Auckland-based photographer Shaun Jeffers spent a year capturing the dazzling displays inside Ruakuri Cave in the Waitomo area, proving that the country is just as beautiful below ground as it is above.
Speaking to MailOnline Travel, the talented 26-year-old, who is originally from Liverpool, UK, said: ‘I felt like I was on a different planet – it really is out of this world.
‘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 glowing creatures is just so surreal. It is like being in the real life Pandora, from James Cameron’s Avatar.’
The photographer heard the glow worms are notoriously difficult to photograph after he moved to New Zealand in 2013. To take the challenging photographs he had to submerge himself and his tripod in cold water for up to eight hours a day.
The luminous glow worms, called Arachnocampa luminosa, are unique to New Zealand and emit a phosphorescent glow in order to catch prey and attract mates.