Lauren and David in New Zealand and Fiji 2007-2008 travel blog

Starting the decent into the Cave

Lauren and I dropping into cave

Abseilling into Cave

At the bottom of Cave

About to enter total darkeness

Almost out!


Today we woke up early to pick up our rental car. I have never sat in a car that the steering wheel is on the right side. When I got the keys to the car - I proceeded to the left side out of habit. Pulling out onto the street was quite nerve racking. Lauren couldn't contain her laughter. Driving on the right side of the road is also very uneasy. The right turns are very confusing and we have to drive 400km today.

We decided to stop in Waitomo - it is home to the 'glow worm caves' - so we found a visitor center and had 4 things to choose from - 3 of them involving getting wet - so we chose the 4th which was a 100 meter (over 300 feet) abseil (rappelling) into a cave. It is actually the highest commercial abseil in the world. Lauren and I are both terrified of heights. Joining us was a father and his 2 kids - who live in Shanghi and are moving to Glencoe in January - and a couple from Bristol, England.

This is by far one of the best things Lauren and I have ever done. It is amazing the "Lost World" in this cave. It took about 15 minutes to rappel down into the cave. Once inside it was filled with Stalagtites and Stalagmites - We were wearing miner's lights because once inside the cave - it was complete darkness. We saw the glow worms - actually they are maggots that glow like fireflies - but the name glow worm makes it more pleasant for people to bear. It was a 4 hour hike into this cave - which in order to get out we had to climb a 30 meter (100 foot) ladder - Lauren was able to make it up in about 5 minutes - it took me about 7 as I slipped off and lost some of my footing (you are secured by safety ropes) and I was going one step at a time. It was extremely difficult.

We then drove 200km to Rotorua to a bed and breakfast. I was not looking forward to this - and I must say I was pleasantly surprised - the owners (Colleen and Murray) are fantastic and we have an awesome room.

It feels like we have been in New Zealand for 2 weeks - it has actually only been 24 hours.



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