Tuesday 15th January, 2019.
We will get to the caving shortly but yeah, we went caving and it was terrifying.
First stop of the morning was fuel, a few pit stops and straight on the road heading for Arthur’s pass. An alpine highway that cuts through the South Island from West to east or east to west.
More beautiful mountains covering in snow, with fast flowing rivers and windy roads we made the two hour journey to see a couple of things.
1. Castle Rock hill
2. Devils punch bowl waterfall
We arrived at the waterfall first and after a small hike and 200 steps. We made it to the top of the hike and the bottom of the waterfall. Possibly the biggest waterfall we have seen yet. I think (not 100%) sure it was 150-200m high from its drop point, crazy.
We then drove further through Arthur’s pass and headed for Castle hill. What I thought was a Lord of The Rings filming area turned out not to be. But nonetheless these spectacular limestone boulders left us amazed.
Literally hundreds of limestone boulders in this small area, some huge like the ones in the picture and others carved, smoothed and ready to climb. We could have spent hours here jumping around and climbing up and around these magnificent formations.
On the way to Castle Hill we had come across the Cave scenic reserve which Nat had read about and we weren’t too sure about doing or not. On the way back through Arthur’s pass we stopped and thought we would take a look.
We hiked down to cave entrance and we were greeted by this incredible cave system with fresh flowing water coming through it.
Already filled with adrenaline we rocked our head torches and made our way to the “start” of the cave and just tested the water. This is where I totally freaked out.
The water was waist deep and right from the go you could see nothing, literally nothing. Nat tested the water and walked the first 5m of this 500m cave and freaked too. We had now begun talking ourselves out of it.
I am terrified of the dark and I’m not too great in water I cannot see through so this was a real test for me. Nat then also being scared of confined spaces and the unknown, this cave was really the ultimate for us.
Just as we were circling inside the entrance to the cave a couple came down and headed straight in. This was our chance.
Now safe in the knowledge there were two people in front of us we took the chance and jumped in with our new found confidence.
30 minutes of walk through water in a cave which at some points was no wider than our shoulders. We walked, clambered and climbed our way through in the darkness, cold and at some points really fast flowing water.
Honestly one of the most amazing but terrifying things I have ever done.
Sorry Mum but caving is OK here in New Zealand!
Would I cave again?