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Situated on the outskirts of the Waitomo village, the hostel is awesome.

The transient traveller comes to this part of New Zealand for its underworld and what lies beneath.  Tubing, abseiling, zip lining or jumping over cascading underground waterfalls are all part of the experience to witness the solar system night sky created by the mystical glow worms whom live in the chambers of stalactites and stalagmites.

It is an unforgettable subterranean journey that should be included on either your down-under (if from overseas) or internal (if from within NZ) experience.  We would recommend the YHA Hostel as being the place to stay.  The community of like mindedness was a breath of fresh air.  It was the place to regather mindfulness after the past two days!

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Sophie the Engineer from Wales; Annika the student from Germany; Rob the Tour guide from the US; and the rest who are nameless but not faceless.  Later in the day, Nick whom we shared the hut with up the top of the Pirongia Range completed walking all the way to Waitomo.  His account of the descent yesterday was on par with ours … and now put behind us.

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Sophie allowed us to share a ride and do a bush walk.  Of all the things to do on a rest day, we go walking!  The limestone rock pancake layering formations reminded us of the temples in Cambodia – Ankor Wat.  The water snaking through grooves, archways and tunnels with a hiss and a roar was swift and sometime still.  We watched some tubers exit from a black hole all suited up in wet suits with pearly white teeth from grins.  One natural cave had a solitary glow worm glowing.  We looked for a switch to confirm it was natural!  Yep, confirmed.  It was natural.

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Another complimentary pick up had us arrive at Roselands Restaurant up some twisty road out back country.  We paid $10 for all you can eat rice, stew and roasted potatoes and $5 a beer.  Having to be rolled out after scoffing ourselves full, it was dark.  We were escorted to a hillside wall where the night was illuminated from the bum ends of heaps more glow worms.

Seeing an opossum dead on the way back from road kill had the tourists agasp when I asked “Where do you think the meat in the stew came from?”

We recommend eating there also, naturally.

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