So, if you saw my previous blog about the Hinterlands, then you know that the Hinterlands are a big playground for nature buffs and city lovers alike. There is an endless amount of things to do and there are experiences that you can only get here, such as, seeing the glow worms in Springbrook National Park. I was recently able to go on a glow worm tour and I’m here to tell you all about it.
The night begins when the tour group, Tour Gold Coast, picks up you and a small bus (I say small bus and I mean it. There were other tour groups that were sporting full charter buses) of other passengers from the major hotels in the Gold Coast. Then it is off to Springbrook! The guides make sure to make the drive not so dull by dishing out information on the history of the Gold Coast and also all about the glow worms that you’ll get to see soon. It only takes about 40 minutes to get from the bright lights of the city out to the park.
Once you arrive, you’re given all of the rules. (Don’t be too upset if the tour guides seem a little harsh about the rules. They are protecting a pretty delicate environment and by doing so, their job). Finally, you set off onto a paved path into the forest. It is about a 45 minute walk in total before you are back on the bus. There are a good many steps, but the walk isn’t that strenuous. You get to see all the ancient Strangler Figs and other ancient plant life, the cave where the largest amount of glow worms will be, and a waterfall. After the walk, you hop back on the bus and get a lovely certificate and you can buy a plush glow worm, an information packet, or a photograph of the glow worms (because you definitely didn’t have enough time to take any nice ones yourself).
You may be able to tell that I don’t sound very thrilled about it, but that doesn’t mean that the tour wasn’t great. It just wasn’t for me. The tour is the quick and dirty version of getting outside to learn about something amazing in nature. So, if you have kids that won’t make it past the 11 o’clock mark without getting cranky or if you aren’t into outdoorsy things, but want to see the glow worms (they are only in Australia and New Zealand, so it’s kind of a big thing), then this tour is for you. If you are like me and love being outdoors or photography is a hobby of yours, then I would suggest finding a different tour or going on your own. You don’t get to spend a lot of time in the cave and it seems like all the tour groups go at one time. Instead of a relaxing night in the forest taking some awesome photographs, the hours from 8 p.m.- 11 p.m. are filled with the sounds of tourists (I know I am one too, but I try not to act like one as much as possible). I would love to go back later at night and be able to spend a lot of time getting some photographs of the glow worms in the cave and also the ones that you see tucked under tree roots on the rocks.
So, if you want to see the glow worms make sure to do your research and find a tour that fits you best or just get out there with someone that has a car. Make sure you pick a tour group that is EcoCertified or that you know how to not harm the environment.