Abbey Caves in Whangarei: Free Caves in New Zealand! – New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year

Today we are exploring the Abbey Caves which
are an amazing cave network which is absolutely free of charge to check out and there are
even some glow worms. So we’ve just arrived at Abbey Caves and we’re
gonna have some lunch first before exploring the caves. What are we having for lunch? Er well what have you made for us, Robin? Sandwiches with cheese, capsicum, eggs. After grabbing a quick lunch we are now making
our way toward the Abbey Caves. Despite the fact that these caves are only about 10 minutes
drive away from Whangarei city centre, it really we are stepping far far off mainland
civilisation with some animals everywhere and the birds singing us all the way as we
are making our way down the hill. Near the beginning of the Abbey Caves track
is a little signpost telling you the loop walk that you need to take to see all the
caves and there’s actually three caves in total. One called the Organ Cave, another
one called the Middle Cave and the Ivy Cave. And there’s not really a set amount of time
that it takes to do this loop walk cos it really depends on how long you want to spend
exploring the caves but usually it’s a good idea allow two hours. We’re making our way through beautiful outcrops
of limestone along the way. In middle of stunning farmland. It’s an absolutely amazing and super
gentle walk so even if you are absolutely not fit at all you will still enjoy this hike
it’s seriously a must-do if you are visiting Whangarei. And because New Zealand pasture wouldn’t be
complete without it’s fair share of sheep, we are now making our way through a sheep
paddock. Yes, this walk literally takes us through
the iconic picture of New Zealand which is a bunch of sheep grazing in the sun. The Whangarei area is well-known for its gecko
and all its wildlife. If you guys remember we went to Kiwi North and checked out a tonne
of gecko so you guys might want to check out this video too which is up in the cards above. After about 10 to 15 minutes walking on the
track we finally reach the first cave which is the Organ Cave and this is a really cool
little cave with a shallow stream right at the bottom. You do have to take your shoes
off if you want to explore a little bit deeper into the cave otherwise there’s a few stepping
stones which you can make your way across. Up in the ceiling there’s very very small
stalactites which are little limestone formations as well as a few glimmering blue lights which
are glow worms cos yes, this is a free place in New Zealand that you can come and check
out the glow worms. However the second cave is gonna be better for seeing more glow worms
however this one is good for us to scramble around and have a real feel like we’re on
a proper adventure. To be quite honest, we didn’t come well prepared
enough to those caves we only have one headlight and our phones to go by and I would definitely
recommend packing a few more lights if you want to trek all around the cave. This cave is really cool you can see some
stalactites created just right here. There is a tonne of small features which is absolutely
amazing. Look at this one right here. It’s a small
stalactite. Although the features around the caves are
rather small they are absolutely stunning I really loves the amount of features in these
caves and we see more and more as we explore the caves but we heard there is more than
just one cave. Alright onto the next cave, if we figure out
where the path is. The next cave is aptly named Middle Cave and
it’s only about 5 minute walk away from the first cave that we just visited. It’s a very easy walk as well where we pass
through beautiful farmland and under amazing forest with heaps of New Zealand birds. As we arrive at the cave the entrance looks
a bit more rocky than the first one but it’s definitely worth it cos there’s some more
rock formations to check out. The Middle Cave is definitely our favourite
cave because the rock formations are a lot more dramatic in here, there’s bigger stalactites,
but there is also a lot more glow worms to see there’s actual clusters of blue shining
lights decorating the ceiling as if they’re fairy lights at Christmas. They are super
amazing to see and unfortunately we’re not amazing at taking videos of them but we’ll
show you some picture more toward the end of those awesome glow worms. Back on the walking track, we are heading
to final cave of the day which is the Ivy cave and this one has the best entrance of
them all. It has a really rocky riverbed to follow underneath all this forest and it really
feels like a proper scrambling adventure, it’s super fun. I just asked Laura if she wants me to go first,
she said yes, and she decided to go on her own. But after a few seconds Laura is pushing me
to go forward and be first going down. I just dropped my phone and I thought it had
gone into the abyss. Thankfully it was in arm’s reach. I am going to put it in my… Zip pocket right? The last cave that we’re gonna be checking
out today is Ivy Cave it has a massive stream going through it giving it a really echoey
sound it’s a really eerie place it’s called the Ivy Cave because there are Ivy plants
all around it making it really look like a fairy tale. All the caves around here are limestone caves
because limestone is kind of a soft rock and it’s very easily carved through by water making
those amazing caves but we are now making our way back outside of the Abbey Caves and
making our way back toward the trail. However, this is not the easiest track. i have to be
honest we decide to take the adventure path which is a little bit on the side from the
main path and it is quite well, adventurous, it’s really fun though and really feels like
we are living the dream in the Lord of the Rings land. It feels like we have orcs chasing
us as we pass mossy rocks, I genuinely love it. Once we make our way back onto the main trail
we are making our way back, well, toward the car. These caves are an awesome day excursion
if you are spending a few days in Whangarei, it’s definitely worth checking out and it’s
super easy for any level of fitness. And yeah just another relaxing night on the
decking area like I’m on right now with fun swings to be had. Weee!

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