Glow Worm SUP Tour With Rotorua Jetboard Tours
Every month I try to challenge myself to try something new or to take me out of my comfort zone. April, being my birthday month, I decided to try stand up paddle boarding (SUP). What’s more exciting than SUP? A twilight glow worm tour on a beautiful lake of course! I somehow managed to convince eight friends to give it a go too.
I met Nev from Rotorua Jetboard Tours a couple of months ago at the Rotorua Night Market. He and business partner, Matt, had just started and were keen to get the word out, especially to the locals. SUP was one of those activities I wanted to try over the Summer, but never quite happened. Unfortunately Matt wasn’t able to join us on the tour, maybe next time.
We met up with Nev at the Rotorua Information Centre around 5pm - most of the group hopped in the van and I followed in the Rav. I won’t tell you which lake we drove to, but only that it’s about 20 minutes from the city - I mean, this place is pretty special, why ruin the surprise, right? After getting our wetsuits on, we huddled for the safety briefing and one by one Nev got us onto the boards. To be honest, as a former dancer, I thought I would have better balance!
It took me about 15 minutes to relax into the SUP stance. The trick is to keep your knees bent and relaxed, engage the core and look out to the horizon. A wide stance also makes it easier to keep your balance, but the best tip is really to relax. When you’re tense, you’ll be like a dead weight rocking side to side, which just makes it worse. So...relax.
You know, woozah.
The sun was setting as we paddled towards the caves. Being Autumn, the light faded quickly and turned all of us into beautiful silhouettes. Each of us had glow sticks so that Nev can keep a track of us on the water. We tried to paddle our way towards one of the glow worm caves where you can squeeze through, but the wind and current had other ideas. Nev made the safety call to take us back to the sheltered bay and head to the main cave.
I don’t know about you, but glow worms and caves just makes me act like a little kid again. Sigh. You know when you put glow in the dark stars on your roof, well, that and then some. At the second cave, we lit the candles to the birthday cake and my friends sang happy birthday. Like, how cool is that? Birthday by glow worms - definitely something I’ll never forget!
While the glow worms lit up the caves, the Milky Way, with no light pollution, was simply breathtaking. What more could a girl wish for on her birthday?
If you’re a Bay of Plenty local, make sure you ask Nev and Matt about their locals discount!