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Waitomo Caves

2007 Mar 06 10:31 by Ewa

Waitomo Caves is the name of the town where two of the caves (the Glowworm and Ruakuri Caves) are located, that we visited. We started off at the Glowworm Caves a 45 minute tour that took us through the cave to look at stalagmite and stalactite structures. In these structures one can see things such as a mother caring a baby and child standing next to her, a rooster on a fence (the rooster fell off after a guide ran into it, a little tidbit that we got from our cheerful guide), a dog and persons face.

Then we walked down a dim ram and stepped onto a boat. While waiting for others ahead to get onto the boat, we already saw some glowing worms. The worms make a galaxy of little blue stars on the ceiling and sides of the cave. These worms are able to dim their lights and turn them off. The purpose of the light is to attract insects to their webs, which hang below them. The webs consist of 20 strands hanging down off the ceiling. When an insect gets caught on the web, the strands give off vibrations to the worm. The worm then says lunch time and winds the strand back in to enjoy its meal.

The other part of the excursion was Ruakuri Cave, meaning den of dogs in Maori. I liked this cave. It’s ‘new’ in the sense that the owners opened it up to the public two years ago and discovered it in the 1960s. Recent cave, yet old because of all the formation of limestone and underwater beds of fossils. On the tour we saw fossilized shells and moa bones (a huge 3 meter bird that used to live only in New Zealand, went extinct due to over hunting). The tour seemed more intimate because besides the guide there were only 8 of us (the maximum for these tours is 20). Like our guide said the entrance of the cave is something out of a science fiction movie. One goes down this spiral ramp (I kept thinking about the Guggenheim in New York) in dim lights and at the bottom a remote controlled door is open when magic words are spoken by the children. This cave offers a closer look at all the formations: flow rock, coral and fans. The tour seemed like it went by quickly, even though the duration (including with the bus ride to get there from the parking lot) was 2 hours. Very fun times!

P.S. Next time we have to try the cave rafting, which we saw from a walkway that we were standing on.

Glowworm cave entranceExit :) (we were not allowed to take pictures inside this one)Getting ready for the Ruakuri caveWaiting for pickupStalactite formationsGlowworm under lightMore glowwormsGlowworms in darknessUnexplored caves to the topCleansing the spirits away at the exitDriving to Auckland

8 Responses to “Waitomo Caves”

  1. gengor says:

    ewa i like your postings better… more detail and its not just about what you had for breakfast that day…(sorry kubus)

  2. irus says:

    ok that’s it…
    gengors been hugging this blog too much…and so i am going to troll it…
    kubus, i like your breakfast details, so dont mind gengor (bad gengor)- it brings out a touch of realism to your trip.and we must admitt…there is nothing better than having breakfast outside in the morning in the freshair!
    kubus, all pix are great…well ok 99% of them are…the rest just…u know…just keep on trying :]
    i think u are still trying to find your artistic photo taking spirit thingy magigi
    not much on this side of the world…
    i and probably most of the others survived a winter storm, than a freak one-day winter storm , which included a 5hours trip back home for me (but i aint bitter about that), followed by a “ice-cover everything in site-day, followed by bone chilling -34 friggin celsius winds…so ….
    if you ever tell me that you hvnt climbed 500 extra meters to get to the summit of a volcano (which by the way not many of us might ever get the chance too) because of a few clouds and some wind…than ill send gengor after you…
    dude 500m…slippery rocks…ehhh…who cares…40 degrees angle?!…if it was 70 degrees..i would understand…but but…what do i always tell u …” never give up never surrender!!! “…
    doode is it just me or did u get more visible grey hair in your tupee??? ; ]…
    wife is great, “my” kids are great…espacially when they are not there…work is…well work.
    im a GoC boy now, fully fledged and everything..and one more thing before i finish my l15min break here…the last i remember the “kiwi-bird” is an inhabitat of the this huge rock u call NewZ.
    and in all the beatiful and wonderful pix u hve taken not a single…let me repeat that…N-O-T A S-I-N-G-L-E picture has been taken of it…and my question to you is why??…why must you be so cruel and ignore the magnificance of this creature, and so as your friend i demand of u to use your still fine-tune-progressing photo skills to tke a picture because, really, what is a trip to NZ with out the KIWI BIRD???…
    and so i bit u farewell and adieu mon frere…may your ways be safe, and the rocks under your feet, not slippery :]…may the kiwi bird run free…and u right begind it taking paprazzi shots of it…tschus.

    ps. Ewa kontest du bitte dich fur Kuba sorgen das Ihn nichts passiert weil er manchmal klotzing sein kann…zum beispiel: Eurer Zelt…… :] Scheidergruss… - irek
    pss. Ewa, “mustard” auf Deutsch heist , der Mostrich

  3. domek says:

    hahah greg! he HAS to mention what he had for breakfast..thats the main reason why mama reads the posts (to check if they are being healthy eaters)
    kubaaaa call from australialand!
    pix are once again supa-dupa (it shows just how hard to try to capture every single moment hahaa)
    im hoping u guys didn’t get stuck in the glow worms!

    woooohOOoo my march break has started! so yes.

  4. gengor says:

    thanks domek…kuba didnt explain himself enough.. i think that your mom is interested in more than just what he ate (like what he is wearing to stay warm!!!)

  5. Ewa says:

    Reply to Irus on the subject of looking after Jakub: as they say in Australia no worries. And thanks for the translation:-)

  6. Ewa says:

    PS and thanks Gengor for the nice comment above:-)
    PPS Domek enjoy your March Break.

  7. Jakub says:

    Irek. Kiwi birds are mostly haunted by dogs, and they’re near extinctions. To add to the difficulty, those suckers sleep most of the day, and come out at night to play. Darn it. We only seen road warning signs along the way, not to run them over. No luck. Oh, we’re in Sydney now, I guess that plan went to shits. :)

    Greg. Don’t you know. A breakfast is the most important meal of the day :) Breakfasts, is all we can afford here. :)

  8. gengor says:

    kubus like i said b4 im very surprised you get up before noon anyway… must be the time change

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