A beautiful place
05.11.2007 - 07.11.2007 18 °C
Today we headed off for Taupo but first was the Caving in Waitomo at the Black Water Rafting Co. This was an awesome 5hr trip involving abseiling, zip-lining and climbing all inside underground limestone caves.
First we had to practice abseiling outside to get used to controlling our speed and stopping after this we headed straight into the caves, our access point involved abseiling 40 meters through at small opening which you had to kind of shuffle through but which then opened up into a larger cavern that was pitch black. You get a small head torch which helps but it’s not powerful enough to illuminate the bottom, all you can see it the light of the guide who it at the base of the line in case you get into trouble.
After climbing down a few meters we were all told to turn off our lights so we were in pitch darkness and one by one we were sent down a zip-line completely blind which was so much fun and a little scary. We all had to make lots of noise on the way down creating vibrations to make the glow worms light up. At the bottom you could see hundreds of them on the cave ceiling glowing and glinting in the darkness, amazing!
After a warm cup of tea we headed down stream into the freezing underground river to explore further into the caves seeing more glow worms and a massive eel! After this at a fork we headed up stream along a smaller more enclosed river at times on all fours crawling through gaps, pretty intense but amazing fun, the best was yet to come when we had to climb up through some fairly fast flowing waterfalls. This is one of the best activities I’ve done so far. After a hot shower and a even hotter bowl of soup I was nice and warmed up ready to head to Taupo where I’d do another sky dive….
An early rise of 5:30am was in store to see me head off to do the Tongariro crossing, one of the top ten 1 day hikes in the world and the best in NZ. I was supposed to be heading out with Alli a fellow Manc but he failed to make it out of bed, more fool him as this was an amazing day. There were lots of others from the Kiwi bus on the hike though so I didn’t have to enjoy it alone. The hike sees you hike up alongside Mount Ngauruhoe but LOTR fans will know it better as Mount Doom. After a relatively touch climb up what is known as the Devil’s Staircase you reach the South Crater of one of the volcanos, an impressive sight and about the size of 2 football pitches if not bigger. At the other side of the crater we headed up Red Crater Ridge where you get amazing views of Mt Doom and on a clear day you can see coast to coast. This crater is active and has hot spots all over so you get a nice warm bum while you eat lunch. After this we head down to Emerald lakes which is inside the Central Crater and also holds Blue Lake and offers spectacular views. After this it’s all downhill as you head off the mountain to the other side to get picked up.