New Zealand - Day 5

Glowworms, caves and hobbits, Oh my!

Wow it has been such a big day today I do not know where to start. We set our alarms last night for 12:50am so that we could see the blood moon. It was pretty amazing.

So besides that we woke up and headed down to Waitomo Caves. The weather was rainy and overcast this morning however it was still a very pretty drive. We arrived at Waitamo in time for our 11”00 o’clock tour of Rukari Cave. We met up with our tour guide and headed into the cave. The caves have only newly been reopened to the public. When I say newly they have been operating for nearly 9 years. Before they resigned and built secure walkways nine years ago the tour used to start by going through and ancient Maori burial ground. They have since given this back to the Maori people and have created the magnificent entrance which is there now. The spiral ramp is lit with low lights and circle right down to the bottom of the cave.

The tour of the cave then took us through the parts of the cave and man is this cave beautiful. The caverns are huge and the formations are stunning. We stopped at different parts of the tour to watch the black water rafters go underneath us. the looked like little glowworms with there little lights on their heads. We also got to see some glowworms on the tour. The beauty of this tour is there was such a small group it was easy to hear and see everything. Both Anthony and I were amazed at the size of these caverns as well as the rivers running at the bottom. After 2 hours underground we headed back to the surface and drove down to the next tour which was the Glowworms.

The glowworm tour was amazing. We headed in a small group through the cavern and looked at the formations in this cave. We learnt that glowworms are not worms at all they are actually larvae that drop fishing lines form the ceiling to catch prey. They must eat enough while they are larvae as when they are adults they have no mouths to eat food. They also shine out of their butt. As the concluding part of this tour you are loaded into boats in the dark and go on the underground river in the pitch black. As you are floating along you can see the glowworms all around you. It is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. It is like starts everywhere on the walls of the cavern. Amazing.

From here we headed to Hobbiton where we had a booking for the dinner tour. Before I write about this I must say if you ever have the chance to do this do not hesitate it is one of the most magical and amazing tours I have ever done. We hopped on the Bus at 5 and were greeted by our tour guide Dan. He was so funny from now everyone in the tour was now known by their country so we were refereed to as the Aussies. He was hilarious and he started the tour through the Alexanders sheep farm which is where Hobbiton was set. Along the bus ride he told us bits and pieces about the estate and how for the filming of the hobbit they had to move the 13000 sheep so they didn’t get in the footage. We arrived in Hobbiton and walked through the set.

We learnt about how the tree above bagend was made from scratch ant 20000 leaves were creates and wired on by hand, All growing vegetable in Hobbiton are real and all the Hobbit holes are permanent. Dan walked us through scenes from the movies took photos for us and explained the sets. The hobbit holes are made at various scales for filming so that the right perspective could be made. After getting plenty on time around Hobbiton it was time to head to the Green Dragon.

This inn has been recreated beautiful it is amazing. We had a Southfaring beverage and relaxed in the warm pub as the sun set over hobbiton. After a while it was time for dinner, Anthony got chosen to be gandalf which meant he had the honour of opening the curtains to reveal dinner and OMG! The tables were layed out in a hobbit feast. There was so much food and drink and everything was delicious. We talked with the fellow hobbits, shared around food and got very full. Then it was dessert which was just as amazing. Full we were given lanterns and went back on tour.

I dunno if I can describe the view of hobbiton form the pub at night it is beautiful. The reflections int the water and the tiny houses all lit up was magical. We looked back around by torchlight and wished and wished we could stay in a hobbit hole. I wish we could have. After 4 and a half hours our time in Hobbiton was over. What a brilliant Day