We meet our guide who has over 2,500 abseils (rappels) under his belt. He used to manage the business so we were in really in good hands. It is just the four of us: Matt, Wayne, me, and Scott our guide.
We drive 20 minutes to the location where we get geared up and dressed. After a short 101, we head to the “testing” area. They provide everything: helmets with lights, jumpsuits, and wellies (boots).
They have a little area that they call “the testing center” which gives us an opportunity to test all of our gear while getting comfortable clipping in and out of the lines. After the short diversion, we head to the platform where we will abseil 100 meters into the center of the earth – aptly called The Lost World.
The first thing you have to do is lean over the gap between the platform and the steel pipe. I just kept repeating to myself “don’t look down, don’t look down.” Yes we are tied in three ways to Sunday, but it still doesn’t stop your heart from jumping in your throat!
All 4 of us are clipped together. So, if one person starts to fall they will be stopped by the other 3 people. We each have our own abseil line and 3 connecting lines or safety points.
One by one we remove our feet from the platform and hang hundreds of feet above the cavern.
What am I thinking? This is nutso. Yes, I have a smile on my face, but trust me when I say I was a wee bit terrified!
To go down, you lift the line up. For the men it was rather easy as their weight pulled them down. But for me, I had to actively work at lowering myself and to keep up with the men.
The boys were having a blast, releasing their hands, leaning back and just dangling. Where I had the vulcan death grip on both boys.
As we start to descend you feel the gravity of the distance below you. But the beauty in the area takes your breath away and you can truly see why they call this the Lost World.
We make several stops along the way down to ensure we take in all of the splendor that the Lost World has to offer.
A Walk on the Wild Side
We finally make it to the bottom and my heart beat returns to normal. We crawl over boulders, through the river, over rocks, and under huge limestone formations. The sun tries to sneak in through the crevices giving us fun photo opportunities.
We continue climbing deep into the recess of the Lost World using our headlamps to light the way.
We come to a massive cave where we pop a squat and turn off our lights. And what do we see but a bazillion glowworms! This time we actually get to see the glowworm up close (top right photo) and its beautiful silk threads (bottom right corner). If you look closely you will see the glow of the blue tails, but it is hard to get us, in the dark and the glowworms.
Departing the Lost World
Now, comes the fun part (not), climbing back out of the Lost World. We begin by scampering over rocks, boulders, and more large limestone formations, slowly heading high and higher.
Then we come to an enormous ladder that reaches 100m into the sky. You can’t even see the top part of it. It is wet, muddy, and hard to hold on to. We are clipped in at three safety points and begin the climb one at a time. Holy hell that was hard on my arms!
But we all make it out and have an additional 20-minute uphill hike to the launching area. What a spectacular and remarkable adventure. If you are ever in Waitomo, I highly recommend The Lost World tour with the Waitomo Adventures team!
- Hotel: Trinity Hotel
- Kilometers Traveled: 0
- Time Traveled: 0
- Kilometers Walked: 5.5km (couldn’t bring phone on Lost World)
Events from this blog occurred at the end of February. Our blogs posts run 10-12 weeks behind actual events. Be sure to read the first part of our trip in Waitomo in our last blog post.