Been able to venture 50 metres underground and seeing these amazing caves and the glowworms aka cave maggots its experience that i wont forget in hurry.
From Tauranga to Waitomo is about hour half drive, nice close weekend getaway. We had the most amazing accomadation and the hosts brought up memories of been at nanas house, the conversations were flowing with great information and nothing beat the breakfast.
Waitomo Caves Guest lodge
Richie and Lyn are the hosts and couldnt fault this place, nestled in the side of hill, in particular areas you can see the landscape, full of native trees and plants this brings in many birds like the fantail and night you can the morepork. Packed with some amazing facts and information about Waitomo a wee village in the king country.
Waitomo village has 55 people living in and we learnt there is one police man he comes through once a month, there is few restaurents, a local pub, vistor centre, museum and few accomadation places. The famous waitomo caves and glow worms and there is about 300 caves and many beautiful nature walks and one thing i found didnt need to spend alot to have a great wee adventure.
High up on the hill is the old Waitomo Caves hotel, alot of history and had many ghost hunters investigating the paranormal, at the moment the hotel is closed and in need of some doing up.
Marokopa Falls Walk
As we found at this is one of the must see water falls in New Zealand, even better the walk was easy, the steps in place were not built for short people and i got little legs. Marokopa Falls is nestled in Tawarau Forest, a few kilometers’ drive away from the popular Waitomo Caves. Marokopa Falls has a height of 35 metres.
Waitomo Caves and the history
We decided to be tourists and go on couple tours, was pretty exciting everyone came from many different countries like England, America just a name a few.
Waitomo is enriched in history and there are around 300 caves in the area. The cabes were first explored in 1887 by local Maori Cheif Tane Tinorau and english surveyor Fred Mace. By building a a raft with some candles they floated in the caves through the underground stream.
The first discovery was the Glowworm grotto and by 1889 Tane Tinorau opened the caves to tourists and Cheif Tane and his wife Huti guided groups through the cave for a small fee. In 1906 the goverment took over the adminstration and in 1989 almost 100 years later the land and the cave were returned to original owners. Many of staff who are employed at the caves in present day are direct descendants of Cheif Tane Tinorau and his wife Huti. ( found out he is related to my girls)
This was amazing the walk, folloed by a boat ride to the glowworm grotto. Basically discovering a world at least 30 million years in the making. As you take the guided walk you are learning and listening to the guide tell the old stories of the caves. Every where you look there were different formations, the catherdral is the tallest chamber in the cave and its magical place, weddings, christmas carols are held there and famous people like the queen have visted the catherdral. the upper park is made up of cave formations and the lower part made up of streams and the glowworms.
Wee video as i couldnt get photos of the glowworms as it was dark
Ruakuri Cave – Den of the dogs
This was my amazing walked down a sprial walkawy that was 17 metres down to the entrance of the cave, entering the cave was magical and relizing further in we were 50 metres underground thats insane. Enriched with so much history seeing original trepass sign and hidden in a particular area there was the orignial entrance to the cave.
We went for a night walk armed with some tourches aand went looking for glowworms, explored some more tracks and stopped of to see a kiwi, met a rather grumpy duck and explored a free bird aviary. Its moments like this take a bit of planning, bit of saving as my health is not great i rather explore and do these amazing things just incase.