We wandered through a sheep farm to get to the caves. The sheep seemed confused about why we were tramping through their territory :)
Because the whole area used to be an ocean floor, we got to see a lot of unique limestone creations which had been left behind as the water receded.
And then we got to don our "fashionable" head gear. Okay, it wasn't all that fashionable but it was definitely practical!
It wasn't until we were entering the caves that I remembered how much I hate dark, confined spaces. Awesome.
We walked about 150 metres into the cave and then got into the boat for our tour. We spent the next half hour or so in the dark and silence, being mesmerized by the glowworm patterns above our heads. It was incredible.
Sadly, my camera was not excited about taking pictures in that (almost) total darkness so the picture of the four of us, as well as the two pictures below of the glowworms are courtesy of Marika.
After we left this cave, we got a hot drink and then headed out to another cave which Norm and his friend had fitted out with a boardwalk and electricity to show to the public. It was a pretty cool thing to see, until Norm picked up on my fourth fear and pointed out the wekas (things that look amazingly like spiders) on the walls. Yerghks :( Since I convinced myself that they all lived in the one little spot we had been shown (and not all over the cave we were walking through), I managed to not completely hyperventilate and found the rest of the cave pretty cool.
ps. By the time this post publishes on Friday morning we should FINALLY be home. We arrived at the airport in Auckland only to find out our flight had been cancelled and we were booked on a later, unpleasant flight route (can you say two nights in transit???) that had us arriving home after about sixty hours of travel. We got upset (I burst into tears) and spoke with the airline staff and they found us a better flight itinerary that hopefully got us home at 6am today, as opposed to later tonight. I've been writing the past few blog posts from the hotel the airline parked us at while we wait for our flight. Yay traveling?!?!?