Onward and upward

Another day clocking up the miles as we have booked a trip in the Karamea area which has one road in and one road out, so will mean a 100km detour each way. Another stunning drive avoiding rock slides due to the heavy rain of yesterday: lots and lots of birdlife. We arrive at 10.00 to find the wrong time has been put on the voucher and we have missed the tour. After receiving our refund, we decided to do some walks in the area anyway. We chose to visit two limestone arches, and the box canyon and crazing paving caves.
 
The first arch is low, but invoked another LOTR moment, surely this is where Bilbo meets Gollum in The Hobbit?
 
 
The whole park is full of amaxing moss-covered trees and flowering tree ferns - beautiful in a slightly spooky way.
 
 
The tannin stained Karamea river
 
The Crazy Paving cave has mud that dries and cracks to resemble crazy paving. Apparently it takes millions of years to achieve this and it's importance is unknown, but the rare cave spider only exists in caves with this mud. This is its food, the cave weta.
 
 
Cave spider egg sac
 
 
In the box canyon cave, as we waited for our eyes to adjust from sunlight through other peoples head torches, to darkness, constellations of glow-worms appeared on the ceilings - impossible to photograph, but great to watch them (well-) glow.
 
We enjoyed the walks and saw pretty much the same types of things as we had now not paid to see, so good result all round!
 
We zoomed through the Buller gorge, cut by the chocolate coloured Buller river and popped across the longest swing bridge in NZ and drove on to Golden Bay (in the dark - still saw no possums)