Sunday, July 16, 2017

Waitomo Caves

On Thursday the 13th of July we went to the Waitomo caves and Ruakuri cave near Te Kuiti. We didn't want to go home that day after the Mt Ruapehu skiing trip was cancelled so we stayed one night in Taupo and we were meant to go home the next day but the Napier-Taupo road was closed due to poor weather conditions, so we went to Waitomo Caves, we arrived at 12:45 then we went and booked the Waitomo Cave of the glowworms then we booked the Ruakuri cave trip. First we went into the glowworm cave we walked for five minutes to get to the entry then they opened a door to enter the lowest part of the cave. At only 70cm high as we walk the beautiful cave out tour starts  with talking about stalactites, The stalactites grow from the top of the cave and stalagmites from the bottom and they grow 3cm per 100 years. After being in there for 25 minutes we walk across to the 7th most acoustic space on the planet, world famous opera sing Kiri Te Kanawa has sung there, We sung twinkle twinkle little star. Then we moved onto the area where there are some glow worms (Glow worms are larvae form for a fungus gnat), Did you know that the Fungus gnat only lives for three days and the glowworm lives for nine months. Glow worms have very thing lines of thread like a spider web the hang down from their mouth.  The fungus gnat does not have a mouth so it doesn't eat during its life only mates and lays eggs then dies. We started moving towards the boats that take you under through a under river were at least  100,000 glow worms live then we finally reach the end of the cave we walk back to the car then drive  down to the Ruakuri caves which means 2 dogs cave because the Maori chief that discovered the cave was attacked by two dogs that lived in the cave entrance. The chief ran away after the first attack he returned with his men and killed the dogs making them in cape for him to wear and they never lost a battle again. As Pippin our tour guide took us into the amazing spiral entrance into the cave when we reach the bottom there was a huge lime stone rock that we could touch because everything else in the cave we could not touch- If you got caught doing so they would fine you 10,000 dollars because in gives the stones and creation a brown colour and can destroy them,

When we reach the bottom Pippin the tour guide open the first of the airlock doors that enter the cave. Once we got in there were some crazy awesome equipment that the use to check the cave is ok as we started descending into 75 meter deep cave some stalactites had made a Curtain shape which is not that common it takes 200 years to grow 1cm. We keep on going down and down seeing more unique shapes from stalactites and stalagmites, Suddenly the ground starts shaking as we approach a waterfall the locals thought for 4 year before they found the water it would be 10-20 meters high but it was only 1.5 meters, at the Waitomo caves you can do a blackwater rafting cave trip which takes yo down the river with the waterfall they push you off the waterfall backwards in a tube and they don't tell you how high it is. Half way through the cave there is a pipe that goes up to the surface (when they were build the tracks in the cave in 2003 the put metal frame stick down it with out anything to slow it down, it went 4 meters into the ground.

As we started going up was thinking to myself  why do we not come through a natural entrance, Pippin replies the entrance its Tapu because the Maori  Chiefs with the dog's cloak grave is there, In 1988 a man took DOC to court because they were running tours on tapu ground, Now different people own the cave.  As I entered the scariest part of all the ghost run some say it is where the chief still lucres. Once we got to the top of the cave we enter the air lock a go back up the spiral to the exit, It was the coolest day ever.

The entrance 

 On the way to Waitomo

Prettys stalagtites

Glow worms webs

Curtain Stalactite

On the path going to glow worm cave (very cold)


  1. What a fantastic holiday experience you are having Oscar! I really enjoyed the interesting details and amazing facts in your recount.

  2. Loved this read Oscar. From one disastrous thing to another brilliant experience. Lucky you. My family heading to mountain but they weren't that excited due to lack of snow. Meanwhile i have their dog to look after.

  3. wow oscar i bet you would of had fun in the snow

  4. that was a very detailed account oscar and it was quite informative because the guides knew the caves so well and loved their jobs
    It is amazing how a glowworm works and how slow the limestone builds up