Lake Taupo & Jet Boating, & Crazy Glowworm(maggot) Caving

After a night of killing endless amounts of bugs in our hotel room , we woke up and continued on to Lake Taupo. We didn’t take many pictures over the past two days because we have been so busy and in a couple different places we couldn’t even take pictures. We drove straight to Taupo without having breakfast, so when we got there we went to a cafe called Lava Cafe and had some pretty scrumptious grub. We drove around for like four hours (not really four hours, but Josh likes to exaggerate) to find someplace to stay and ended up in a completely awesome hotel that the boys actually picked, so we’ll give them the win on this one. We got two separate rooms with amazing views of the Lake. Here’s a picture from our balcony as the sun was going down.

After we settled in to our new hotel, we headed over to the Huka jets! If you haven’t seen our post of facebook yet, here’s the link to our video and slideshow. We did bring our little camera on the jet boat to take pictures but somehow I don’t have them on my computer. ¬†Video: Our Hukajet Video

Slideshow: Our Hukajet Slideshow

The jet boat was so much fun. The driver would come so close to the cliffs and trees and anything that got in our way on the river and would so quickly turn away from it going crazy fast. Down the river the boat stopped at Huka Falls which were really cool. There were tons over people that came to view the falls and I know they wished they could be on our boat with us. :) We all got pretty wet after we were done with that boat.

Once we were done with the Huka jet, we went back to Taupo and I signed up to skydive the next day! However, the girl there said they hadn’t been able to jump all day that day because of the little bit of rain and wind we were having that day. I guess it’s good they don’t take any chances with this sort of thing. So I ended up not skydiving the next day…maybe some other time! We visited the All Blacks store (The New Zealand Rugby team the¬†All Blacks Haka ), and then had some lunch at a horrible restaurant called Breakers.

After that we went back to our awesome hotel overlooking the water, watched the sun go down and then went in their heated pool. We had a great evening that night after the pool, having some beers and playing Mexican Train into the wee hours of the morning.

The next day (Friday the 7th) we drove up to Waitomo and booked a tour through the caves there to see some glowworms and so some black water rafting! Unfortunately we couldn’t take our cameras down there and didn’t want to pay the very very overpriced cost for one picture ($15 for one picture!!) But we had a crazy time, it wasn’t at all what we expected. They put us on a bus from the office and drove about 20 minutes through farmland (which looked quite like Hobbiton which we saw the following day…but more about that later), and then we suited up in full wetsuits and hardhats with torches once we got to the sheds above the caves. We trekked in full wetsuits in almost 90 degree heat past numerous sink holes to an opening into a cave below. We had to climb down a crazy step ladder into pitch black, only our torches lighting the way. Once we got down there where the water flowed a bit quickly in an underground stream, we hiked for awhile over sharp rocks and dips, and swam through the cave water, and all the time looking at the gorgeous glowworms above our heads.

We learned a lot about glowworms that day, including the fact that they are not indeed worms at all, but fly larvae….maggots….. Um, ew. Not cool to think about when they’re about an inch from your head in a dark cave. What if one falls?..and lands on my head?? :) But they are pretty nonetheless. Oh, and that blue glow you see? Well, it’s actually a chemical reaction from their excrement (gag) which helps them attract their dinner like flies and moths and other bugs which may be down in the caves. The tour kept going and we got to float down the river in inner tubes, turning off the torches on our hard hats so the glowworms above looked like the night sky. All this took about a little over two hours underground and it got a bit strenuous and tight in places. Our thighs and calves were hurting the next day because off all of the climbing, squeezing and crawling we had to do. Even though this isn’t pictures of us, exactly, here’s an idea of the crazy gear we wore, and the pretty glowworms.

Tumu Tumu TOObing

In the evening we headed over to the Thirsty Weta cafe in a small small town on the way to Hamilton from Waitomo. I tried a very strange chicken, banana and kahlua pasta which was unusual but kind of good. Everyone else enjoyed their meals too. We ended up picking a motel in Hamilton to stay the night, which turned out to be the worst pick of the trip so far. We’re on our way up North to go through Matamata to see where parts of the Lord of the Rings were filmed, and then up to the Bay of Islands to do some relaxing, snorkeling and swimming.

Cheers!

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