THE LIMESTONE CAVES OF WAIAU
A lady correspondent of the " Southland Times " f .wards to that joarnal an «eeonnt of a trip to tbeae eaves from whloh we make the following extracts. " When we turned oft below Eastern Bosh and entered the Umestone Gorge I thought % had neve* seen soeh a beautiful light, and one of our party said ho had seen many a pretty gotge In New Zealand, but this, with Its great llmeitone rooks, was the grandest of them all. In some placet, Meh above yunr head yon oan see other little gorges, and tremendous rooks, looking m though they would detach themselves and roll down. We reached the cares about noon, and the gentlemen having made koratl holders for oar candlei, we all prepared to follow Mr Wo. Mitchell who had kindly come a loDg way to act •■ •at guide , . . The entrance to the eaves Is a good large one, bat leaving that, for a hundred yards or so, one has a rega !»r scramble over rooks, and, stooping low, almost erawHog under rooks, sliding, and altogether rough traveling ; and oh 1 didn't I sigh for my shoe leather aod iwlsh that I had put on an old pair of Swots, as I thooght thote I bad on woald be torn off my feet. After the first sttge we kept emergbg into great lofty cavei, with roof and walls In places as white as dnven snow, and could not imagine a more beautiful sight than this, all lit op by our candles. Sometimes I could ■caroely believe it was a reality, but thought I was In a dream, or In some fairy scene with snow-white and sparkling Stalactites hanging from the roof and Trails, some of them just glistening In the candle H?ht. Bat to leave the poetical and proceed with the practical : we went In, I am told, a distance of about half a mile, and then we could go no further, being stopped by the famous and tremendous well. An expert could, I believe, get psit the well and go on for miles if he were not afraid of getting loft; and Mr Mitchell told us we could go much further m another direction, but it was not safe travelling for ladles. It Is impossible for me to give a really good and vivid description of the well and the last eavewewereln. From the cave I syeak of there Is a narrow nassage or opening like a doorway and before tbia opening is the veil. Onr party amused themselves by throwing Into the well lartfe stones, and I never heard snob a noise In all my life ; It w«s like the report of a cannon with a tremendous eoho. Some of the gentlemen dimbed the rooks and created all sorts of ■sands by tapping some projecting pieces. Bometlmes It sounded like a dinner gong. and again It reminded me of an alarm I beard once In a play of whloh one of the scenes was a besieged dry. Having amused ourselves till tired with tfab music and with throwing stones into the well* we got jour names carved on the walls, and started eu the return journey, collecting stalactites m we want. These we found very dlffiooH to carry, as the way being rough, It is almost Impossible to get them out m unbroken beauty. When we got bsok to tiie outer world we found we had been m tb« oaves a little more than two hours.
Permanent link to this item
THE LIMESTONE CAVES OF WAIAU, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2062, 13 February 1889
THE LIMESTONE CAVES OF WAIAU Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2062, 13 February 1889
Using This Item
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.