Let the glow worms in Ohiwa surprise and delight you

Nature is full of surprises here in Ohiwa. From the glistening shores of Ohiwa Harbour to the distant rolling hills, the natural beauty that surrounds us is one of the main reasons people visit Ohiwa Beach Holiday Park.

One lesser known natural attraction will leave you in awe of what nature can create: the glow worms in Ohiwa.

You’ll find the glow worms at the end of a 15-minute walk through the Ohiwa Nature Trail.

Lined with native wetland and bush, the walk itself showcases some of the region’s best natural beauty. But the true reward will be discovered once you reach the mysterious hidden waterfall and glow worm grotto behind a giant Pohutukawa tree.

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Embrace the Ohiwa Nature Trail on your way to the glow worm grotto

Ohiwa is somewhat of a peaceful sanctuary for both plant and wildlife. The secluded location offers the ideal conditions for birds and plants to thrive.

We encourage our guests to explore the area and, because we have so many great walking tracks, it’s easy to do so. The Ohiwa Nature Trail is one of the more popular walks and the well-maintained tracks make for an easy, enjoyable stroll.

The Ohiwa Nature Trial is clearly signposted to show you’re heading in the right direction to the glow worms.

If you’re feeling adventurous after your glow worm discovery, carry on walking through to the Onekawa Pa site. This historical pa site was used for Maori war fortification and is now a key piece of Ohiwa’s history. Here you’ll be greeted with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, White Island and Whale Island.

What are glow worms?

Glow worms are nothing short of a natural phenomenon. Scientifically named Arachnocampa Luminosa, glow worms are the larval stage of an adult glow worm fly.

Their bead-like structure is formed from a network of glow worms hanging vertically from a silky thread.

In the glow worm grotto at the end of the Ohiwa Nature Trail, thousands of glow worms twinkle like stars in the night sky. New Zealand glow worms favour damp, forest environments. Cave life is best for the glow worms as it allows them to fully complete their growth cycle in a secure space.

What gives glow worms their glow?

The glow in these complex little creatures is made from bio-luminescence, a biochemical reaction in the glow worm’s renal glands. The energy that creates the light comes from rich proteins within the glands.

The glow worm light is called a ‘cold’ light, meaning no heat is required to create the glow.

Glow worms are also able to turn their lights off and on. Lights can be turned off if there is too much external light from torches or the sun, so be sure to switch your torch off for the best view. Glow worms are also startled by sudden loud noises which can make them glow brighter.

See the glow worms in Ohiwa on an exciting night walk

Visiting the glow worms in Ohiwa is an exciting family adventure to take when the sun goes down. As it’s only a 10-15 walk from Ohiwa Beach Holiday Park, it’s an easy walk, even in the dark!

It’s a novelty to navigate your way along the Ohiwa Nature Trail in the dark with a torch. The darkness adds a whole new level of mystery to the adventure. Arriving at the grotto in complete darkness makes the sparkle of the glow worms even more effective.

It’s much easier to enjoy a night walk to the glow worm grotto in the winter as darkness falls around 6 pm. During summer, we need to wait until 9 pm to get even a hint of darkness, by which time the kids might be getting a little scratchy.

If you want the full night-walk experience without the late bed time, we recommend a trip to Ohiwa Beach Holiday Park during the winter season.

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We have had some amazing autumn weather and it’s looking to be a mild winter ahead. As home to some of New Zealand’s most spectacular natural attractions, visiting Ohiwa Beach Holiday Park is the perfect getaway in any season.

Take the family on a glow worm discovery this winter and enjoy all that our region has to offer. Call us today to book your accommodation.

Nola Morgan