Day 162 New Zealand, Waitomo caves

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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo Caves
April 28th 2015
Published: May 3rd 2015
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Bonjour, Hola, Hello,

Today we went to the Waitomo caves, Wai means water and Tomo means shaft or tunnel. Here they have 3 different caves to see, the glowworm cave, Ruakuri cave and Aranui cave, each with there own different qualities.

The glowworm cave has amazing acoustics that even artist such as Josh Stone, Rod Stewart and Katy Perry have performed here. As it is a wet cave it has perfect conditions for glowworms, here there is a huge glowworm population. If you see the pictures in light they are small 3cm long worms but make a huge fishing line/web strand that can go to a metre long, this way they light up in the dark and midges and other insects think it’s light and fly into the web and its then dinner time. We took a boat trip right under the cave and went under a huge cavern filled with them, it was amazing but we were not allowed to take photos L.

The Aranui cave is a dry cave, however it displays an amazing variation of limestone formations. There are thousands of straw stalactite formations hanging from the ceiling. This used to have an underwater river running through it thousands of years ago. It was really amazing to see all the formations.

The Ruakuri cave had a manmade 15 metre spiral staircase winding down to the entrance of the cave, we walked through 1.5km of a massive 7.5km system. Below us were people doing the “Black-water tunneling tour” this is water tubing underground tour going down waterfalls and seeing glowworms; it looked amazing but it was really cold!!! We saw glowworms and lots of underground rivers and waterfalls and amazing formations. It is a very spiritual place for the Maori people.

After the tour we had a quick lunch in the campervan before heading off, we were heading to Tongariro National Park and planning to do the Tongariro Alpine crossing tomorrow. We stopped off about 20km away as it was getting dark and we were both tired. We pulled over at a truck stop in the National park. It was nice but a bit loud due to the trucks and the main road being so close.

We set up and had a nice dinner and watched Dirty Dancing 2 (I hated it but it’s one of Vicks fav films)

That’s all, hope the pictures do it justice.

Love N&V X

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