Adventure Roadtrip to the famous: Waitomo Glowworm Caves
Time on road: 2 1/2 hrs from Hotel in Auckland
Price: $49, 45min tour with a boat ride
So this sounded great for my brother and I to do today considering we had a very limited to do something together because my brother had to be back later in evening to do some work.
We started with a breakfast buffet from down in the hotel.
10:30 AM -
We had the car pulled around. GPS is being set and good music is on the radio for our 2 1/2 hour journey.
I have the camera out so I can take photographs of the sights while the brother drove.
Gorgeous views of the lush greenery all around.
Round abouts, speed limits, and driving on the wrong side of the road have my brother frustrated.
The GPS lady continues to make a "bing" noise whenever my brother speeds is very annoying. No sign of police on the drive however.
1:20 PM - Arrive at Waitomo Glowworm Caves
There was a large group of people waiting for the same tour. Our tour guide was trying to be funny but failed. He must have also been new because he kept asking the other tour guide where the light switches were on our walk through the caves. We saw a very small amount of the caves, heard about how the caves were discovered, by who, and when. There were certain parts of the cave that had been named because of what they looked like i.e. "Elephant", "E.T.", Etc.
No photography was allowed on this tour which was upsetting.
I have been on several other cave tours in Texas and none of them objected to photography. I did see that the other tours which had higher fees allowed photography. (very curious)
Cave tour was very which seemed to last about 5 minutes. The boat ride that I was so excited to do so I could see the actual Glowworms in the dark cave was also short. They packed the boat so much that our original tour boat was full and we had to wait for another boat. They keep you in a certain part of the cave and you cannot really relax and enjoy it because of the other tours in the cave are there and you can hear them speaking. They just spun you around in the same spot for several minutes.
In my opinion it was not worth the $49 plus the 2 1/2 hrs drive there and back from the hotel.
For something that comes highly recommended and over advertised I thought it would be totally amazing.
8:00 PM - DINNER at Portofino Viaduct
The brother and I still wanted seafood and so we popped into several of the local restaurants around the hotel but nothing on their menus was really catching our eye. We finally settled on an Italian Seafood place that was practically empty.
Started: Gamberi Romani $26.99
Prawn cutlets pan fried in olive oil & garlic, flamed with brandy, parsley, and cream sauce, arborio rice & rocket.
Main Course: Piatto Di Mare $48.99
Seafood platter with garlic & e.v.o.o. sauteed prawn cutlet, scampi squid rings, scallops and steamed mussels served with spaghetti pomodaro e basilico
This was so freaking good and we could not even finish the whole plate. The mussels needed seasoning so we added lemon, pepper, & tabasco.
Desert: Cheesecake $14.99
We went back to the hotel to exhausted to pop into a pub. We did however go down to the bar and drink some of the free diamond status cocktails and met some cool "Ozzies" Australians.
A large man John and a red head named Robin. Good fun people. We chatted with them for some time. John is a retired police officer and Robin is an accountant and a teacher. It just happened to be National Teachers Appriciation Day which I told her and we clinked glasses and took a long drink. We talked about American politics being that the news of Ted Cruz dropped out and Donald Trump was the only Republican in the race. Robin talked about the Australian government and their no guns policy and that she disagrees. Robin and John gave us some great spots to visit when we get to Sydney in a few days. We swapped travel stories. They talked about their twenty day trip coming to Scotland and Ireland for Robin's birthday. She told us of their daughter and how John and her have been married for 30 years. Great people.
We finally said our goodbyes and left to our rooms.
FB status updates, T.V., PJ's, and bed.
I fell asleep very quick after a long day of driving and cocktails that evening.