Glow worms and Hobbit Holes

Trip Start Mar 29, 2006
Trip End Sep 07, 2006

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Friday, June 16, 2006

Hi Everyone,

Had a lovely drive over rolling hills up to Waitomo Caves and the weather was really nice which was a change from Wellington. We had decided to book into a hotel we had read about that consisted of a train carriage and a plane that had been refurbished into rooms and also their newest edition a hobbit hotel from Lord of the Rings.

Arrived in pitch darkness to check into our room for 2 nights. It was incredible, the attention to detail was brilliant for anyone that has seen the LOTR films. There was even grass on our room with sheep and pigs grazing on it!

The following morning we went to the Waitomo cave which is famous for it's glow-worms. We booked a tour that took us down to the lowest point of the cave through amazing limestone caverns with columns, stalactites and stalagmites. The guide explained all about cave formations as we descended lower. We got to the floor of the cave and boarded a boat to be taken into a cavern in complete darkness and total silence. As your eyes adjusted and you looked up towards the ceiling you could see thousands of shimmering lights which were the glow-worms. It was an amazing experience.

After this we went to another cave called Aranui, which was discovered about a hundred years by a man chasing a pig, it is known for it's stunning rock formations and the myriad of rooms you climb through as you walk deep into the mountainside.

We then took a drive up a country road to see a natural limestone bridge, a waterfall and another very deep cave. There was so much to so, signposts off the road direct you to loads of natural attractions.

That evening we took a walk through the scenic reserve in darkness, thank goodness for the headlamps we bought for Malaysia. As you walk through the reserve which has tunnels, bridges, caves etc you can see glow worms hanging down from the trees and from underneath the bridges. Unbelievable sight especially in the dark forest at night.

Returned to our Hobbit Hole late in the evening.

Had a great stay in Waitomo,

Off to Auckland next...

Love Lisa and Paul x
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