We left rotorua that morning and headed for waitomo with a quick stop over at the Agrodome for a New Zealand farm show which Hayley attended, she really enjoyed it, and there were sheep dogs, sheep from all over the world, baby lambs you could feed, a chance to milk a cow and sheep shearing. They even did a display at the end of the show where they showed how the sheep dog rounds up all the sheep into a gate. The sheepdog wasn't really doing what it was told at all, at one point the dog jumped on the back of the sheep and attempted to take a bite and then the dog cornered the sheep into a corner and wouldn't let them out so the sheep started charging at the dog who then started running from the sheep haha somehow i don't think it was part of the show!
We then went across the road where we could take part in a number of different adrenaline activities. Me and Hayley opted for skydive simulator thinking it would be practice for the real thing. What they do is lie you down on a net and start up this big fan beneath you it must be a jet engine or something cause when they start it up it just lifts you in the air and you hover in the air but it's really hard to keep inside the air, as soon as you creep out of the wind zone you fall like a tonne of bricks and we both nose dived a couple of times into the mats. We got told to take all jewellery off but Hayley forgot to take her diamond earrings out and the strength of the fan just blew them straight out of her ears haha
We arrived in our hostel at about 2pm called kiwi packers and it was really nice however we were only here one night so we had agreed to go black water rafting and see the best glow worm display in the world, black water rafting isn't what you might think there's no raft involved.
We opted for the most adventurous trip it was a little bit more money but it was highly recommended. We started off by getting suited up in all our climbing/caving gear and was soaking wet, we had a full on wet suit with wellington boots, helmet with flash light and a harness. The first part of the trip was learning how to abseil, which took all of 5 minutes. Then we walked out into the forest where we came across a small hole in the ground which was our access point into the caves. I was first to go and got all clipped on and abseiled 35 foot down this dark crevice, it was amazing it was shaped like an hour glass so the first part was quite small but once you squeezed through the hole it opened out into a massive cave, pitch black apart from the beam of light from my helmet. Hayley and Lou soon followed, with ease just abseiling casual down the cave wall as you do. Me and Hayley were saying we would hear Louise before we saw her, screaming as she descends but no...........not screaming but singingHaha
Everyone was down safe and sound; flash lights on and this is where the fun starts. We climbed through all the eroded corridors in the cave until we came to a cliff edge, which seemed a bit weird since we were underground. One by one we had to attach our harness onto a zip line but it was pitch black and you could hear the running water echoing through the caves. Louise was up first, clipped on, everyone turns off their flashlight and you hear Louise screaming as she dangles above what could be a 100 ft drop or a 5 ft drop but because it was pitch black nobody knew let's just say 100 ft cause it sounds better! Her screams got more distant as she accelerates down the zip wire until we hear a massive bang as if she has been stopped in her tracks by a big mat, then silence, nothing to say she was okay haha me and Hayley just looked at each other in total fear. I was up next unaware of what to expect, then they just let you go with no warning and all i could think of on the way down was when am i going to hit the matt, i hope this doesn't hurt!! But then i just came to a sudden halt were the swing shot me vertical.......but where was the bang or the mat? I still let out a scream of pain just to scare Hayley because i knew she was next. Haha Now that we were on flat ground and waiting for Hayley it didn't seem that scary because we knew what to expect but because it was pitch black I knew Hayley would be terrified due to the unknown. She came flying down, screaming and we were shouting "WATCH OUT" haha and then we heard the big bang only to find out it was the group leader bashing a big rubber tube off the wall and the echo it made was huge! We were tricked!
Then came the best part of the trip, we all sat on the edge of the rocks with our legs over hanging the river running through the cave and then they cracked open some hot chocolate and flap jack which was the best flapjack in the world!!!!!! Just what we needed before we entered the freezing cold waters of the caves. We got rid of our harnesses because we had finished the aerial stunts. We got given these big rubber tubes and had to take a big leap of faith off the side of these rocks into the river below, what made it worse was you couldn't see the river because it was pitch black so you didn't know when you would hit the water and plus i was still a bit bloated off all the hot chocolate and flapjack haha
Hayley was first up this time, and she was straight in shame she didn't even hit the ring and ended up swimming after it! The thing that scared me the most was the look on her face when she realised how cold it was!! I went next and managed to stay in my ring but still got fully submerged with icy cold water and Louise opted for the tame route this time. We all sat in our rings linked each other and stared at the ceiling as we paddled to the deepest darkest part of the caves as we sang row, row, row your boatgently down the stream. This is where the best display of glow worms were in the whole world. Once we got to the end of the cave where there was a dead end and we all turned off our lights and laid back and floated down the stream with the ceiling only about a meter high with what can only be described as the best star lit sky you have ever seen. When i say floated, we were really meant to be paddling but because we were all linked the rest of the group were doing enough work to compensate for us and since it was dark nobody knew you weren't paddling haha you just had to shout ' my arms are so tired' every once in a while.
After this we ditched our tubes and started trekking through the shallow waters of the cave until we came to this stretch of cave called 'drunken mans walk' and Hayley did a great example of showing us why haha i still laugh now thinking about it. The water is only shallow but because it is dark and the light from your helmet just reflects off it you can't see what's below and the ground is so uneven. Hayley was leading the way and me and Louise never stopped laughingthe whole way it got to one point where i did actually think somebody had put something in her hot chocolate. Let me set the picture...........the water is freezing and your feet are numb so you don't have much feeling in them anyway and there's water in your boots which weighs you down, all this combined makes the perfect recipe for falling flat on your face, which Hayley did a few times. At one point me and Lou saw her take the first stumble.................'oh...oh..ohhh... she's going.....she going.......no wait has she recovered?...............NOPE!!!!!! head first, disappears under water haha brilliant!! After that we all were ready for some hot orange juice and chocolate which went down an absolutel treat!! This was to set us up for the last part of the journey, the climb out of the caves................but because we were underground the only way out was up via 3 waterfalls. We had been in the caves for about 3 hours now and were ready to see civilisation again. The waterfalls were brilliant, you had to literally climb the face of the waterfall with water slamming off your head and in your face that's what makes it so enjoyable knowing the fact that you could never do this in England due to all the health and safety rules. On the last water fall we could eventually see day light, well not really day light because it was about 8 pm when we got out the caves and it was just surreal you emerged into the middle of the woods at 8pm after spending hours under ground. You can just imagine a man just walking his dog and seeing 10 people just come up from this hole in the ground all wearing full on wetsuits. Haha
That night back at the hostel we randomly met up with Chloe and jess, who we spent New Year's Eve with and seen them again in Noosa haha bizarre!!
Next morning we were off to Taupo!!!!! Sky dive city!! Just to sum up on behalf of all of us, this caving trip was unbelievable and a great time was had by all!!!!!!!
Love Adam Louise and Hayley!!