Today we had a day full of cave exploring in Waitomo. In the morning we had a trip down into the Ruakuri Cave, which is the longest underground cave in Waitomo and was discovered by Maori around 500 years ago. We got to see tons of stalactites (the ones on the ceiling) and stalagmites (the ones on the ground) but you weren’t allowed to touch any of them cause the natural oils in our skin would make them disintegrate! We also got to see some glo worms and find out about why they glow, and the fact that they aren’t even worms; they’re maggots!

In the afternoon we went into the Waitomo Glo Worm Caves and got to go on a boat through the deep caves and see loads of glo worms. The boat tour has been running for over a hundred years, and you get to sail through the caves in the pitch black, surrounded by thousands of glowing blue lights from the worms. It was really cool, but annoyingly you can’t get any good pictures as it’s so dark down there!

After all the cave activities, we continued to head up north. Tonight we are staying in Waiwera, with Dina (a distant relative – aunties-sister-in-law… if that’s a thing!). Her house is so lovely; huge and surrounded by rolling hills and farm land. We had pizza for dinner and a few beers out in the garden. It’s so lovely to be in a homely home, especially one with a dog! There was a huge storm in the night and it was amazing to watch the lightning as it lit up the hills and farmland in the distance.

Inside the Ruakuri Cave

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