Waitomo Caves

The only active/adventurous thing I had done in New Zealand was going to the city of Waitomo.

A 3 hour bus ride from Auckland to Waitomo, Jake and I decided to take this journey and check out what the hype is about. Since we had gone during the day, the scenery was quite lovely.

Upon arrival, you will noticed that there isn’t much to the town but a couple of cafes and a general store. It’s one of those places I think you should only spend one night maximum unless you have a car to explore. There are also no buses to take you around to the close hikes.

However, since we had arrived a day early, we had lots of time to kill. Jake and I decided to do a 3 hour hike  around town that surrounds you with nature, cows, caves, and natural tunnels.

Ruakuri Bush Scenic Walk Ruakuri Bush Scenic Walk Cows!

The next morning we were picked up by the original black water rafting company. We had booked the Black Abyss tour. Note that, I have a fear of heights, can’t swim, hate water, and semi claustrophobic.

The first hour of my 5 hour tour is safety rules and changing into the wet wetsuits! Then you walk to an area to learn how to abseil/rappel using a 5 bar device. I’m use to rappelling down a wall; however, before you get into caves, you have to rappel down 114 feet into a dark cave! There’s a point where you don’t hear the guides and it’s just you and the cave. Once down in the cave. we zip-lined in the dark.

Abseiling 110 Ft into a cave

After, we were given hot chocolate and a tasty cave treat (granola, coconut, butter, full of sugar). It was quite nice since the temperature drops immediately.

After the break, you jump from a cliff into a river bank with your tube. Of course the only non-swimmer on this trip, every one is just cheering me on. I’ve never done anything like this before in my entire life. (I know it’s nothing for the most of you guys but I’m afraid of water and heights!) I didn’t have much time to think but to go for it on 3! Bam! Made it with my tube under my butt.

The water temp is about 53 degree Fahrenheit. Once we are here, we learn more about the glow worms and go tubing trough the river looking up at the roof of the cave. It was pretty neat to see the roof lit up. In this picture below provided by Black Water Rafting Co, you can see the glow worms in the back ground and the zip line that I tried.

DW_2_Abyss_Girl_Abseiling_Under glowworms

After, you go on a walk and somewhat swim (I floated across ;)) and start to climb out of 3 waterfalls. Thank goodness for my bouldering skills back at home but it was pretty cool to climb out into the surface through small holes.

Climbing out of a waterfall

After, you get to shower and are treated with warm tomato soup and bagel.


Note that the company does not allow for you to bring any cameras or go-pros for safety reasons.



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