Last year, I published my first Bored Panda post about New Zealand’s glowing underworld. Over the past few months, I’ve been working on a new selection of glow worm images that continue to showcase the magical mountain caves hidden beneath New Zealand.

Once again, I donned my wetsuit and set off in search of something truly unique. Having previously only explored the one bioluminescent worm cave, I set myself the challenge of exploring as many different caves as I could.

During my nature photography trips, I have explored caves in both New Zealand’s Northland and Waikato regions and have been totally mesmerized by what I have found! From small public accessible caves to huge Department of Conservation permit only caves big enough to fit a cruise ship, it’s been an absolutely incredible experience!

I’ve never experienced anything quite like it and to be honest, it’s difficult to put the feeling into words. Standing alone in total darkness, looking up at these little luminescent creatures is just so surreal and magical. It’s like looking up at a starry night sky.

I used a combination of Nikon equipment including my D850, D810, and various lenses. Shooting glow worms are no easy feat. Photographing them is just like taking photos of the night sky; only the exposure time can be much longer. Depending on how close I was to the glow worms and the amount of them, exposures varied from 30 seconds to 8 minutes. To achieve the shots, some required me to submerge myself and my tripod in freezing cold water, other required hiking, climbing, abseiling, and swimming. Once again, the cool photos were totally worth it! Bring on more glow worm adventures!

More info: shaunjeffersphotography.com

Spellbound Cave, Waitomo

Spellbound Cave, Waitomo

Department of Conservation Permitted Cave, Waitomo

Northland Caves

Department of Conservation Permitted Cave, Waitomo

Northland Caves

Northland Caves

Spellbound Cave, Waitomo

Waipu Cave, Northland

Waipu Cave, Northland

Waitomo Glowworm Cave, Waitomo

Waipu Cave, Northland

Waitomo Glowworm Cave, Waitomo

Waitomo Glowworm Cave, Waitomo

Waitomo Glowworm Cave, Waitomo

Waitomo Glowworm Cave, Waitomo

Department of Conservation Permitted Cave, Waitomo

Me (Shaun Jeffers)