Alexander has lived in all Australia, spending time in Tasmania, Victoria and Queensland. He loves food and the outdoors.
You can read more of his writing at his personal website - www.alexanderjdance.com
For me, one of the few experiences that has managed to maintain its wonder over the years is seeing a cave full of glow-worms.
Australia is very lucky to be one of the few countries in the world where glow-worms are relatively common. 5 species of the 7 species that exist in the world are found only in Australia and New Zealand.
If you are on the Gold Coast there are two main locations where you can see these magical creatures.
Springbrook National Park
The Springbrook National Park is a UNESCO world heritage site that draws tourists from all over the world for many different reasons including several outstanding waterfalls, the Springbrook Research Observatory and, of course, the Natural Bridge rock arch that is home to a colony of glow-worms
Seeing glow-worms in their natural environment can be a real kick and, in my opinion, the best way to experience them. There are some considerations to make, however.
First, the glow-worms can only be viewed at night. If you are going on the official tour, viewing at the bridge occurs at 8:00pm and lasts 45 minutes, which means you won't get back the Gold Coast until 10pm. If you are making it out there yourself, be aware the drive is about 90 minutes one way so it is an idea to consider accommodation in the area.
Official guides also recommend to dress for hiking and to bring torches and being in an uncontrolled natural environment means you won't always see the glow-worms in their full glory (December to March is they best time to go).
These considerations may make the Springbrook Natural Bridge option less desirable for those with young families.
Mt Tamborine Caves
The Tamborine Caves is the more family friendly location to see glow-worms in Queensland.
The Tamborine Caves are completely enclosed, so the glow-worms are visible during the day. In fact, the caves are actually a purpose-built structure for glow-worms that was completed in 2004.
This is not without its drawbacks however as it means the caves are run exclusively as a business, open only between 10 am and 4 pm daily and admission charged at all times.
However, while seeing glow-worms in this purpose built environment is not quite as special as seeing them in the wild, it is hard to argue the option isn't more convenient, especially for families with young children or individuals with a physical disability.
It is also more conveniently located in the state for anyone holidaying in Brisbane or the Sunshine Coast that want to see glow-worms, as it is located an hour north of the Gold Coast (as opposed to Springbrook National Park which is an hour south). It is also roughly the same distance onto Brisbane as it is from Gold Coast. This makes it an ideal stop off point for anyone road tripping up the coast, while the access times of the Springbrook glow-worms means you must allow a full night to see them.
In the end, the two locations are two very different options that have their pros and cons. What they do have in common, however, is that they are both a great opportunity to capture a little bit of childhood wonder - no matter how old you are.