Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Waitomo Caves

OK, this swingbridge shot is 'out of order' as I deleted it by mistake, and changing photos around on a blogger page is not so easy. See the stream it crosses at the end!
At Waitomo I chose to go with Spellbound Tours to see the glow-worms, rather than go to the main cave with a zillion others on the same boat. Spellbound take you in a minivan, so there are about 12 people per trip. Here we are outside the entrance to the cave where we are about to have a magical experience viewing glow-worms. The river is disappearing underground, and complete with helmets and lamps, we are about to do the same. We had ample time underground for our eyes to adjust to the dark, and the view we had of glow-worms was simply magical.
After seeing the glow-worms, we were provided with morning tea by our guide Annette. These limestone outcrops are a common sight all over the King Country. Inside our second cave we were able to have a bit more light on, and could take photographs of various formations. Here are some of the many stalactites hanging from the cave ceiling.

On the afternoon of my day in Waitomo I was a 'real' tourist and paid big biccies to go black-water rafting, ie, using an inner tube to get down a cave stream. More about this later on my main blog! Next morning I went on a short walk along the Ruakuri Walkway, apparently one of NZ's 'top ten' walks, (not that I had heard of such a list before!) The walk was truly stunning though. Here is a view through a small cave tunnel along the path. Here is a view of the stream along the way, and at the top of this posting is a photo of a swingbridge that crosses it. This would be an absolutely magical walk to take children along.

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