24 hours - Why is a day just that short?

Waitomo Travel Blog

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Welcome to Waitomo Caves

Finally, I'd been looking forward to this trip for quite a few weeks and today some dear friends and I went to the popular and extremely spectacular Waitomo Caves. This trip is a highly recommended must for kiwi traveller!!! So I really couldn't miss it, could I? And our programme should become more packed than a nearly bursting suitcase ...

 

At first we just wanted to visit the legendary Glowworm Cave but after I had searched for more information my friends were convinced of the neat and really not too expensive 'Two Cave Combo' offer. So we decided to book our trip (a guided tour) to both the Aranui Cave and the Glowworm Cave online because this was easy, quicker and even cheaper than buying our tickets at the counter. Great!

 

The Waitomo Caves with their awesome underground limestone formations and mystic Maori legends belong to the most exciting (tourist) destinations in New Zealand.

Quite informative

 

We started in Hamilton so that we were at the Glowworm Cave at 11am.

Wow, just a few more minutes and we would be part of the great world more than 30m under sea level … exciting, exciting!


First our friendly and entertaining tour guide had told us about the cave's history and than we entered a new world. Some minutes after entering the cave we saw amazing limestone formations (stalactites and stalagmites) all around us. And some single blue little dots, the first glow-worms could be spotted above.

While walking through the cave our guide told us about wedding ceremonies that have already been held in the 14m high natural cathedral and she sang a nice Maori song to demonstrate the excellent acoustics - well done!

Then the absolute highlight followed: a boat trip through the actual Glowworm Cave.

Was this great or was this great? Everybody was so quiet that just the dripping water, which sounded like 'awe-some, awe-some' could be heard and when we looked at the ceiling there were thousands of blue glow-worms there. The atmosphere was amazing! I guess you could possibly compare it with a black sky at a moonless night that is full of stars, blue stars but, honestly, this is just a vague comparison.

 

After coming back from this dreamy place we went to the 4km distant Aranui Cave, which is famous for its limestone. A lovely guide was waiting for us and showed us a fantastic and millions of years old underground world.

How impressive! Every stalactite grows just a tiny bit in 10.000 years and we saw single formations that weight around one ton.

If you had had just a little bit more imagination than J.

Aranui Cave
K.Rowling you could also have spotted formations like the 'hugging couple' or a 'bungee jumping kiwi', very nice. The cave offers so many varied structures like tiny coral shapes, stalactites and stalagmites in every hight and the absolutely awesome cathedral cave that is more than 20m high.

We could have spent hours in these caves because this destination was a great experience (and the temperature was so much more pleasant than the summery 31 degrees outside).

 

Now we were walking along the Ruakuri Bushwalk that is located nearby the Aranui Cave. The natural tunnel, a waterfall and talkative cicadas made the jungle feeling perfect!

 

The final stop for today was the Kiwi House - Native Bird Park in Otorohanga.

More natural art
Of course, we had to visit some kiwis (and many other native and non-native birds). A stay in New Zealand without seeing real kiwis would be the same as a kiwi sandwich without Marmite or even worse a chocolate self-saucing pudding without chocolate - no way!

A few kiwis live in the dark kiwi house so that they are always visible for visitors. Some more live outside but those ones were hiding today.

Lucky us, at least we saw the kiwis in the dark! If there hadn't been a window the holes digging kiwi would have picked our noses. Kiwis so close, absolutely awesome!

 

This Sunday was such a fantastic day with heaps of unforgettable impressions!! Just one single experience could have made me even happier but I guess for it the day must have had 36 hours. That means I have to come back for the unbelievable Black Water Rafting through the Waitomo Caves one day …

sylviandavid says:
How interesting...... Thanks....
Posted on: May 23, 2009
hummingbird50 says:
Wow...I was just watching last night on Earth..about glow worms in the caves...way beneath the limestone. It was awesome...how they make droplets of sticky stuff...they they glow blue to attract their prey...and then presto they catch an insect..and they have lunch. Pretty amazing stuff. Thanks for the great information...would be something to see live:)
Posted on: Apr 24, 2009
Koralifix says:
I won't try them ... that's for sure ...
Posted on: Feb 10, 2009
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Welcome to Waitomo Caves
Welcome to Waitomo Caves
Quite informative
Quite informative
Aranui Cave
Aranui Cave
More natural art
More natural art
Interesting formation
Interesting formation
Along the path
Along the path
Ruakuri Reserve
Ruakuri Reserve
Jungle feeling
Jungle feeling
Kiwiana in Otorohanga :-)
Kiwiana in Otorohanga :-)
At the Kiwi House
At the Kiwi House
Want to adopt a Kiwi?
Want to adopt a Kiwi?
Waitomo Sights & Attractions review
Glowworm Caves – Unbelievable impressions you'll never forget!
Local Maori Chief Tane Tinorau and the English surveyor Fred Mace extensively explored the caves in 1887. The place is awesome and breathtaking th… read entire review
Waitomo Sights & Attractions review
Ruakuri Bushwalk – Unexpected and surprising!
When we left the great Aranui Cave we just decided to go for a short jungle expedition along the Ruakuri Bushwalk. Nobody of us was expecting such … read entire review
Waitomo Sights & Attractions review
Aranui Cave – A wonderful limestone world on New Zealand's North Island
In 1910 Ruruku Aranui after whom the cave is named discovered this beautiful place just by accident. What a lucky chance! After following the frien… read entire review
Waitomo
photo by: MadeleineGL