Caving Adventure with Black Water Rafting in New Zealand

Heading South on the North Island sends you through the small town of Waitomo. If you are not sure what you are looking for, you could easily miss it. Blink, you might miss it.

You’ve heard loads of people talking about it and telling you that it is an area you shouldn’t miss when you visit the North Island. So what’s the draw to Waitomo? What you seek is under the ground.

We spent our day doing some of the extremes with a company called The Legendary Black Water Rafting Company. They offer 3 caving packages and on our plate for the day was the Black Abyss.

After being dropped at the main office, we signed it and were assigned to our guide for the day. They briefed us on some of the safety concerns about caving and whisked us off to be fitted for wetsuits.

The van ride to the cave entrance we used was short, and once we arrived, we were brought to a training area where we were shown how to use the abseiling (cliff rappelling) equipment.

This process involved learning how to stop and how to speed up and slow down your descent. We would be abseiling 35 meters into the caves through an hourglass-shaped opening from a platform above.

As you drop down you find yourself shining your light around and down. It took around 30 minutes for our group of 5 and 2 guides to descend into the caves.

The minute you landed and turned your light off, the glowworms lit the place up. They really are as bright and blue as the photos show in the brochures. What you see when they are glowing is their waste.

Because their bodies are translucent it displays the chemical reaction in the digestive process and glows in the bright blue color that we see in the dark of the caves.

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