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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Waitomo, New Zealand

Nov 4, 2005 - To Waitomo

Captions Later Rotorua to Waitomo - 163 KM - 11/4/05 Rotorua's early industry was logging. They have used clear cutting but also have a reforestation program in place. They are planting American Redwoods, which grow much faster here than in the US, but the rapid growth produces softer wood. They prune the trees up to 6 meters to preclude limbs that would create knots, thus producing an 18 foot clear log at harvest. The pruned trees, plus the spring bloom of the Scots Broom along the forest edge makes for a scenic drive through the...

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Sep 20, 2005 - Waitomo Caves

From Auckland we went down highway 1 to Hamilton where we stopped at a huge supermarket to stock up the van. Even driving on the motorways here the roads are pretty empty and the views in every direction are great - long journeys aren't boring when you have such beautiful and varied landscapes to take in. Last time we were in NZ I didn't have my driving licence so Pete had to do all the driving and when out of range of radio stations, (which is quite often), I read him Harry Potter - this time we're taking turns with the driving and the...

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Jun 13, 2005 - Waitomo Caves

Went straight to Waitomo on Monday morning to fit in the caving trip 'Spellbound'. It was really good, especially as there were only ten of us with the guide so we got to ask lots of questions. We visited two caves: Spirit Cave and Glow Worm Cave. Spirit Cave contained lots of impressive formations including stalactites and stalacmites. It was really well lit and easy to walk through as the path was only nine months old. The glow worm cave was brilliant. Thousands of tiny green (blue if you are Douglas) lights twinkled above our heads as we...

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Apr 1, 2005 - Rotorua to Waitomo Caves

This morning we left the Magic Bus circuit to make our way directly to Auckland via the Waitomo Caves. We took the Waitomo Wanderer bus (it really did wander quite a bit through Rotorua on a few errands), with our very informative driver, Pitzy. He gave us quite a bit of background about the geography and history of the Rotorua area and the area surrounding the Waitomo Caves. After a couple of hours on the bus, we wound up at the tiny village of Waitomo, where we stashed our luggage with the highly obliging visitor's center, and were given...

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Mar 14, 2005 - Waitomo and Raglan

Still on a massive high after the skydive we drove the couple of hours to Waitomo north west of Taupo. Waitomo is famous for is many limestone caves below the countryside. We had the rest of the afternoon and evening to relax around the pool at the campsite there before our next activity the following day. We got up early and made our way to the Rap, Raft and Ropes centre on the outskirts of the village. We had a busy 5 hours planned, about 3 of which were to be underground! We met up with the guide and other willing victims and headed out...

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Mar 7, 2005 - Waitomo Rocks!

I went to the Waitomo Caves today - so amazing. The group was fourteen total but they broke us of into a group of six and eight. It was only me and two other girls who were from the Kiwi Experience. We had a blast though. It was really scary at first. We learned how to absail down a field - there were sheep. And then all of a sudden we were off into these caves! The first absail was about 40 meters - it was really scary because you couldn't see how far down it went so you had no idea of how much longer you had. I was the third person to go...

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Feb 28, 2005 - Waitomo, New Zealand

Feb 26 - 28 We traveled from Rotorua on Feb 26 to spent 2 nights in Waitomo where the only thing to do is go caving so we did. The day we arrived we went to watch a Angora rabbit being sheared. We then hiked to the Ruahuri Caves a beautiful hike through the country side and some caves. The 27th was the big day in the morning we went Tumu Tumu toobing. Which is not really toobing, swiming, crawling, climbing underground for 2 1/2hrs. (10 min of toobing) The best part was a swim on our backs for about 100m with headlamps turned off to see the...

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Jan 19, 2005 - Auckland to Waitomo

Up at 6am to catch the bus to Waitomo, a little town near the west coast about four hours south of Auckland. After a sleep ride and a 1.5km walk to the hostel, I settled in there and around 12pm, walked over to the Legendary Blackwater Rafting Company. At 1pm, nine people gathered to embark on an adventure called the "Black Abyss". (Read all about this in the entry "Waitomo Caves".) We returned from the caves around 6pm to some hot food and drink - much needed and enjoyed I might add. Tonight was pretty quiet at the hostel ... no-one felt...

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Trip Journal


Where's Phil?

Jan 6, 2005 - A tiring travel day!

This was one of the most stressful days I've had here! My travel plans didn't work out, and I was trapped in Auckland, but I REALLY needed to make it to Waitomo Caves! I got a ride with Mike to Auckland - that part was great! Once I was there, I found out that the information given to me by the staff at the Paihia bus station was incorrect - there was no other bus to Waitomo Caves, only the 8am one. Well, it was 11:30am, and I was a little late for that bus! Was there any other way to get to the Caves - NO! I was heartbroken, upset, and...

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Nov 14, 2004 - Waitomo

Hey there, Nothing too exciting to report today. First crappy day since I got here so that isn't too bad, especially since I can see the sun coming out as I type this. Anyway today I went cave exploring and saw glow worms. They were really cool. I also worked most of the trip out and where I am going to go and spend my days. I am also going to try and meet up with Jenny in the south island... so we should be meeting up in less than a week. Anyway I hear the weather in Canada is nice and warm... but not as warm as here... ha ha.. But it...

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Apr 22, 2004 - The Legendary Blackwater Rafting Company

We found a B&B when we got to Waitomo which was very homely. Next morning we went Blackwater Rafting. You get kitted out with wetsuits, boots, funny baggy shorts, helmet with lamp and a black rubber ring. Then you go caving and tubing and jumping off underwater waterfalls. Great fun. You also get to chill out floating through tunnels in the dark lit only by glow worms. Very spectacular. Sadly no photos of us in the caves or of the glow worms. Deciding that we needed warming up we headed to Rotorua for some thermal action.

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Apr 8, 2004 - To Waitomo.

We left Turangi to head to Waitomo, via the Tongariro National Park. Tongariro was New Zealand's first national park, and the fourth in the world. It was gifted to the nation by the Maori so it couldn't be spoilt by development. The three focal points of the park are the three mountains, Ruapehu, Tongariro and Nguareheo. Driving through this volcanic area was brilliant. We then visited the main town in the park, Whakapapa, pronounced 'fukapupa', which pleased Garry! The journey to Waitom took longer than expected. Once there, we had a look...

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