Wednesday, 5 November 2014
We headed across the central North Island, our destination WAITOMO….
Day one involved a visit to the Waitomo Discovery centre where we were well informed about the formation of the Waitomo area, cave systems, limestone, stalactites, and stalagmites. We explored the discovery center examining fossils, skeletons of Moa, Kakapo and many more interesting creatures. We learned about glow worms, their behaviours and how their beautiful glow is created.
We all embarked on the Ruakuri Bush walk, a beautiful walk through native forest, under rock formations, through tunnels and over a fast moving stream. We could get a close look at cave weta up in cracks of the caves.
We toured the famous Waitomo Cave and travel down under ground the glowworm grotto where we traveled through the cave in a boat and were all left speechless as we gazed up and millions and millions of glow worms sparkling down at us.
Our group stayed at TokiKapu Marae. We experienced a traditional Maori Powhiri and stayed the night sleeping (some us!) in the Whare Nui.
Day two brought us to the Ruakuri Cave. This was an amazing experience. We were underground for an hour and a half, travelling down a huge man made concreate drum, around a giant spiral ramp. Exploring tunnels, left speechless at the amazing stalagmites and stalactites, finding our way in the dark above the rushing stream. At our lowest point we 65 metres underground!
We traveled to the Otorahanga Kiwi house to learn about the kiwi and we explored the bird and reptile park.
One final adventure found us at the Arapuni dam 65 meters above ground on a swing bridge, over the Waikato River. We all made it across and back without too many nerves exploding!
A magic time was had by all 20 children and our supportive crew of teachers and parents. We had a great team and all children were engaged, inspired and challenged throughout.