|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.
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 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.
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|
|Jai all pleased|
|Naveens turn to be happy|
|Never ending lake|
|Spanish Sun Downer Motel|
|View from the room|
|Tiredness written all over|
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.