comprehensive safe operational plan in place. They also have a vehicle and driver policy, and holds a navigation safety license to operate.

Enough teasing with your imagination, the real magic of this astronomical and premium journey must be experienced to be fully understood. Be sure to include Glow-worm Kayak Sunset Tour or the Glow Worm Paddle Board Tour in your bucket list if you are planning to visit New Zealand!

Glow worms in New Zealand caves is definitely a must-do while you are here. All you need is a sense of adventure, a waterproof camera and your swimwear.

Related to Glow Worms in New Zealand Caves:

Skyline Rotorua: A Must-Do in North Island New Zealand

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