Day 32 on the Road
Canyoning in Raglan with Raglan Rock!
It’s Day 32 of New Zealand’s BIGGEST Gap Year where we are challenging ourselves to do 365 Activities in 365 Days! Today’s activity is canyoning in Raglan with Raglan Rock!
Today we are leaving Waitomo after a week of caving craziness to go to Raglan for a day of canyoning craziness. We just can’t help ourselves. We have to get wet every single day.
We are driving on our way from Waitomo to Raglan which is about one hour and twenty minutes from the rolling green hills covered in cows of Waitomo to the winding forested roads of Raglan. Today we’re going with Raglan Rock to do some canyoning in Raglan and we’re really pumped about it. We park up at what just seems to be like a grassy field and then it’s time to just go into the sheep fields and just go on this adventure. Gareth picks up a piece of wood, lifts up a bit of fence and we slide under the fence. Go Go GO! Run Whaaa!
Suddenly, out of nowhere behind the bushes is a little stream. We get to this really small little concrete tunnel which is just enough to fit a human being in it and that’s it. And he’s like: go on your bellies, just go straight through. And we’re like “ahh, Ok.” Of course, as per usual I go first – make sure it’s safe for everyone and I go through and wait for everyone. I go through and wait for everyone else to pass.
We’re heading down the stream. He’s like: “Hold onto the flax to steady yourself.” So we just hold onto the flax, which is really strong grass things in New Zealand which the Maori use to make baskets and things.
After walking a little bit on the stream and you know holding onto the flax like a bit of a crazy person, we arrive at the first waterfall. Now the first waterfall is kind of in two stages. There is the first stage that we’re going to go down in rappel and then there’s the second stage where you just unhook yourself and hope to god you’re not going to jump onto a rock. For halfway down the waterfall, I’m jumping off into the pool below. He’s like: “Oh it’s a little bit a shallow jump so yeah, just be prepared.” And I’m like, aw does that mean I have to bend my knees? What does that mean? What’s a shallow jump mean? I’m I going to break my legs here?
Tim points out exactly where you need to jump so I’m going down the stream and I just leap ion the water and you know this kind of moment where you just leap and whoo just before you fall, you see a bit like coyote cartoon you know? He’s always running then there is this one instant where he’s standing and then he starts falling. And that’s really what I felt. it was really really cool.
And then we keep on walking down this little stream and keep on exploring so the floor is still very uneven so you have to grab a rock and you have to grab a flax and you keep on climbing and keep on walking and we arrive to the second waterfall. We have to do a bit more climbing to get down but luckily, all this waterfall tiered enough so there are plenty of places to hold on to.
So we all go one-by-one and there are some pretty good jumpers actually. There are some nice poses and then laura even jumps. And one by one, everyone’s jumping. It’s quite funny as you’re sat on the bottom to watch everyone’s reactions as their jumping in and when they come back out and they’re like [gasping]. So yeah, that’s funny.
We’re going to start moving a little bit faster thorough the stream. So the stream is really pretty. Honestly, it is such a hidden gem here in Raglan because Raglan is known just for surfing, right? Anybody you ask about Raglan. No one is going to tell you anything about it else than surfing. So you know, it’s a bit of our role to show you some things which you would not think of at all about Raglan. You know it’s a very artsy place, it’s a very foodie place, it’s got good hikes around, there are great mountain biking around, and there is also some canyoning here.
And the river gets more and more rugged the terrain gets more and more rugged. there’s big huge boulders that Gareth tells us these were the bombs that would have erupted out of Mt Karioi – hope I get the pronunciation right. And we’re scrambling through the boulders. there’s vegetation on all sides. Even the boulders have their own vegetation growing there and we get to an intersection and then Gareth says we need to now travel upstream because we’re going to be making a loop on this [canyoning in raglan] tour. As we go upstream it feels a bit easier to walk through because like instead of scrambling over the rocks and all that you can kind of climb up the rocks and it feels like a bit more like oh yeah, hardcore adventure.
And we arrive to the last waterfall of the day, which is a very tall waterfall where we are going to have to climb ourselves.
Gareth is just going up first and obviously he’s a machine so he’s going all the way up the top. Attached a couple of ropes and he’s tossing them down there saying: “Who’s going first?!” And Laura is going up first. And she’s climbing up. Gareth is giving us some encouragement like: “Yeah, Laura, you can do it! Yeah Laura! Put your feet here, Put your feet there. Go in the stream. You’re nailing it. Laura. This and that.”
So everyone’s up. Robin looks hilarious when he’s climbing up because everyone else looks like they’re having fun and stuff but Robin’s like urrr urrr. I managed to get one photo where he looks a bit like a bad ass so we’ll use that for the blog.
And we arrive at the hostel and the Jacuzzi was warm and welcoming. So we just get out of the wetsuit and we all went inside the Jacuzzi where we just discuss and we have a little bit of a chat with Gareth during the trip but it was great to actually sit down in the hot water and just have a discussion. Once we all reach boiling point, we have to leave the spa, have a shower, make some food, play with the puppy and just relax in the hostel. Because this hostel’s so relaxing.