Driving South to Waitomo
Trip Start Mar 09, 2007
10Trip End Mar 31, 2007
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Where I stayed
The sting rays were amazing, swimming along the glass so we could see their bellies. I could have watched them for hours. The best thing, though, was the "Antarctic adventure" part, where we got in a little cart like a Disneyland ride for Antarctica, went through a fake whiteout, and saw the penguins a little closer.
The king penguins were beautiful, and we even got to see a baby penguin. (The guide told us to look for the "big kiwifruit.")
After we picked up Mom, we headed toward the Waitomo Caves and set up camp at our first "backpackers," or hostel, Juno Hall. After dinner, we drove to the Mangapohue Natural Bridge on a road that, at the time, seemed questionable. In retrospect, it was just another tiny New Zealand road. The natural bridge was remarkable because of the thousands of glow worms all around us. They're much tinier than I expected--so small that even when you're really close and looking right at one, you can still pretty much only see a point of light. On the drive back we saw our first Australian possums (we didn't know what they were until the next day). They're awfully cute for a rampant pest, nothing at all like our possums.