Blogs from Waitomo, North Island, New Zealand, Oceania - page 3

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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo March 22nd 2011

De senaste dagran har varit valdigt intensiva. For 6 dagar sedan anlande vi till Auckland. Efter 3 hyfsat lugna dagar i Auckland klev vi pa Kiwi Experience-bussen for vidare fard genom NZ. Forsta stoppet var Mercury Bay dar vi besokte Hot Water Beach. Vi gravde egna halor i sanden som fylldes med upp till 80 grader varmt vatten. Dar satt vi sedan och njot av varmen. Sedan begav vi oss till hostelet dar vi skulle bo for natten. Dagen efter gick vi upp tidigt och korde vidare mot Rotorua. Pa vagen stannade vi vid en gammal guldgruva dar vi gick en promenad i de morka tunnlarna. Vi gick en guidad tur som handlade om Maorifolket och gick aven runt bland svavelluktande vulkankallor. Efter det akte vi ludge (typ som gocart fast ner for ett berg och ... read more
Auckland
Hot Water Beach
Hot Water Beach

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo December 12th 2010

I might as well just admit it. There’s no way I’m going to see a real Kiwi in the wild (they’re a threatened species, they’re very reclusive, and they’re always nocturnal) so I might as well just suck it up and pay the admission price to see them in captivity. Because going to New Zealand and not seeing an actual real live Kiwi is just not an option. So we went to the Otorohanga Kiwi House. The Kiwi is truly a peculiar evolutionary oddity. I’d seen zillions of photographs, heaps of artistic stylizations, truck loads of stuffed toys, and dozens of cartoons of the bird so I felt like I knew pretty much exactly what to expect. But looking through the glass into the dark Kiwi habitat I was still a little awestruck. The birds seem ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo December 3rd 2010

This morning we set off soon after 9am heading for the Forgotten World Highway on route to Waitomo. It was a little grey & drizzely but still lovely to drive the twisting road through hilly farmland & a native forest gorge. This included a trip through the Republic of Whangamomona - a town that declared itself independant, as far as I can tell to prevent them having to play for a rival rigby team! Their presdidents have included Billy Gumboot the Goat and Tai the Poodle! We arrived at Waitomo in time to book in with The Legendary Black Water Rafting Company for the Black Labyrinth rafting trip at 3pm. We wet-suited up, chose our inflated inner tyres & headed into the caves. We jumped off a couple of small waterfalls (backwards holding the tyre to ... read more
Pohokura saddle
Strathmore saddle
The Republic of Whangamomona

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo September 30th 2010

Once we left Auckland we had a good idea of the route we would take to Wellington and a list of must see places and activities to do. We started with a visit Waitomo. Here there is a massive system of underground caves, waterfalls and passages and we were keen to explore. After kitting up in our wetsuits, helmets and lights, our day here was spent abseiling down a waterfalls, climbing up rock faces and crawling in and under passageways filled with water, all this a total of 400ft underground. The entire cave system is littered with stalagmites, stalactites, columns not to mention the millions of glow-worms that light up even the darkest of chambers. This was the perfect start to our many New Zealand adventures. We loved it and were sorry when our day trip ... read more
Roturua
Roturua
Roturua

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo September 10th 2010

North Island Wellington 5th September Today is a special day, its mine and ste’s 7 year anniversary!! Unfortunately its not the most exciting day because we will spend most of it travelling to the north island I think a non-budget nice meal and glass of wine would mark the event nicely. Again today was started nice and early, 7.00am and we were awake and getting ready to hit the road, we had a 1 and half hour drive ahead of us to get to Picton and that’s were the Ferry (Interlander) leaves. So that’s the plan, but the days events didnt go according to our plan, it had its own little agenda. It started when we tried to check out of the hostel at 7.15am, but the reception doesn’t open until 7.45am. Usually the key deposit ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo July 8th 2010

Blackwater rafting was unreal! At first we had to put on the wetsuits,socks,thermal vests,balaclavas,helmets,boots (one white and one black for me) and a harness. This was not pleasent as it was about 8 degrees and the wetsuits were soaking wet and cold. We headed off in the van to the desent into the cave where tom cruise and the director of lord of the rings had been recently! We had a miniture practise outside with the absailing gear.. and to the instructors delight failed miserably at doing anything correctly. Good start. But we were allowed to embark on the adventure. There were 5 of us and 2 instructors and we all headed down the 40 meter drop into pitch black. The hole we had to go down was very small. As in my back was on ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo April 15th 2010

As we are having to wait for the blackwater rafters we are told to check out at 10am and be on the bus ready to depart at 11am. We went for a walk around the Ruakuri Cave Scenic Reserve (to pass on some time) and also went to our first free activity! This in itself was quite bizarre. In a little shed we saw a lady shearing an angora rabbit! This was done on what looked like a torture implement. The fur is spun to make wool - very warm and soft. The rabbit was kept near a fan before being sheared to stop it from overheating! As Taupo is only a 2 hour drive from Waitomo we do a straight through drive. Once in Taupo we stop briefly at Huka Falls - which we are ... read more
12.4.10-17.4.10 274
12.4.10-17.4.10 275
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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo April 7th 2010

As we’ve previously mentioned, our visit to Te Kuiti had the happy coincidence of being at the same time as the annual Sheep Muster Festival and Sheep Shearing Championships, awesome. So not knowing what to expect from the day (apart from the obvious, a lot of sheep) we left our dreary campsite for the short drive into town. The whole of the main street through town had been closed off for the day, a stage was set up with bands playing and dance groups doing their best to fit 20 people on a tiny stage and dance without falling off. Oh, and most importantly of all there were dozens of ridiculously cheap and tasty food stalls, good times! So we spent the morning munching on bbq’d meats, well Matt did anyway and window shopping around the ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo March 4th 2010

Lovely morning in Raglan! Managed to pack up pretty quickly. It’s hard work this, backpacking around. I’m not used to it! I’m the dumb one that packs everything and anything as well, which means I’m carrying 23 kilos on my back.. Stupidity at it’s best! I’m just hopeless with throwing stuff out, I get attached! I did manage to chuck a load of clothes out before I came here, in fact quite a lot and it broke my heart.. But then ridiculously I ended up buying more stuff! WHY SUSIE WHY! So anyway quickly make myself some peanut butter on toast and we all piled in the bus and headed on our way towards the Waitomo caves! Today I signed up to absail down 3 underground waterfalls.. Nice huh! Gotta be done. I was absolutely ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo February 7th 2010

Day 72: Sunday, February 7th, 2010 Paihia, New Zealand to Waitomo, New Zealand. Per the Contiki brochure: "We head south, stopping in Auckland for lunch before traveling through the lush Waikato farming region to Waitomo, home of magical limestone formations and sparkling Glow-worms. Tonight there's the chance to meet the local characters." So, I'm now writing this blog on 2/22/10- needless to say, I have forgotten much. I do remember that we left Paihia and stopped in Auckland again. Here, we dumped off the "olbies" (their tour was up) and picked up some "newbie newbies". We then headed down to Waitomo and we got into the hotel (Kiwi Paka Waitomo) at the same time that the Black Water R... read more
These are gloworms (and the string is their pretty pretty poo)
WWT 8
Preparing for the caves




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