A few years ago, my husband and I went “down under” to see some of the sights that Australia and New Zealand have to offer. 

Although we only had time to see the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, we drove all over the northern island of New Zealand and were able to see a huge amount of its shocking natural beauty and diversity. 

One of the more interesting things we visited on our trip was the Waitomo glowworm caves, a breathtaking display of natural beauty hidden away under the earth. We struggled into wetsuits and plunged into freezing cold subterranean water in order to see the famous glowworms. These creatures live inside the Waitomo caves of New Zealand – and nowhere else on earth.

The effort was worth it. Is that not a spectacular sight??

Photo cred: planetden.com

We stayed in Airbnbs throughout the trip.

It’s astonishing how much the quality of your stay can make or break your trip. 

To visit the glowworm caves, we stayed in a single lady’s house in the nearby town of Otorohango, about a 15 minute drive from the entrance to the caves. She was a very nice woman. The room was clean, the showers were hot, and she even made us a little hand-drawn map to help us get around. 

Yet I rarely mention any of that when I talk about staying with her.

The only thing I clearly remember from our stay with her is how bitterly cold it was in her house. For some reason, she thought it prudent to keep the windows open in the middle of winter. Poor Michael and I were bundled under blankets and huddled next to the heater any time we found ourselves in the house. 

It’s a shame, really, that the memories of a nice home have become so clouded by the much stronger memories of a frigid home. 

But I try to take it as a good reminder to always have a fan and extra blankets available to my guests. 

At least the glowworms were memorable!