“You ready to do some zippin? Alright lets hear you say zipline”!
Tyler and I drove into Waitomo after leaving Raglan. You know, so, we, we wanted to go out and do something really adventurous. Tyler suggested “We could go to the city pool. They have a water slide…” And then like, out of nowhere, somebody came up with the idea of zip lining and abseiling.
Our plan was to stay one night to experience the famous Waitomo Caves before continuing on to New Plymouth. But long story short, Waitomo cave systems have put this little town in New Zealand on the map and we were super excited to go have a look. I had done the glow worm tour when I was last in Auckland about ten years ago and it was the coolest experience, so I was excited to go down into the caves again and try something different. We picked the “Black Abyss” tour because it had a little of everything, including the abseiling we were after.It also featured a zipline, which when we got to it started a whole dialog of South Park quoting that lasted the remainder of the trip (and featured in this post). Fortunately our guide Ben was as avid fan as we are so we were all cracking up by the end of the tour. Luckily only one other person was in our group of four. Because, in a tour group, the brain has to work overtime, acting nice and pretending to care about people on the tour. So we got lucky that we didn’t annoy other people with our “shaka bro” voice every two minutes.
Well Cartman, how was it?
After checking in with Black Water Rafting, our guide Ben was like ” All right, let me get you some helmet and some gear and we’ll get up there and hit that fresh nar nar”. You are led down to put on some very thick wet suits, complete with wool undershirts, booties, and helmets. By the end you look like a plump penguin but its worth it as the water is seriously freezing. “And so they put us in these harnesses and helmets. I th-I think that’s when we started realizing, “Oh wow, this is actually pretty dangerous.”
The hole down to the caves below was 35 meters, and was the coolest thing I have done in a long time. I actually got quite nervous as it does require you to shimmy down a narrow part where you have to push yourself against the wall to fit through. After you get to the bottom, you are hooked up to a zip line, where you get pushed into the dark, not knowing where the zip line will end. Honestly those two activities alone were pretty amazing. Once we were done with the zip line, we spent over two hours jumping off waterfalls, climbing through tube caves, climbing up waterfalls, and army crawling through holes barely big enough to fit some people. If you are in any way claustrophobic, this tour is definitely not for you. I was also surprised how tiring it was, you definitely need to be in at least OK fitness to do the tour. At one point, Ben turned off all the lights and we floated in inner tubes through one of the cave rivers where the entire wall was covered in glow worms. Funny enough the glow worms are actually maggots, and the glow part is nothing more than maggot poop, but that doesn’t market well on brochures so they call them glow worms. We also got to see observe a eel in one of the pools (they call her Cecil) as well as touch a whale fossil thousands of years old. If Waitomo was closer to the ocean I would seriously consider applying to be a guide with them as they are all a good bunch of people. If you only have time to do one thing in New Zealand, I would seriously consider doing this tour as Tyler told me its the coolest thing he has ever done.
If the above post makes no sense to you or seems odd, watch the South Park episode ” I Should Have Never Gone Ziplining” then come back and read it again. If you are not a South Park fan, then we can’t be friends because we don’t need that kind of negativity in our life.
But seriously we had the best time and thank the staff at Black Water Rafting for a great day!