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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Waitomo: Black Water Rafting & More

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Why do I schedule things like this?

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When we first started looking at things to do in New Zealand we came across Black Water Rafting and B's face lit up.

Can you guess which one is me in the picture?

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It involves some of my favorite things like the dark, being in the water in the dark, being in the freezing water in the dark, being in the freezing water in the dark with who knows what else and being in the freezing water in the dark with who knows what else and traveling underground in a cave system.

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We drove into Waitomo in the morning and met up with our guides and group. Then we got fitted with wetsuits that were almost the right size and headed into the water.

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Pictures were provided by the rafting company. It was so dark inside that when you turned off your lights your could see absolutely nothing.

I couldn't figure out why it was so foggy in the cave and then B pointed out that it was actually my breath rising in front of the light on my head.

By the way... wet suit and helmet with headlight are considered very sexy for a honeymoon. Right?

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So basically you hike down into the cave system and take a jump into the water and float down the underground river. Only when you jump you hold the tube behind your bum and jump backwards off the little waterfall hoping to land on the tube. We practiced that earlier.

Now is a good time to say that while we were in the water our guide pointed out an eel. Why? I have no idea. Why do that to me? Do you remember how creepy those things are?


What we really came to see were these. In these caves are glow worms and when you look up its similar to looking at a starry sky. Its really magical.

The very fantastic guides let us know that they are actually maggots and their poop is what glows. Its used to lure in something to eat. We paid money to float in the darkness to see glowing maggot poop.

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This is the view and the end of our trip underground. You come up in the forest and it looks exactly this gorgeous.

If you ever have this opportunity do not pass it up. Its really not scary like it sounds although there were definitely moments I was nervous. But thats mostly because I'm weird.


The caves themselves are stacked with stalactites and stalagmites and its like stepping into a movie. Mystical. These formations we saw took something like 4 million years to be created.


This is the whole that we popped out of.


After we took a hot shower and our fingers and toes started to thaw out we went back to the forest and took a hike around.


Through tunnels and down paths and into this little piece of heaven.


The river system was underneath us. Of course we didn't come down this part.


Everything is lush and green and I can only imagine what it would look like when we aren't in the "dry" season.


The sun was shining through the trees above and everywhere are sounds of life in the forest.


So many incredible ferns.


I think that if we stood there long enough we might have been covered in moss also.


Its seems there is life on every surface of the forest.


Its so beautiful.

When was the last time you took a walk outside?


  1. You guys are so adventurous! What an experience! You are so smart to take full advantage of every opportunity down there! Have a great time!

  2. Ahh, glowing maggot poop??? Eek! the ferns totally make up for the gross factor, though. ;) They're gorgeous!

  3. you got me at the eel and I almost stopped reading, but then you drew me in with the pretty pictures of the forest, AMAZING! keep enjoying your time!

  4. Dawn,

    You seriously should take my advice and get you and B together to have your very own real travel channel. The things you describe not only in this post but each and every one keeps things down to earth and real. Hey that's the name of your travel channel/blog "Down to Earth and Real"

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

  5. Ohhh, what an amazing post ... I can't wait to get backtracked to see all the adventures from you wedding to honeymoon. I'm just taking a break from unpacking and the chaos of our move to check in and say Hi to blogging buddies. Missed you and all your fun posts! Looks like you are doing great you old married gal you!

  6. It all looks so beautiful. I want to go there so badly!

    Btw this is my new blog, used to be liloregonbug. Happy Honeymooning, can't wait to see more!

  7. You guys are such an adventurous couple! I just love the forest shots, so beautiful!

  8. Now that sounds very cool. I have squirreled the info away for a possible trip to NZ next year.

  9. That looks so cool. Beautiful photography too. It is kinda hard to believe that that is the dry season.

    I'm glad y'all are having so much fun!

  10. Okay let me just say...someone would have to pay ME alot of money to do that. I can't even imagine being in the water in the pitch dark in a cave. Caves are scary! Girl you are brave. Looks like you had a blast. The adventure channel needs to be givin' ya a call;)

  11. What a wonderful opportunity! Actually my nephew is in New Zealand right now. He's been there since November and won't be back in the states until March. He's into surfing and bicyling and is doing something with those two things there, but I don't know what kind of job that could be.
    He keeps us posted on facebook!
    Looks like you had a fabulous time!

  12. You are cracking me up with your maggot poop. What a wonderful, amazing trip, poop and all. How gorgeous everything was. And, yes, you do look so sexy in a wetsuit and helmet.

  13. Hey, Dandy! I have so much to tell you! Congrats on your newly wedded bliss! Merry Christmas and last Happy new Year!

    Sounds like you guys are having? had a terrific time. Um, you might have given a little tooo much info as that icy cold dark rafting with maggots and glowing poop doesn't sounds so appealing. LOL!

  14. Sherri "Little person #1" CollinsJanuary 09, 2010 8:53 AM

    OMG glowing maggot poop? Eels?? I wish I was there! Well not right now cuz it would be weird since you have the whole honeymoon thing going on but you get my point...

  15. Neat stuff!! Glowing poop is my favorite part of this post. Glowing poop. I could say that all day long. Glowing poop.

  16. The maggot poop might have done me in, if the cold water and underground system hadn't done it already! But that picture of what you see as you are That is amazing!

  17. Oh man. That sounds like something I would agree to do, then promptly NOT want to do once we arrived, but suffer through and love at the end. Wow.

    We do really want to visit Australia and NZ...


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