Thursday, February 27, 2014

New Zealand - the "LOOK AT THE PRETTY!" edition

Previously, Ness and I drove a really long way and it wasn't particularly exciting.

After our night in Otorohanga, we packed up and headed the not-very-far-down-the-road to Waitomo. Once there, we bought tickets to tour all three caves, because GO BIG OR GO HOME, YO. We had about 45 minutes to kill before our tour of Aranui Cave, so we decided to embrace the hobbit lifestyle and have second breakfast. Well. Ness had something resembling breakfast. I had a triple chocolate brownie. And while we ate, we eavesdropped on a conversation being had about Australia by some very loud Americans.

And lucky for you, I recorded the basic details of it in a memo on my phone, so I can tell you about it.

Know-It-All American: "In Australia, they have to take food everywhere on these massive trucks."
Friend: "Oh, really?"
KIAA: "Yeah, they're called roadtrains. And once they start driving, they're impossible to stop."
Me: "..................................."
Friend: "Whoa."
KIAA: "Yup. They drive from Perth to Sydney without stopping at all!"
Me: *busts an organ trying not to laugh*

Right. The roadtrains drive 4,000km without stopping at all. And when they reach Sydney, the only thing that stops them is that they drive into the ocean and that floods the engine and shuts it off...

KIAA: "The city centre in Melbourne is really small. And they call it the CBD - centralised business dominion."
Me: *mutters* "DISTRICT. Central business DISTRICT."
KIAA: "You can walk around the Melbourne CBD in like half an hour."
Friend: "Oh, wow. That IS small."
KIAA: "But to walk around Sydney's would take you ALL DAY."
Me: *mutters* a) You're really wrong on both lengths of time, b) Melbourne's CBD consists of more than just the grid, you abominable twat."

There was also something about the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, apparently, but I can't remember what it was, unfortunately.

Of course, these delightful individuals turned out to be on our tour. And the friend turned out to be wearing sparkly platform flip flops while carrying her nine month old baby. The tour specifically said to wear sturdy shoes with good grip as the cave is often slippery. Luckily for everyone, the baby and its mother made it out in one piece.

Anyway, Aranui Cave was pretty if not especially big (well, the parts you could walk through, anyway):

From there, we moved on to the Glowworm Cave, where you can't take pictures. And let me tell you, it. was. AMAZING. Technically, they're less glowworms and more maggot-y things, but PFFF. They're still super pretty. You walk through the cave looking at a couple of basic formations, and then they load you into boats to go through the glowworm part. I'm pretty sure I spent the entire boat ride with a massive grin on my face because it was so incredible.

(If you want to know more about the glowworms, you can go watch this SciShow video from Hank Green)

After a quick spot of lunch (under no circumstances did I have chips and garlic mayo for lunch NOPE DIDN'T DO THAT), we headed out on our tour of Ruakuri Cave, which was kind of awesome because we got to see some glowworms up locse, and also because we got to see some people doing the high ropes course through the cave, which looks INSANE. Plus, parts of the cave were really pretty:

Aaaaaand I think that's quite enough for one post, so I'll split Waitomo into two parts. Next up, we investigate a waterfall, have a delicious dinner, hang out with some more glowworms, and come across something unexpected.

K xx


  1. When I first moved to Melbourne I lived in the uni lodge next to Melbourne Central, but I went to the west pac on lygon street up near melb uni. And had the most CONFUSING conversation with the bank teller. She kept asking me if I lived in the city, and as if we were out of the city at the moment. The city being some Other took me a long time to figure out what people meant by "city"

  2. BAHAHA!! THIS IS THE BEST. Those conversations? Priceless. *snickers* I also see that Easy A reference. I see what you did there. I always find if disturbing when people think they know better than the tour guide (or the signs, or whatnot). We've been cave hiking plenty of times, but mostly in the NT and WA...but dang, people can be weird. Like, bush walking = take lots of water and a hat. Why...just, why is that so hard to grasp?
    I'm also glad we have an ocean to catch our roadtrains.

  3. Something that probably wasn't made any easier by that weird American thing where basically only downtown count as [City name] and everything else is the suburbs and therefore has its own city name...

  4. Can you imagine the chaos in Sydney if that ocean weren't there?! Roadtrains careening all over the place! ;)


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