- April 14, 2018 at 4:54 pm #1676058
Thanks, Jennifer – would love to see you dancing along with the ukeleles – 😀 😀 😀
Another beautiful pic, Kai – thank you.
Wow- SG- if I saw one of those spiders I would be dancing – there wouldn’t be any need for ukeleles 😆 😆 😆 😆 Thank you 🙂April 14, 2018 at 6:08 pm #1676065
Maori Leap Cave – Kaikoura
In Kaikoura, New Zealand, there is something that is just magical and very, very well hidden even to some of the locals, if you didn’t know it was there you would just simply drive past it like most wonderfully unique things in the world.
When we arrived in Christchurch we were greeted by a friendly immigration officer who let us in on the well-kept secret of the amazing Kaikoura limestone caves, all she had to do was utter the words photography permitted and we were there! Mentally there, of course, we still needed to drive to Kaikoura.
The cave was discovered in 1958 and was originally an underwater hollowed out karstic sea cave. The locals who discovered it were building a quarry at the time, when one night, the roof of the cave gave way. This, of course, was the only access for a while so after digging a few metres from the side of the cave the new entrance to the cave was born and now could be visited by tourists and still is today.
There are said to be two stories of how the cave was named the Maori Leap Cave. One sounds very similar to the tale of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and goes along the lines of disillusioned lovers who were from different tribes and leaped to their death from above the cave.
The other a story is of a warrior that when surrounded by his enemies and facing the threat of being captured decided to fall to his impending death or take a leap of faith to his freedom, he was said to have survived the fall from the great height, but as legends go, no one really knows the true end to the story.
Barry, your local guide, a sprightly seventy-five year old man takes you on a journey through the cave and has amazing stories about the history and heritage of the cave some which are very amusing. He’s been doing the tour for a quite a few years now, so it’s great to have an insight from an expert that knows the ins and outs.
We will try not to give too much away as I think that the cave is worthwhile to explore and experience for yourself, so like a good movie we will try not to give too much of the plot away.
When we took the tour we were lucky that it was just us so we had Barry’s undivided attention. He fitted us with the appropriate safety gear, a hard hat and a torch and delivered a well instructed safety briefing. We were a bit nervous but were reassured that inside the cave is very safe. A few years ago when Barry was conducting a tour, he and a bunch of tourists were surprised to find out after coming out from the cave that there had been a minor earth quake but being inside the cave the didn’t even feel a slight tremor and were completely oblivious.
This interestingly enough is because of limestone’s porous nature, and the whole cave acts like a massive shock absorber.
After that we were ready to begin the tour, we walked around the corner to the entrance of the cave. What we found interesting at this point is that the cave didn’t have your typical “mouth of the cave” entrance and we didn’t really feel like we were embarking on a journey to the centre of the earth. What was also bizarre is that the entrance to the cave is fitted with a wooden door. To be honest we kind of thought that Barry was pulling our leg. Barry flicked the switch on a near by power box unlocked and opened the door and proceeded to guide us through into the cave.
The cave itself although seemingly small, is bigger then what you expect. It really is like stepping into a private untapped world as you disappear into the cave mouth, you feel the temperature surrounding you cool, and then in a moment as your eyes adjust to the yellow glow of the dimly lit cave your breath is taken away as you are faced with the striking honeycomb of stalactites and stalagmites. As you stare in awe you can hear the musical dripping of the water as it slowly makes its way from the surface deep down into the cave to create the intricate formations.
As Barry shows you through the cave he takes his time to carefully introduce you to his favourite formations like they are an old friend of his and you begin to feel right at home in his mysterious world. He makes sure to point out the fossilised bones contained within the walls. As you can see by the photos it really is a fascinating view of limestone formations and cave coral.April 14, 2018 at 6:57 pm #1676085
supergoldMemberMember since: May 9, 2009
Beautiful caves! I didn’t even know they existed. All we hear about are the Waitomo caves and the glow worms.
Supergold-Wainuiomata (Wellington)April 15, 2018 at 8:22 pm #1676171
SG- they are beautiful, aren’t they – and like you I had never heard of them beforeApril 15, 2018 at 8:33 pm #1676172
Christchurch – click to enlarge imagesApril 15, 2018 at 8:37 pm #1676177
Same here and have driven past them so many times over the years .. Good ones to keep in mind ..
We took this a few years ago ,going over to the Coast,,at Otira ,, stopped for a Hot drink and a meal (the driver had a Coffee the passengers had crisp white wine,, bottled not far away from there!!!!
and we played lots of songs on the Juke Box as well, for old times sake ..
Markets there as well that day so all in all gr8 wee stop ,
Cheers From KaiApril 15, 2018 at 8:49 pm #1676179
Val snap we were posting together.. I love all those Murals we have SO many talented artists who do that kind of thing.. It sure brightens things up all year round.. Thanks so much for sharing .
They are so neat to see on here ..Catch up tomorrow Hope all of you had a good day as we did here.
Cheers From KaiApril 17, 2018 at 12:22 pm #1676341
Hi Kai- Otira- that sounds like my kinda place to stop – as long as I’m not driving lol what with the wine & the jukebox I would be there allllll day lol Thanks for sharing that.
Love the old photos, Kai – I wonder how many of us on Gr’ups remember that area of Auck. when it was like that?April 17, 2018 at 12:26 pm #1676343
Canyon Swing Chair Queenstown New Zealand
Oh, how cruel….. 😆 😆 😆April 17, 2018 at 11:08 pm #1676401
I Know Val the Otira trip was “Memory lane”and the driver was so happy to remi,,
that us passengers ,,,,had to have a wee wine to celebrate ,,, and he got to grips with the JUKEBOX as well ..
catch up soon xx
PS LOVE the Queenstown one AWESOME Share
Cheers From Kai
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