North Island New Zealand: Waitoma Glow Worm Caves & Taupo

We woke up at our beautiful scenic lookout. Yes, it was ours… if only for that morning. We freshened up, drove to the Waitoma Glow Worm Caves, and ate our breakfast in the parking lot. We also treated ourselves to some coffee and hot chocolate so that we could warm up!

We caught the second tour of the morning and, as we were buying our tickets, 2 tour buses full of kids pulled up. Crap! It was nice that they let us get a big of a head start before the kids came into the caves, but they caught up to us quickly. Thinking back, we should have went on the first tour and had our breakfast afterwards.

Waitoma Glow Worm Caves from Kassie O'Driscoll on Vimeo.

Mark used his super ninja skills to get video inside the cave. We didn’t get to watch it right away because we didn’t have wifi, but when we finally did (a few days later) we were SO pumped. It was hilarious to think about how sneaky he was. Unfortunately, we didn’t get any footage of the actual glow worms. They are SO cool so be sure to check it out if you get the chance.

We hopped back into the car and headed for Lake Taupo. The only stop we made was alongside the road to make sandwiches for lunch. I think that was somewhere near Berryville, but I’m not completely sure. There are plenty of places to pullover so we just stopped whenever we got hungry. Easy day!

I dozed off briefly and, when I woke up, the lake was right in front of us! That’s convenient! We were ahead of schedule so we sent to the iSite office to see what we could get into, did some gift shopping, and bought me some thermal underwear for the chilly nights in the camper van!

Turns out, we were there early enough to go bungee jumping! The iSite office offered free DVDs if you bought through them - Score! So, we signed up and headed to jump. We thought it was far away, in the middle of nowhere. Nope! It’s right off of the highway, but the views are still spectacular! 

Everything happened pretty quickly and, before we knew it, Mark was on the platform ready to jump. I was able to watch his whole jump from the observation area and it was pretty cool because lots of birds flew off of the rock edge as he fell, surrounding him.

Now, it was my turn! Mark explained it like, “it feels like you’re dying, then you’re not!” Uh, ok? That… well… uh.. I guess I’ll still do it. Ha! So, I get up there and wasn’t feeling nervous until it was time to force myself to jump. You’re literally standing with your toes hanging over the edge and they just say, “Okay, jump now.” Needless to say, it took me a few minutes… but I did it!!

Afterwards, we searched for a camping spot and settled with one at the marina because it was near the bars and a bathroom. Unfortunately, we found out the bathroom closed at 7:30pm. We thought that that was insanely dumb, but we rolled with it.

Picture from The Bistro's website.
We got dinner at “The Bistro” on Tamamutu Street, where I had the most amazingly juicy lamb burger. Literally, the best burger I’ve ever consumed. I barely shared with Mark! Mark had the Taupo beef. It was tasty, too, but we both agreed that nothing compared to my burger.

After dinner, we found our parking spot at the Marina. Mark hit the curb backing in, which was hilarious! Anyway, we wrapped up the night at Mulligan’s, the Irish pub in town. They let us charge all of our devices and use internet. It was a very relaxing time and we both really enjoyed it.

On to the next adventure….
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