Nach einem schönen Tag, sind wir heute schon eher auf dem Campingplatz und lassen den Tag entspannt ausklingen.
Great stop at Mitchell's Gully Gold Mine!! Amy and I donned the headlamps and went exploring all of the old mining tunnels and equipment. There are a few "what the heck is that?" moments and one "which way now?" moment, but we loved every dark, dank meter of it! And found glow worms!
Another early start this morning to start our drive to Charleston for our Underworld Adventure. We had about an hour and a half of backtracking the route we took to Abel Tasman before we got on a new road to take us to the west coast. New Zealand speed limits are typically a limit, but a goal to try to get to for the most part. We did make good time, google maps said 3:30 and we were right close to that.
Before getting to Charleston we stopped near Westport to go visit a fur seal colony. A short hike got us to the seal colony where Chad got to try out his dual purpose selfie stick/monopod for pictures of seals and seagulls. The hike also offered spectacular views even though we didn't quite have time to make it to the high point where a lighthouse was. We then finished our drive to charleston and had lunch near the beach at Constant Bay. This is a small bay where ships used to deliver goods to charleston when it was a gold mining town. They said it was ships up to 40 tons.
The main event of our day was the Underworld Adventure. We showed up and were instructed in the application of our wet suits. Socks, boots, wet suit, wet suit jacket, life jacket, helmet. Chad looked quite fetching in his skin tight wet suit. We then boarded a bus and rode to the train. There was a neat train that took us through the forest to a path where we walked to a swing bridge. We picked up our tubes, which turned out to be child sized tubes (this comes into play later). We then met our guide, Tim. We climbed 130 stairs to the entrance of the cave. It was a hot climb up, but was a cool 11 degrees inside. There were really cool formations, and we hiked for about 1 hour in the cave, carrying our tubes. At one point we "stopped for a rest" and all sat down in our tubes, turned off our lights, and there were glowworms! They were so cool! We then proceeded on, over a small crevace, and then met a river. We formed a line in our tubes, and all linked up. Then we floated through the river, and at first we saw a small line of glowworms, but then it opened up, and the whole roof was covered in glowworms! It was surreal and so cool! The river was a little low, so when we got to the river (which was overwhelmingly green after the black and blue of the pure dark and glowworms), we had to wiggle and push our way through the rocks and rapids. The child sized tines meant that our backs and butts took the brunt of the bumping, as the tube opening was big, but the tube width itself was small. After our refreshing dip in the cool water we made it back to the bridge and boarded the train (run by our guide in his wetsuit) for the trip back to the bus, whilst waiting we were swarmed by the resident sand flies (i.e. Glowworm food), the local couple told us that the Maori believe that the gods put sandflies in the nicest places to keep people out. Lucky for us, this didn't work on us, as the glow worms were one of the closest things we've ever seen!
We asked a local couple where the best place to watch the sunset would be and they directed us to fishermans rock. We had a quick dinner getting rid of all of our leftovers and took a quick shower before heading out to fishermans rock.
Luckily we were able to decipher the kiwi's directions and eventually found the parking spot to the rock. (Not before multiple U turns and passing the same on the road at least 5 times) We grabbed our bottle of Chardonnay and quickly completed the short walk on the beach, scramble on the rocks, through the NZ flax forest and across the old concrete foot bridge to fishermans rock. The sunset and waves were quite spectacular, and we were the only people there which made it even better.
We managed to stay up past 10 PM for the first time since we've been here.Read more
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