Wednesday, June 1, 2016

We Visited the Waitomo Glow Worm Cave, Lake Taupo and Napier – 22May 2016

The Glow Worm Cave

The drive from Rotorua to the famous Waitomo Glow Worm Caves took us around 2h, traveling 150 Km through some wonderful terrain. In spite of having to travel long distances we were determined to visit the famous Cave.
We lost our way in spite of GPS - Ha Ha

The rolling hills
A lovely drive

Never ending meadows
The glow worm, Arachnocampa luminosa, is unique to New Zealand. Thousands of these tiny creatures radiate their unmistakable luminescent light nestled in the stalactites, stalagmites and other cave formations. Water which drops from fissures in the ceiling leave behind limestone deposits. The stalagmites form upward from the floor while the stalactites form from the ceiling downwards. When these formations connect they are called pillars or columns and if they twist around each other they are called helciti. These cave decorations take millions of years to form given that the average stalactite grows one cubic centimeter every 100 years.
The cave entrance

The entrance to the cave

As we are coming out
The trip begins with a detailed explanation of the caves, formations and the worms. Then we are taken around the cave in a boat and transported into a very different kind of experience. The glow worms create an alien atmosphere. The boat takes you through this surreal and dreamlike world in total darkness and pin drop silence. Photography is not allowed as light and sound harm the growth of worms. After 45 m of this unforgettable experience we emerge from yet another opening to the world outside.
End of a memorable experience
We then departed for Lake Taupo located 150 Km from the caves. It lies in the caldera of the Taupo Volcano, with a surface area of 616 square kilometers; it is the largest lake by surface area in NZ. Lake Taupo has a perimeter of approximately 193 kilometers and its deepest point is 186 meters. It is drained by the Waikato River.

We spent a couple of hours relaxing in a lake side restaurant, sipping beer and enjoying fish and chips.
View of the lake

Trying to capture the lake

Weather plays a very important role

Effect of lovely NZ beer

Content with life

Adventure sports

Jai all pleased

Naveens turn to be happy
Never ending lake

Spanish Sun Downer Motel

View from the room

Outdoor View
We had to drive another 140 km through dense hilly forests before coming down to Napier. Napier's major tourist attraction is its architecture, which draws Art De
co and architecture enthusiasts from around the world.
Tiredness written all over
After an extremely tiring day we checked into a very cute motel – Sundowner Spanish Motel – an extremely apt name for  tired souls. In all we had driven 450Km.

The 1931 Hawke's Bay earthquake, also known as the Napier earthquake, occurred in NZ at 10:47 am on 3 February, killing 256 people and devastating the Hawke’s Bay region. It remains New Zealand's deadliest natural disaster. Centered 15 km north of Napier, it lasted for two and a half minutes and measured a magnitude of 7.8.

One of our guides told us that NZ experiences a staggering 20,000 minor earthquakes every year. As a result, New Zealand has very stringent building regulations.

Incidentally, when we were planning this trip, Christchurch suffered an earthquake on 14 February.
On 11 May 2016, the last earthquake measuring 4.8 magnitude, took place 6 km from Masterton, Wellington NZ.

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