Sunday, August 12, 2012

Family Trip Away Part 2

At the entrance to Ruakuri Cave

Stalactites hanging from the roof

Photos looks better without the flash

A 'sheet'

A bit fuzzy but these are the glowworm 'fishing lines'

The actual glowworm...the glow comes from all the waste sitting in their back area which they can't excrete. The brighter the light, the more the waste!

Shell fossil thought to be over 34 million years old and was also thought to be sitting on the bottom of NZ when it was underwater....amazing concept!

The Pretty's cave and although it doesn't look like it from these photos it was breath-takingly phenomenal

And again

A Tomo...but not quite as it doesn't have an opening on the land

Trespass notice as apparently when you own a piece of land you own it all the way to the centre of the earth...minus any gold, silver and oil!

Dons waiting for us in the stunning cafe

An exhausted pup on the way home
After we had been to the snow, we left Ohakune mid morning and drove the 2 hours to Waitomo caves to see the glowworms. Glowworms only live in NZ and in Australia (the bottom parts that is), but I'm sure they shine brighter here... ;-) We did two of the caves....the Ruakuri Cave and the Waitomo Cave. We were only allowed to photograph the Ruakuri and even thought the photos are amazing, they don't do the incredible and majestic beauty of the cave. The Ruakuri cave has only been opened for 7 years and is an absolutely amazing experience. The Stalagmites (the formations that come up from the ground) and the stalactites (the formations that come from the roof) are just phenomenal. You go to about 60 metres underground and walk through a series of walkways in semi darkness with only the right amount of lighting making it look even more stunning than it already is, all the while hearing the water running through. Reuben is keen to come back and go black water rafting but I couldn't think of anything less appealing! However I can't tell you how incredible this experience was.

After the Ruakuri cave we did Waitomo cave which really, although stunning, was just not like the Ruakuri cave. This one you walk through then get onto a boat which is quietly pulled along by the guide using a series of pulley's so you can see the glowworms hanging above you like stars in the sky. Stunning and moving but just not long enough. There was something special being in pitch black darkness and looking above you at these glowing lights on all levels. Makes you realise and appreciate this beautiful country we are so lucky to live in. It's no wonder everyone wants to move to NZ! It's beauty is unsurpassed (in my opinion).

So that was our whistle stop trip of the middle of the North Island. The kids had a ball and we loved it too. Next time Rota-Vegas here we come!

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