New Zealand - Day 14

Caves and Water

It was an early get up to get our cars moving towards the caves. It was going to take 2 hours to drive there. I grabbed a quick breakfast from lime cafe for Anth and me and eventually we were all ready to go. First we had to say Goodbye to Madi who was heading back to Melbourne today. I was so sad to see her go traveling with her was I am so grateful to her for flying overseas for the wedding.

I rode in Maria and Graz’s car today and it was a beautiful drive with the rolling hills and lots of rainbows. A lot of the rivers had flooded so there was a lot of water everywhere as well. After an easy drive we arrived at Waitamo Cave. Our first cave of the day was Ruakuri cave. A tour bus picked us up from the visitor centre and drove us the 10 minute drive to the cave.

The start of the tour descends you down a man made spiral lamp that looks so pretty all lit up. We entered the cave and walked through looking at the limestone which was surrounding us. This cave was a wet cave so it is still actively growing and changing. The formations in this cave are very pretty.

We also came across a few sections with glowworms which are so pretty to look at. In this cave you are allowed to take pictures of them. We stayed for a bit and watched the glowworms and listened to the river. Normally you would see some black water rafters floating down here, however the cave was extra flooded which had canceled the black water rafting for the day.

Next we moved into one of the bigger chambers which has a pipe which leads to the surface. This pipe is how they got all the concrete in to make the paths. This section also shows you fossils of shells which is proof that long ago this cave was actually under the sea. It was also a great spot for some photos with the lime stone.

Before we knew it we were finished with the cave and onto our next cave which was the glowworms caves. When we arrived at the glowworm caves we were disappointed to learn that they had just stopped the tours. Apparently the caves had started to flood and the level of C02 were extremely high. We received our refund and headed to lunch to think over what to do next.

Tom and I decided to go jet boating and after much back and forth finally settled on CAMJET which would be an hour drive away. When we made it there we met Aaron and his boat and before we knew it we were out on the open river. Aaron was saying that the river was 4 meters higher after the 2 cyclones so it would be a much different trip then normal. We jet boated up and down the river doing 360 degree turns and getting wet in the process. It is very pretty along here there are waterfalls all along the river.

The river itself if the longest in NZ and feeds into most of the Hydro stations across the North Island. We made it down the the Dam and the flood gates. They were open and were letting out enormous amount of water which made the water very choppy. It was a great ride around the might Waikato River and made us forget how disappointed we were were with the glow worm caves closing.

We returned to Rotorua for our final dinner in NewZealand. We decided on this beautiful Japanese joint and ordered so much sushi! It was delicious. Its our last day tomorrow and we all want to stay.