Ciarán & Elaine's Travelog

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Haggas Honking Holes

Anyone that's been to NZ knows that Waitomo is famous for one thing only - caves full of glow worms. Now, glow worms are cute & all but not really that exciting, so we decided that as we were in New Zealand we should make sure that our caving/glow worm trip involved a bit of adrenallin. With this in mind we booked ourselves onto the Haggas Honking Hole, 1/2 day adventure which includes abseilling, caving and rock climbing.

We were picked up from the office and driven through the countryside to a little farm which is owned by Mrs Haggas. At the farm we were kitted up with wetsuits, safety harness's, helmets and head lamps.

After a bit of time getting to grips with our abseiling gear we headed to the caves.
To get into the cave we had to abseil down 27 metres in the pitch black - really scary considering we'd never abseiled before and we couldn't see where we were going - just had to hope that the harness was on correctly! We had two more abseils to do which were down through waterfalls and finally we were 'dropped' on our harnesses down through a particularly narrow vertical cave - a fantastic experience. Our guide did decide to show off at one stage and ran down a 25 metre drop face first - looked pretty cool! Eventually we were about 80 metres under ground with just our headlamps and our guides to lead the way.

We spent a couple of hours squashing through crevesses and wriggling through caves. Some of the caves had rivers running through them and only enough room to put your face to one side to breathe until you got out the other side (where they took this picture!).

Then it was time to see the glow worms - ooohh! and before we knew it we were on our big climb back to the surface. This was quite an adventure as we tried to get footholds in the cave wall and cling on with our fingertips. The highest wall we had to climb was about 20 metres and I really felt I'd achieved something when I got to the top and saw sunlight again.

It was a brilliant experience - I think I could really get to love abseiling, can't wait to try it again.


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