Refreshed from an evening of hot water beach R&R, we went full speed ahead in the Waitomo (why-toh-mo) region of the North Island. We started with an early morning tour of Aranui Cave. Although Aranui lacks the famous glowworms, it makes up for it with a mesmorizing display of stalactites.
From there we skirted along to the Ruakuri (roo-ah-curry) Tunnels. This trek, the only uncommercialized attraction in the Waitomo cave region, is a winding trail through limestone structures and waterfall canyons. Totally worthy an hour of exploration!
After a quick lunch in the carpark, we hopped on a guided boat tour of the Waitomo Glowworm Cave. We weren’t allowed to take any photos in this cave because of the galaxy of glowworms it houses, which happen to be very sensitive to light, but it was out-of-this-world cool!
To wrap up the afternoon, we drove an hour or so southwest to the much more obscure Tongaporutu (tonga-poor-ooh-too). For those who like to WOLO, this stop (or these photos) are a must-see! This vast blacksand beach, dotted with windswept sandstone seastacks, is unreal. It is home to the “Three Sisters” (now two because one collapsed roughly 10 years ago), “Elephant Rock”, and several sea caves and tunnels. Luckily, we arrived at low-tide and this site provided endless views and fun!
Next stop: Mt. Taranaki
– Go. Change your state of mind.