After our slippy-slidy muddy walk up and down the Waipu Caves Track (which didn’t go to the Waipu Caves) Wyn was no less keen on going into the cave. (It is called Waipu Caves but so far we have only ever found one of them.) I wasn’t keen but had run out of excuses.
Back at the car we dug out our head torches and donned our parkas, and headed back across the field to the cave entrance. We were ready for deep mud and flowing water and who knows what else. The entrance wasn’t so bad and we could at least get inside standing up and dry. There was no track or guidance – it’s that sort of cave.
We were soon dark enough to need torches and we were quick enough to realise our batteries were useless. We’d brought spares so we changed them over and by then our eyes had started to adjust to the dark.
It was obvious we had to cross the stream flowing down the cave. We could see a line of sort-of stepping stones across the stream. Wyn loaned me one of her two walking poles and a pole was definitely an asset on stepping stones. By the time we were around the corner we were past a giant fat stalagmite growing from the floor. And into a sizeable cavern with lots of glowworms on the ceiling.
After another crossing of the stream there was some scrambling around rocks and a junction of sorts and another corner and a lot more glowworms. It was magic. We were maybe 100m into the cave and quite content with how far we’d come. We retraced our steps and found our way back to the light.
It was a very friendly sort of cave. No real mud. Not even wet feet. No crouching or squeezing. No bats or giant insects. And we only got lost once. What’s not to like.
The cave is a lot darker that the photos above show. It the lighting was realistic, you’d see almost nothing. I don’t have a flash unit for my camera so I was limited to available light near the entrance.