Waitomo CavesJuly 24, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C
After a rain free night and clear morning everything was looking good for the caving trip today.
We arrived at Kiwi Caving and were told everything was good to go. The water level was still slightly high but that would just add to the fun apparently. We were also the only two on the tour so once again we had a private tour with our guide Beth. A short drive to the changing rooms and some snazzy wetsuits, welly boots and hard hat later, we were ready to go. We were also kitted out with a harness as this tour included a vertical abseil into and climb out of the cave.
After a quick practice of speed control on the abseil cavers rack with a rope tied to a fence we were led to the caves entrance. Blake was first up and her terrified face and little yelp as she went over the edge was followed by a huge smile as she disappeared into the cave. I was up next, shortly followed by Beth. Once at the bottom we could fully experience the full force of the water gushing through the cave. The next lesson was crossing the water by walking further up stream then diagonally walking across using the water to take you over.
We then headed up stream and walked along the side wall of the cave and across a small wire bridge. It wasn't long before we had our first stop and turned our lights off to see the glowworms. As our eyes adjusted hundreds of little yellow glows started to appear. It was pretty cool and Beth even pointed out a couple of glowworms up close. They are funny little creatures really. The spend around 9 - 12 months as worms before they turn into a fly. As a fly, they have no mouths so only live for up to 48 hours as they can't feed. In those 48 hours they do nothing but mate / lay eggs.
It was then time for the black water rafting bit in the rubber rings which was really fun and a much easier way to explore the cave, although there were some mini waterfalls and a couple of stray rocks that hit your bum if you didn't have it high enough.
Deep inside the cave there were lots of crawl spaces. These tiny little spaces were mostly stops for action shots but one took us through to a little room with a bigger waterfall where we stopped for a hot squash refreshment. There was also a bit with a deep pool which you could swim across to a natural slide in the corner. I for some reason made a right meal of climbing up but Blake flew up and we both slid down.
You would think that it would be really cold down in the cave but it wasn't at all. The air was really humid and the wet suits were really thick (for this reason we were specifically warned not to pee in them as it would stay in there and Beth didn't fancy washing it out) so we were quite warm at times, even Blake wasn't cold! Splashing into the pool at the bottom of the slide was a bit of a shock though as the water went down your back!
Once we had gone as far as we could go on the tubes, we explored the cave further on foot. After checking we were a couple, Beth took us to the 'Honeymoon Hole' which were two holes next to each other which you had to pull yourself through for a picture. One of the holes was considerably smaller than the other one so Beth lined Blake up for this one. After barely getting her head in she decided that one wasn't for her so we swapped and got the picture before I struggled to pull my body through the end. It was super tight to be fair!
Before we made our way out of the cave, we stopped again for another hot squash and some chocolate whilst we enjoyed the glowworms. Here they were even more impressive than before! There were so many of them. Beth even pointed out a cluster of baby glowworms which was pretty cool.
Back at the entrance to the cave we harnessed back up before the fun climb out. All in all the activity was around 4 and a half hours and to say we were pooped was an understatement!! We made our way back for a hot shower, hot soup and watched the pictures on a big screen. All in all it was a great day and a really awesome activity.Read more