Day 5, Kiwi Experience: Caving in Waitomo – New Zealand.

Back on the road again and this time it was another early start of 7.20am for the bus. We headed to Waitomo with one major stop enroute; a forest walk that took us across gorges and through a 1km long tunnel.

We had our first bout of rain in New Zealand which made the walk a little less enjoyable, but temperatures are still pleasant in the north island so it still was nowhere near as dismal as the UK at this time of year!

We arrived at Waitomo at around 1pm and checked into our rooms. Myself and Matt managed to get a private room as the dorm beds worked out to be just as expensive – safe to say we enjoyed not having to tip toe around others! We had a couple of hours to grab some lunch and explore the local area (there isn’t much here as it is a very small town) before heading off to the next activity that we booked onto – caving.

There were a variety of caving trips that we could have gone on, but we decided to do a midrange one that lasted three hours and cost $115 dollars per person (I hate how expensive this place is) and included rafting around the caves in a rubber ring. We were picked up at 3.45 in the afternoon and taken to the caving centre, where we were given a wet suit, booties, caving boots and a helmet to wear. Mine stunk of body odour and was so cold and wet from the last person (so glam). We then headed to the caves where we preceded to climb down 65 metres and tubed along the streams, jumped off of the edges of underground waterfalls and watched glow worms shine above us like little green stars. I must admit I did find jumping off the waterfalls a bit of a challenge but the rest of the trip I thoroughly enjoyed!

When we finally surfaced into the sunlight I was shivering from head to toe and more than ready for a hot shower, soup and bagels (all courtesy of the caving centre). We then headed back to the hostel where I was able to properly wash the smell of body odour off of me (so disgusting) and grabbed a hot chocolate from the local pub/bar. While everyone else on the bus got steadily drunk, I was content with the best nights sleep since being in New Zealand; living the dream.

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