Posted by: monsonmadness | June 1, 2012

220 feet underground, abseiling, zipline, and climbing up waterfalls

Day 5 – Friday 1st June

I thought I had left all my adventurous days behind me. Gone are the days of bungee jumping and skydiving, now that we are married with kids, doing dangerous things isn’t very responsible, but on this vacation, we found a tour that we just couldn’t pass up.

We discovered Waitomo Glow Worm Caves and decided to take the Black Abyss Tour. The first set of photos on here are from their web site and are just to show you what we did, because it was all in the dark! The photos at the end of the post are from our tour.

We started by abseiling (rappelling) 12 stories into a small dark hole. It was pretty scary, especially since the last time Micheal went rappelling he ended up falling 50 feet and going to the hospital unconscious for several days.

 Additional Information

Down the 12 stories it was so cool. Both cool to see, and literally. The guides said that this was the coldest day they had so far this year with the water temperatures 5 degrees above freezing. The wet suits that they gave us did a great job, but it was still freezing cold. When we switched our headlights off, we could see the blue glow worms everywhere. It was unreal. It’s so hard to describe. We felt like we were in Disney world or something and that this had to be some man made creation. It is so amazing that there is another beautiful part of the work underground that not many people get to see. It was just spectacular.

 Glowworm Tour times

After walking through caves for a while, all lights were turned off and we got to go on the flying fox (zip line)in the pitch black, it was AWESOME!

 Black Abyss

After more walking we could hear the river, but we stopped for flapjacks and hot chocolate to warm ourselves up first. Then, we grabbed a tube, and we had to jump off the cliff into the freezing water (some adventure I hear you say!)

Then we got to pull ourselves down the river using a rope tied to the cave wall.

On the way back up the river, we turned our head lights off again and got to sit back and look at the amazing glow worms. It was like we were outside under the stars. Fantastic. After that cold experience, we had hot orange to drink with chocolate. They certainly know how to keep us happy! Now we were 220 feet underground. Crazy.

There were some crazy looking eels in the water around us. Glad we had big boots on! We had to squeeze through tiny openings. One was called the second birth canal because everyone comes out crying! We got to slide down a waterfall, and climb up two waterfalls. I just can’t describe how amazing it was down there. I felt like we were in the Goonies searching for One Eyed Willie.

Finally,we came up out of the ground and climbed out of this little waterfall into the forest. Wow! It was so surreal. We keep looking at each other saying, “did we just really do that?”

We wandered around a small town looking for souvenirs on the way home, then back to the temple again, followed by a meet and mingle for Michael’s law conference (the whole reason we’re here remember. Did you forget, because I did!)

I’m not sure I’m ready to go back to normal life…



  1. That sounds AWESOME!!!!!!!

  2. That cave sounds like so much fun. I think my new dream vacation will be to New Zealand.

  3. Holy Cow! Totally wow! That sounds unbelievably awesome, and so much fun! I think I want to start saving for more traveling . . . New Zealand’s on my list for sure!

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