It was a wonderful bus ride from Rotorua to Waitomo, with the landscapes on both sides giving me the views i have been envisioning about New Zealand; undulating topography, very green grazing farms with flocks of dairy cattle and herds of sheeps! The sheep looks like small caterpillars at a distance. Oh they fed my hungry soul for nice natural landscapes.
a typical view of dairy cattle grazing on the farms
This undulating green fields are efficiently mowed by herds of white sheep,
which at a distance looks like either caterpillars or small rocks.
They are newly sheared sheep because it is summer there in December
This wide trellised field of growing crops can probably be peas or whatever legumes.
After1.5 hours we reached Waitomo, and the famous Waitomo Caves. We first landed at the i-site, where brochures and guides are located.
A Maori shade structure with Maori art, i badly need a personal tourist photo!
We then walked about 15 min to the entrance of the cave. My sister didn't come with me inside as she has been there last year. I just joined all the tourists who were counted per group to board the boat. There are regular boat intervals to enter the cave. We walked a few minutes down to the water lever and there are stops where guides tell us about the caves and the glow worms.
(This Photo is submitted by forevergone to reddit.com from: Huffingtonpost). We were not allowed to speak while in the boat, much more take pictures. I wonder why there are lots of glow worm pictures in the internet, if this rule is truly implemented. But it was really an amazingly incredible sight. Reading the biology and life cycle of the glow worms will further increase your enthusiasm.
Our boat emerged from this exit of the cave. There are strings above the head level, where the boatmen guides hold on to as their guides to the path. We didn't see anything inside except the natural structures of the cave and the glow worms. This is another episode of my trip which cannot be duplicated.
The stairs from the river led us to this lovely facility, where i also took some flowers and plants photos.
A lovely structural design of the facility housing the restaurant and souvenir shops after going through the glow worm caves.
Instead of directly going to the I-site meeting place where the bus picks us up for Auckland, we first follow a trail near the road. It was a small one that leads to the parking lot, near the mainroad to the I-site. It was a ver lovely commune with nature as we passed this wooden bridge, seeing the plants we saw along the way.
There was this tree with holes presumably done by a woodpecker or whatever animal that poked on the trunk. We laughed at the persistence of a few mushrooms growing luxuriantly on the holes. What a very resourceful mushroom!
The right photo shows my sister already at the end of the path, already on the open space.
We immediately sat on the grass upon emerging from the forest path. It was both relaxation and regurgitation of the things we have been through. It was a lovely leisurely 1-hour walk. And we ate the snacks we brought in our bags. We were laughing while eating, after which we started walking to the I-site.