Black water rafting

Trip Start Oct 01, 2012
Trip End Oct 01, 2015

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Monday, March 11, 2013

It was time for us to leave taupo and this time we were on a new magic bus, we left early and headed west to waitomo caves - a huge labyrinth of caves full of glo worms. Instead of tackling the caves alone this time we instead took a tour - black water rafting!
We got suited up in very thick wetsuits, Wellies and helmets which had lights attached which actually worked! We were then driven to a field where we picked up our black tubes and then walked across the fields to the entrance to the caves, we walked down into the darkness ducking under the stalactites as we went. We got to a little clearing and were all told to turn off our lights and we were plunged into darkness, we looked above and saw a few glow worms sparkling above us, we'd definitely seen more at abbeys caves and weren't overly impressed. The guide told us a little about glow worms, after they come of of their cocoon (like that of a butterfly) the males only have about 5 days to live as they are born with no mouth so can't eat or drink and die of starvation, the females also face this struggle but manage to last for an extra couple of days which is just enough time for them to lay eggs and then the process happens again! As the guide explained all this the glow worms seemed to light up more and as we looked up hundreds had appeared like stars in the night sky! As we were all looking up I stepped forward to get a closer look at the glow worms and fell into the water that I hadn't noticed was in front of us! Very embarrassing!
We carried on walking, the guides occasionally scaring us in the dark with loud noises! The water level then started to rise and so we put our tubes around our waste and began to wade through the caves. Soon enough the floor disappeared from under our feet and we were floating through the water which was pretty difficult as our feet would float up pushing us forward towards the water. We then had to turn our lights off, being plunged into darkness yet again and had to paddle through the water, glow worms were everywhere but so was the walls of the caves which we all hit our heads on a lot! We soon came to a waterfall where we had to edge up to backwards put our tubes under our bums and fall backwards landing with a big splash in the water below! As we carried on through the caves we leaned back on our tubes and put our legs through the arms of the person in front so we formed a long chain which the guides then pushed and pulled through the caves in darkness as the glow worms lit up the walls and ceilings around us. It was really disorientating being pulled through the pitch black caves. Next we went down a 7 meter slide Sarah screamed like a little girl (so did tai- true story!) as she slid off into the darkness! Finally we walked out of the caves all really happy with the tour!
After the tubing tai was hungry (classic) so we headed off in search of food before jumping back on the magic bus and heading off to our next destination- tongariro national park. Before arriving at the back packers we made a quick stop for some cliff jumping at a nearby waterfall, it was getting late so we were soon on our way again. At the backpackers we caught up with our friends from the 1st bus and then headed to the pub over the road for a BBQ! We went to bed fairly soon after as we had a big day of trekking tomorrow- our first trek since leaving huaraz in Peru - and probably our first bit of exercise since then too!
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Sarahs Mum on

Sounds as scary as florida universal studios underground at hallowen!

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