Saturday, 4 August 2012

Day 59 - Friday 3rd August - Otorohanga to Tongariro National Park

After hearing the birds in the Kiwi House tweeting and chirping all night we thought it would be rude not to go and visit them.

The kiwis are nocturnal birds so they were in a darkened room but we saw plenty of other birds as well, oystercatchers, kingfishers, kea (mountain parrot), kaka, weka, owls, variety of ducks, as well as some lizards.

Kiwi (this is actually a stuffed bird as you cannot take photos of the real birds)





A good looking bird which I cannot remember the name of!

The kiwi sculpture which greets you as you enter Otorohanga

In the town centre we had to go and get our flat-ish tyre fixed and went on our way to Waitomo Caves. Our intention was to just see the Discovery Centre for information about glowworms and the caves, but it was so interesting we had to see cave as well.

We went down the Footwhistle Cave and saw hundreds of glowworms as well as stalactites and stalagmites. Looking up in the darkness of the cave it is like there are stars in the cave ceiling.

The cave entrance and steps into the cave

Cave ceiling with iron deposits seeping through


Can you spot the glowworms?

After our caving adventures we continued our journey to the Tongariro National Park AKA "Mordor" from The Lord of the Rings.

Beautiful scenery en route to Tongariro National Park

As we approached the park the sun was setting giving an eerie "Mordor" sky atmosphere and as we got nearer the surrounding countryside up to the cloud line became blood red. The mountain (volcano) peaks were unfortunately in the clouds but it was so beautiful and AMAZING!!

The beginnings of an eerie "Mordor" sky

The blood red mountains

Glowing sunset on the horizon


  1. Any sign of Frodo or Sam? ;)

    Loved reading these. Might need to talk to you about how you set this up... It's really great and might be useful when I head to China...



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