Spelunking in Glow Worm Caves and Tongariro Crossing (11 miles)!!


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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » River Valley
March 20th 2007
Published: August 7th 2007
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Wow, we have really packed in a lot! It's been non-stop! We've been weaving down the North Island and a few days ago took a ferry to the South Island where the scenery just gets more and more stunning.

In Waitomo, we suited up for some serious spelunking in the Waitomo Caves, we repelled down a narrow opening in the earth and wound up 50 meters underground. Above our heads were glowing worms on the ceiling of the caves - they looked like stars in the sky! After a zip line, a leap off a ledge on our inner tubes into the river system below, we began our float through the caves. We carried on exploring the caves stopping for lunch in the pitch black (only our head lamps leading the way). It was quite an adventure! and the only way out was CLIMBING UP 3 waterfalls! Quite a challenge! As we emerged, from the cave expecting to see daylight it was already nighttime.

Beginning to feel pretty invincible, we next decided to conquer the infamous Tongariro Crossing - a very challenging 11 mile hike across volcanoes (one being Mt. Doom from Lord of the Rings), crater lakes, steaming
Blue Crater LakesBlue Crater LakesBlue Crater Lakes

What a hike!
earth, grassy hills, rainforest, and stunning views. One stretch of the hike was called Devil's staircase, a 45 minute incline! Grueling - definitely the most challenging hike of our lives - and well worth the rewards!!

On to the next adventure!





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At the TopAt the Top
At the Top

Steam under my Feet!
Tubing the CavesTubing the Caves
Tubing the Caves

What a ride!
Tongariro Crossing VistasTongariro Crossing Vistas
Tongariro Crossing Vistas

Covering A LOT of ground!
Waitomo Cave Splunking TeamWaitomo Cave Splunking Team
Waitomo Cave Splunking Team

California Cheerleaders at the Top
Waitomo Caves, North IslandWaitomo Caves, North Island
Waitomo Caves, North Island

Splunking Down the River
Waitomo Caves, North IslandWaitomo Caves, North Island
Waitomo Caves, North Island

Waitomo Repel into the Dark
Waitomo Caves, North IslandWaitomo Caves, North Island
Waitomo Caves, North Island

The only way out . . . climbing up and through 3 waterfalls! Rock climbing is challenging enough! What will I climb next!
Tongariro CrossingTongariro Crossing
Tongariro Crossing

Top of the Volcano


30th March 2007

Fabulous Adventures!!!
Sis , you and Rachelle are not holding back one iota! Wow! You guys are doing things I never even thought of doing, and you're just attacking those adventures with no holds barred. Loved hearing about the cave trip - glad you did it, because I'd never have the inclination nor the guts! Also, the hike across the volcano wilderness must have really built the old quads. I didn't hear too much about wildlife like Australia. Not so much there? Sounds like that bus pass is working out just fine, and the weather is supporting some good camping outdoors, right? Or are you in hostels every night? Can't wait till the next blog, wherever/whenever you find an internet cafe. Seen any native peoples at all? Great to hear from you - thanks a lot!!! Love and hugs - Mom

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