I-Mockery's Great New Zealand Road Trip! Alpine Crossing, Zorbing, Glow Worm Caves, Hobbiton Tours, and More!
by: -RoG-


[Auckland] [Hobbiton Tour] [OGO Rotorua/ Zorbing] [Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland]
[Glow Worm Caves] [The Tongariro Alpine Crossing] [Wellington, Weta Cave, & Airport]

Plenty o' sheep.

The ground is still stained with the blood of orcs. Okay, not really.

Sunsets don't get much better than that.

So we picked a random place on the edge of Lake Taupo to stay at the previous night...

What can I say... we're huge fans of the show Twin Peaks, so we had to stay at the Twin Peaks Lakeside Inn.
Notice I'm holding a little bottle of milk in my hands? That's because I was absolutely bewildered and amused
when the front desk clerk checked us in and said, "Here's your room key......... and here's your milk."
No explanation or anything, just free milk with your room. Seemed like this Twin Peaks place was just as weird as the show.

This milky mystery had us perplexed for a good 48 hours until another place gave us a bottle without any explanation.
I asked them, "So what's up with the milk?" and they finally explained it was for our room if we wanted to make tea.
Apparently it's customary to give lodgers a free bottle of milk, though many places aren't doing it any longer.
Mystery solved!


This photo doesn't do it justice, but there were boatloads of these yellow flowers on one stretch of the highway.


Good to know you can always get a room at the Glow Worm Motel

Suspicious ostrich is suspicious.

We arrive at the Waitomo General Store and await our guide to the Spellbound Glowworm caves.

While we waited we finally got to try New Zealand's famous "Hokey Pokey" flavored ice dream.
And yeah, it was pretty great. I'm pretty sure honeycomb can make just about anything better.

Re's mind wanders as she daydreams of swimming in a lake of hokey pokey ice cream.

After a crazy, winding drive up to the top of the nearby mountains, our group heads out on foot for a hike to the caves.

There be caves under there.

Requisite "Yeah, I was here" vacation photo.

And one for Re as well.

Well whaddaya know, there's a cave after all!

Hats! Yes!

We get hats!? Holy crap, this tour just got a thousand times better.

Before we went into the cave, our guide (who was awesome by the way) introduced us to
two fresh water eels that took up residence in a nearby stream. Another awesome bonus.

You can see its snout peeking up from under that lower right rock there.

We stuck our fingers in the water to coax it out. Thankfully, no fingers were lost.

Into the caves we go!

There they are! Glow worms!

And with the lights out.

This photo didn't work out, but I still like how it looks.

What we didn't know about glow worms, is that they're actually larvae with snare lines for catching other tiny insects.
You just don't notice the snare lines until you're up close and have a light shining on them.

What's awesome about the Spellbound tour is that they eventually put you in a raft and turn out ALL the lights, and just pull the raft along a rope back and forth through one corridor in the cave, where you see thousands of glow worms right above you. Total silence and darkness, and the only thing you see are all these glowing blue lights above your head. Amazing.

The bioluminescence is absolutely incredible. It's seriously like a naturally occuring planetarium.
Like any natural wonders, no photos can do it justice... it's just something you have to see in person.


As you can see, it's a good thing they gave us hard hats, cuz the ceilings were pretty slow in some spots,
so it would be very easy for somebody as tall as me to hit my head on 'em.

Glow worm spelunking completed! On to the next cave!

Wait, did we accidentally go back to the Hobbiton set again?

More great scenery as we hike towards the next cave.

There's still plenty more from the
New Zealand Road Trip to see!

Click here to continue onward to page 8!


Reader Comments

Forum Virgin
Feb 27th, 2013, 03:52 PM
Hi RoG, These pictures are awesome! Was it expensive to go there? I have put visiting New Zealnd on my bucket-list before I die. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

-Frickin' Awesome!
Forum Virgin
Feb 27th, 2013, 04:13 PM
Great vacation...Hobbit holes, glow worms, exploding volcanoes and everything! How long was the trip?
Comic Artist in Training
Feb 27th, 2013, 09:30 PM
I don't know if I'll see Dark Escape at the nearby Dave and Busters.

Burger Rings?

That really is some great scenery for the Shire. Great sets too.

That is a big metal sheep.

Plenty of sheep indeed.

Is that ash all over those woods?

Seriously, that reddish shore looks like something on Mars. Are all those other things in Wonderland rendered in Technicolor too?

Plenty of sheep indeed.

Look at all those glowing worms.

Look at that mushroom cloud! And look at that smoke!

More sheep.

"It was beauty who killed the beast."

I understand Christopher Tolkien has been displeased with the movies. He should get a load of that burlesque show!
Forgets Passwords Easily
Feb 28th, 2013, 12:19 AM
wow, what i would give to be on a volcano when it erupts! almost anything, aside from the gear it would take for me to get away from the volcano
Feb 28th, 2013, 11:13 AM
Great article! Being in NZ just before The Hobbit released must have been surreal enough, but then to see all that other stuff, and an erupting volcano? You and Re must have some of the best luck in the world when it comes to vacations. I don't suppose you made a video of you seeing things in NZ by any chance?
Pickled Patriarch
Mar 1st, 2013, 09:37 PM
Rob Man - It was something we had been saving up to do. It's definitely not cheap, but the flights weren't too bad since we live on the West Coast 'n all.

ForgottenInvader - We were there about a week and a half.

A-bomb - Hehe, yeah we really do have some incredible luck when it comes to traveling and vacations. Couldn't believe the volcano eruption... I mean, what are the odds!? As for a video of us seeing things in NZ... nah. We shot some footage of the volcano 'n all, but the rest of the video stuff was just us driving in the car and looking at all the scenery. I'll go through it again sometime, but I think the photos tell the story of our New Zealand road trip adventure much better.
Forum Virgin
Apr 26th, 2013, 11:43 PM
I'm glad you posted this. It may have been life-changing to me, in a literal way. I only intended to take a short break when I read it and got sucked in for nearly an hour. It really makes me contemplate what kind of things I'd like to do in the long-run of my own life.

Click here to return to the Features homepage