Sunday, 15 April 2012

Black Water Rafting

One of the highlights of our trip to New Zealand was seeing the glow worm caves at Waitomo. There are huge networks of caves in this area of the country that feature glow worms that are native to New Zealand. Mum chose the sensible option where she could walk down into the caves and then have a boat trip through to see the worms... but not me and Joe.


We opted for a five hour experience called "Rip, Rap and Raft". After getting kitted out in wetsuits, helmets and harnesses we were taught how to use the the harnesses to control our speed when abseiling. Looks easy on the grassy hillside doesn't it!


Feels slightly different when you are suspended over a 23m drop!


I thought it was brilliant! All the way down into this watery cave.


Our group of six were led off  away from the daylight into the depths of the cave where we had to scramble through tight holes.It might look bright in the photos but it was pitch black and only lit by the bulbs on our helmets.


I was worried my backside might get stuck in this one!


We ended up in a huge dark cavern, we lay on our backs, turned off our lights and were treated with the most amazing display of glow worms. Next we grabbed our inner tubes and set off floating down the underground river.



Where again we turned off our lights and were treated to another light show from the worms that looked just like stars in the night sky. Slightly scary floating on an inner tube in the pitch black and hearing the roar of water running over rocks getting closer and closer... but we put lights back on and stood up to climb over the rapids.


There were more tight holes to squeeze through



Until eventually we found ourselves back where we started... but how to get out???


Harnesses on and we climbed the 27m up that rock face... not that easy in those stylish white wellies let me tell you!  I may look like I've just had a stroll in the park but believe me I was exhausted!



 But a totally amazing experience and boy did I sleep well that night.

27 comments:

  1. What an amazing experience Gina - one not to miss if you are brave enough! I'd take your Mum's option, besides which those small spaces didn't look like size 18!!

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  2. I'm very envious!!!!

    Even though I hate tight spaces in dark caves I think I would have wanted to do the "Rip, Rap and Raft" too!

    What an amazing experience.

    Celia
    xx

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  3. Holey. Moley. I am thrilled you had fun (and I enjoyed looking at your photos!) but I have to say, for me that is literally the stuff of nightmares. Add in scuba diving and I probably would have passed out. In the same situation I'd have been with your mum - or possibly waiting outside in the sun!

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  4. Wow, absolutely incredible. Just back from a few days away so will be catching up with your blog bit by bit. This is the first post I've come across -- already amazed at what you've done.

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  5. That was amazing, you are brave, I think I would have been with your mum!!
    What a fantastic sight those glow worms are.
    Vivienne x

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  6. What an experience, and although those tight spaces would have petrified me, I'd have had to do it too! Ever so slightly jealous!

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  7. Wow, Gina, what fabulous experiences you had in New Zealand! What a daring lady you are, too. I really don't know if I could ever visit the world "underground" but surely enjoyed seeing your photos and descriptions.

    Now, as you do re-adjust your sleep/wake balance, I wonder if your dreams and art will already reflect the NZ visions.

    (You and your mom look marvelous in all the photos ... and you have a very handsome son!)

    xo

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  8. OMG! Experiences of a lifetime! I cannot believe how brave you were. I would have been with your Mum, no question. Well done you, I am so impressed!

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  9. wow Gina. what a fab experience. you looked very fit in those pics lol. I didn't think I was claustrophobic but looking at those tiny spaces you were squeezing through, I'm not so sure... That took some courage.

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  10. Me and your Mum, yup, we're together! We've been in caves in most places we've been including Australia but the sensible way! You do look like you both enjoyed yourselves though. :-)

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  11. What a brave girl! Well done Gina, and from this post and the previous one it looks like you had a fab holiday - can't wait to hear all about it xx

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  12. My goodness, a bit of a daredevil aren't you? I should never be able to go there, climbing or walking...

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  13. Oh my word you where brave! 23 metres?!!! Not on my watch lol

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  14. Amazing! Good for you, but even looking at the photos makes me feel claustrophobic. I'd have been with mum!

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  15. What wonderful adventures. I love NZ and I remember seeing glow worms somewhere. Mostly we went to ski in winter.

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  16. A wonderful experience but like most of the previous commenters I would have been with your Mum!

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  17. I think I would have been challenged to squeeze through some of those tight spaces but you are completely unfazed by things aren't you? I'd have kept Mum company but then been envious when I saw the photographs! That first one of the cavern is stunning with that light coming down from above.

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  18. Good grief! Great fun though, by the looks of it. Loved the thought of glow worms. They'd have had to have a good supply of butter for emergencies to free me if I did it! ;O))))))))

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  19. Heavens to betsy.wonderwoman or what....

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  20. OHMYGOSH! You're amazing! I'm thinking I wouldn't have liked that pitch black being in the water. Did you run into many creepy crawlies??? It does look like a fantastic time though!!!

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  21. Makes me feel kinda queasy just looking at the pictures...

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  22. You are sooo much braver than I am. But might be worth overcoming my fears for the glow worms!

    K x

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  23. Wow! What an experience, certainly only for the adventurous people!!I wonder if they have different routes for larger people? Great photos and a fantastic memory for you.

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  24. Gina you are awesome! and so brave - I would have freaked out at squeezing through those tiny gaps and I'm not too good with heights either. You are one cool mum!

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