Caving at the Waitomo Caves

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Bethany Davidson-Widby on August 18, 2003

Caving? Small spaces? Underground and water??? What was I thinking?

100 meters underground. That's where I was headed. We put on full wetsuits, boots, harnesses, and helmets and went to the entry point of the caves for a quick lesson in rappelling.

We rappelled down the 100 meters, through this little hole, into the darkness of the cave below. I sang the whole way to keep myself from freaking out.

After the entire group descended and unclipped, we walked a short distance, hooked to a lead line, to the start of a zip line. One by one we were sent down the zip line. Did I mention they turned out all the lights as you were sent down the line? At the end of the line, we took off our harnesses and were given big black inner tubes which we were supposed to jump on on the underground river. The jump was a bit unnerving and my inner tube went one way and myself the other.

As we paddled along the underground river, we turned off our lights and were surrounded by the natural light given off by the millions of glow worms all over the tunnel. The sight was amazing!

As we floated back to where we hopped into the river, we left our tubes there and went walking through the caves, swimming at times, sliding down natural slides, squeezing ourselves through tight spots and underwater ledges such as the "birth canal". Walking under waterfalls that cascaded from the ground above, this truly was a different world.

Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Waitomo Caves Road
Waitmo, New Zealand
64 7 878 8227

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