We arrived at the Waitomo Caves area just outside of Te Kuiti in one of the worst hail storm we have ever been in. Luckily we were planning on spending the afternoon underground haha!! The weather was shocking. We had some discount vouchers for one of the main caving companies, so seeing as money was tight we decided to do the Tumu Tumu Toobing trip. This is where you sit back in a big inflatable tyre and float down an underground river through caves checking out glow worm alon the way. We were pleased as we had also managed to get 20 dollars of each. Anyway we had a couple of hou before our trip so went for a coffee and hot chocolate at the local cafe which was gorgeous. On your spoon they covered it in chocolate and placed a big marsh mallow into the melted chocolate and then froze it. When you stirred your hot chocolate it would begine to melt and soften up the marsh mallow, absolute magic!! haha. Anyway the rain still hadn't stopped and we were a little concerned when we turned back up at Waitomoo Adventures to be arrived with great news. Due to the bad weather the Toobing had to be cancelled as the cave had actually flooded, but instead they upgraded us to the Haggas honking hole trip, which included three abseils, rock climbing, traveeling along a subterranean river with waterfalls, where we got to see glow worms, a variety of cave formations, stalagmites, columns, flowstone and cave coral. We were so pleased as we had been let of about 140 dollars between us and the trip was just so much more fun and hardcore. The guys who took us down said this was the best trip in 4 months to do it as the river was flowing fast and high and the conditions just made it so much more exciting. We were kitted up with wetsuits, wellies, jackets and helmets and then were ran through a few safety techniques and abseiling instructions and then we were off. We started straight away with a 30 metre abseil down a dark narrow hole. Kate wasn't so nervous of the abseil but not being able to see the bottom and the water that was pounding down into the cave got her a little shaky haha, but she manned it straight down. Once we were all at the bootm we started our walk along the river through the caves, squeezing through stupidly tight spots, small tunnels and passageways. Walking through the river while doing all this was amazing coming right up to our waists. It was a real hands on trip and was a real good introduction to real caving, using caving equipment, as well as traversing huge caverns haha!! Our second abseil was down a waterfall so halfway down you couldnt see what was going on as you wer getting pounded by the river falling of the cliff above you and it was this rock face that we had to climb back up on the way back. It was a hard climb as well because of the waterfall and the really small gap you had to get through at the top, but again I was well impressed with kate as she was straight up there where as the other girl didn't even attempt it and took the long ladder up!! Woossyyyy!!! Anyway further along teh cave the spaces got smaller, the river got deeper and darker and the glow worms were becoming more and more. These are the larvae of the fungus gnat, which looks like a mosquito, however without a mouth. These glow worms have luminescent organs which produce a soft greenish light. Its this light tht attracts insects for them to eat. It is for this reason that your not meant to touch them or shine your lights at them as there lights go out and then it takes about a couple of hours for them to return, which stops them fromm feeding and catching there food. Anyway when everyone had turned there headlights of and the cave was pitch black there were hundreds, and as the time when on more and more became visible, crazy!! Anyway we were shown some rock formations, cave coral and different types of stalagmites, and fossils and then we headed back the way we had came, back through the small gaps. It was really cool because the water level was high and the small gaps we had to crawl through were even smaller because of the high river, a little cold bit its alot warmer down in the cave where the air is trapped than it was outside when practising the abseling,we thought our fingers were going to drop off. Anyway after some hard climbing up the waterfalls and being amused by Kate getting a huge showering we stopped for a chocolate bicky and a drink and then made our just past our starting point to the exit. near here we had a go on the Rockory Doo, which is the same as a didgeridoo but using a rock, which was a good giggle. However it seemed that it was only the English who wanted to make prats of themselves as knowone else would try it. The last part of our trip to get out of the 30 metre drop was along a huge ladder which went all the way up to the exit. We couldnt climb this as it was a little too advanced for us beginners. All in all the trip was amazing, what a bargain and we're so glad that the weather was terrible during the day otherwise we wouldn't have had the upgrade to such a fun trip. It was so nice getting into the hot showers afterwards as well, it was freezing!! The only thing tht let the trip down was that they didn't take many photos down in the cave and the ones they did take weren't great quality so we didn't bother buying them this time!