Hello, Is There Anybody In There? – Rawhiti Cave – Takaka, New Zealand

On our last day in the Nelson Tasman region of New Zealand, we attempted (and succeeded!) to fit several days worth of sight-seeing into a single day. We based ourselves in Nelson, which looking back, was a mistake due to the distance to some of the region’s best outdoor activities. Although, Nelson is an awesome town where you could easily spend a few days eating, drinking, and shopping your way through town. We left around 5am and started a 3 hour scenic journey to the Golden Bay area. Our first stop was to Wharariki Beach, the northernmost part of the South Island, which had a few walks where you could spot seals and their pups. After stalking some seals, we headed to Farewell Spit, a sandbar that runs about 16 miles off of the South Island. We stopped at a cafe for lunch that had “tame” eels that you could feed. As we went down to see them, Kevin said, stick your finger in there, let them suck on it. Before Christine could even respond, Kevin said “I’ll do it”…and then proceeded to get bit Jackass-style by a 2 foot eel. Did you know that eels have razor sharp teeth? Kevin now does. After lunch, we went to Pupu Springs (this area has awesome town names, more on that later) a natural spring, that up until 2011, was the second clearest water in the world (second to the Antarctic). You could see 206 feet down into the water. Next, we traveled to Takaka and the Rawhiti Cave. It was a short, but very steep, hike through a private farm, up the side of a mountain, where, suddenly, out of nowhere you’re staring into the mouth of a huge cave of an unknown depth full of stalactites.  That’s where today’s picture is from. Finally, we made one last quick stop at Tata Beach to check out the views before heading “home” for a good nights rest.