A subterranean underworld with stalactites and glowing glowworms lies under the undulating green hills of Waitomo. Over millions of years, the Waitomo caves have evolved into some of New Zealand’s most beautiful limestone formations. Not only that, but the cave networks provide a one-of-a-kind natural playground, which The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co. has taken advantage of for some extremely entertaining caving experiences known as “Black Water Rafting.” But, with two ostensibly identical itineraries to select from, which is the finest New Zealand cave rafting tour? In this Black Water Rafting trip comparison, we’ll go through the differences!
1.Black Labyrinth Tour
The Black Labyrinth excursion is the first and most popular tour of the Legendary cave rafting. This 3-hour subterranean experience provides you with all of the necessary caving equipment, including a wetsuit, helmet, boots, and, most importantly, an inflated tube!
In preparation for the subterranean waterfall leaps ahead, your guides show you how to “tube jump” into a stream tucked in the natural forest at the start of the trip! Then, with your guide, you and your company will explore the Ruakuri Cave network, which includes limestone formations and glowworm clusters. Scrambling through the tunnels on foot, little swimming, one or two waterfall leaps, and drifting along underwater streams amid glowworm displays are all part of the adventure.
Your guides will teach you about local Maori mythology, the formation of these limestone caverns and their characteristics, and the glowworms’ peculiar life cycle.
2.Black Abyss Tour
The 5-hour Black Abyss trip combines all of the most exciting methods to navigate a cave into one cave rafting adventure. However, no prior caving experience is required because you will be accompanied by an expert guide and provided with all necessary caving equipment! Your abseiling harness and clips are one of those necessities, and you’ll be trained how to use them in a hands-on training session before entering the caverns.
It’s time to abseil down a 35m (115ft) tomo — a naturally created hole into the caverns – after you’ve learnt how to abseil with a few entertaining competitions. The experience continues with an underground zip line (if you aren’t frightened of the dark! ), followed by some underground food in the shape of delicious New Zealand chocolate and a hot beverage to keep you going for the cave exploration ahead.
You’ll jump into an underground stream and float beneath a galaxy of glowworms in an inflatable tube, while your guide tells you about Maori mythology, how the caverns developed, and more about the amazing glowworms. The rest of the cave network will be explored by a combination of tubing, swimming, floating on your back, and some unexpected shocks. Finally, after a couple of huge waterfall climbs, you must make your way out of the cave!
Experience the same famous cave as the cave rafting trips, but from a higher vantage point in the cave network, where the finest limestone formations have evolved. You’ll stroll on high platforms among milky white stalactites, stalagmites, and other intriguing formations during your guided tour. There’s also the chance to observe glowworms in the dark and up up and personal with their sticky lines!
This lesser-known cave, nestled in natural woodland, is best described as Waitomo’s hidden jewel. Your guide will lead you through a maze of towering, tight chambers brimming with pink, white, and brown stalactites. While glowworms aren’t the major emphasis of this tour, as they are on the other Waitomo excursions, you will get the chance to encounter giant indigenous insects known as cave weta.
There is no requirement to have any prior cave experience! A trained guide will accompany you every step of the journey. Glowworms may be seen in both cave rafting experiences. Tours are only conducted when it is safe to do so, which is the great majority of the time. However, continuous heavy rain might cause the caverns‘ water levels to rise, causing the excursions to be cancelled.