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“Personal tour, best money spent in NZ”
Review of Green Glow Eco-Adventures - CLOSED

Green Glow Eco-Adventures
Attraction details
Reviewed 3 September 2013

My wife and I spent the day with Paul on our own personal tour which we booked the night before - luckily we were there in the off season. This was the best money we spent in NZ by far and made some awesome memories caving. Would do again if we are ever back in the area. Paul's little farm is really fun to explore too with his goats, sheep, pigs and chickens! A truly unique experience!

Thank dhmcgr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (78)
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11 - 15 of 78 reviews

Reviewed 31 August 2013

Sorry this is late, I thought I had already written a review but had not. We visited in August 2012!!!!
We (family of four including two teenaged sons) hired out Paul for the day and outlined the sort of things we would like to do via email before our trip.
We started out rock climbing and abseiling. We did this using proper rock climbing equipment and it is something we are not very experienced at. However we loved it and progressed through the different rock faces.
Then on to the caves itself. Starting out with a thoroughly enjoyable abseil down we entered a large system. Paul is into his geology and in a more amature way so are we, so we learned lots and Paul was very willing to talk about this subject. We also met various critters including Wetta, and Eel and of course lots of gorgeous glow-worm, again learning more about these.
The caves were beautiful, varied and fascinating. Paul is an excellent guide, friendly, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and witha sense of humour, yet also serious.

This isn't a platformed cave system. This is a proper cave where you have to negotiate through the underground water system, abseil down crevises and clamber over rocks. Paul has been very careful about maintaining the natural structures and you are requested to follow his lead in places where there are features that would be spoiled by too much human contact.
What I am saying is if you want to see a proper and more pristine cave Green Glow is the way to go. Paul is also an aclomplished photographer and got us some fantastic shots with our own camera as well as with his.

Paul is flexible with what you want from the tour/activities. We were so engrosed that it was early morning when we started and way past dark when we finished and we couldn't believe how the time had flown! We LOVED our day and highly, very highly, recommend booking with Paul if you want to see glow worms properly, and also want some adventure along the way.

Thank nessysnail
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2013

We were going NZ for a trip of a lifetime and my best mate's bro recommend Paul's Greenglow Caving adventures to us. We were gonna go with Legendary Blackwater Rafting Co. at first but we changed in the end. BEST decision ever. NO REGRETS.

There are 8 of us. We wanted the 190nzd per person group discount so we split up into 2 groups: 2days, 4 people for day.
(Group discounts are only applicable to groups 4-6)
We tried asking Paul via email to allow for 8 people but he kindly refused. You see, safety is of absolute importance to Paul. Plus, Paul only does one single tour per day. So we reserved in advance and chose the timing we prefer 0930hrs. So here we are.

We drove all the way from our motel in Hamilton to Paul's place. We got slightly lost cos of our GPS but we gave Paul a call and he directed us there no problemo. We reached at 1000hrs, half an hour late. But Paul warmly welcomed us to his lovely home. He brought us to the back of his house and immediately gave us clothing, fleece, boot and jackets to change into. He told us its gonna be cold in the caves so we can put on as much clothing as we want. So we wore 4 layers each.

Despite being behind schedule, Paul proudly told us about his little farm; explained how he build those fences and his little animals. We asked if we could interact with them and he readily agreed. He also welcomed us to bring our camera along and provided a sash to secure the camera. Of course, he offered to bring his DSLR along to take some picture of us during the caving.

When we left for the caves at 1030 hrs, we were already an hour behind schedule.

Honestly, Paul is one of the most outgoing guy we've ever met. So don't be shy and just keep on talking to him. He was an photography lover, ex-geologist and has been caving for 30 years. He's 46 this year so he started when hes 16. Hes a tank of knowledge and experience. Simply Awesome.

So before we went to the first 30m decent, Paul gave us a quick lesson on how to use our gear and abseiling techniques. And there we went. The first decent was very high but Paul was reassuring. Despite it being our first abseil, we all did it with ease. Perfect.

From the website, the tour was only going to last for about 5-6 hrs. But we left at 1030 and returned at 1800. Paul didn't mind spending more time with us at the caves. Yeah we were kinda slow but from this you can tell Paul is very passionate about geology. We did 3 abseils down, crossed fast flowing underground rivers, canyon-ed over numerous boulders, found and unique insect in the caves, helped Paul experiment and took pictures of new found formations (Personalised eh :D), drank hot fruit juice and ate fantastic fruit bars made by his lovely wife and learn tons about abseiling and geology. It was a FANTASTIC and Memorable 7.5 hrs. Thank you Paul. After that he stored the photos he took of us in a CD and gave us a copy. Of course he included the shots we helped him to set up. Every trip with Paul is a surprise; you will never know cos Paul is also rediscovering the cave everytime he visits them. The caves also transform and changes it shape with time.

On the whole, Paul knew the conditions of the cave well. He's very well prepared, very experienced; afterall he build the entire caving trail rock by rock, bolt by bolt in the past 2 years. Its still incomplete but nonetheless a very rewarding experience.

(On day 2, my other 4 mates did an extra 20m abseil cause they finished faster than we did. Oh well)

Enjoy your Visit!!

Thank JannonKwan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2013

I'm not sure we can say enough great things about Paul and our adventure with Green Glow Eco-Adventures. This tour was only marginally more expensive than a day tour with a large group of people on a bus and it was just the two of us! Paul makes this tour so personal-we got to pick what we wanted to do and how long we wanted to take. He worked with my husband on taking photos in caves and we have some amazing ones! Plus he knew so much about the geology of the caves and provided info on the flora and fauna in the area. He was patient and kind, helpful, and everything was very safe. We would seriously go back to New Zealand just to do this tour again!

Thank Joshua B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2013

Wow, when I got home from our trip to NZ two weeks ago, one of the things I wanted to do most besides edit my pictures was to leave an awesome and purely honest review for my experience with Paul and Green Glow Eco-Adventures!! We had such a memorable experience for so many reasons, and one of the amazing things about this excursion was the fact that we have a lot of amazing pictures to remember it! Yes, if you look at glow-worm opportunities in Waitomo or Te Anau, you will see in the small print that there is no photography allowed, whereas with Paul he will spend 20-30mins with you to get the perfect picture with you!

We were driving from Auckland to Rotorua, but wanted to stop by Waitomo for the glow worms. There are a few options for this, one being great sights which include transportation and a 1 hour experience walking through a crowded cave to view the glow worms. Since time is limited, no photography is allowed, but at least you will see a glimpse of the glow worms. The 2nd option is to grab a ticket with naked bus and arrive in Waitomo at around noon. If you do this, you can either than choose to do Spellbound or Blackwater adventures. Only spellbound will allow you to take pictures, but they will not be the quality of what you get with a personal guide like Paul and no abseiling is involved. With Blackwater there is no photography, but you do spelunking and go on a rubber donut onto water. You have to leave at 5PM however to catch the last bus to Rotorua.

What we decided to do is rent a car so we can drive and leave at our own pace, and I'm so happy I found Green Glow as this allowed us to have a personal adventure tour guide. What attracted me the most was what options were allowed to us to do, and the amount of time to do it with. We wanted to go abseiling, spelunking, and photography of glow worms. We also wanted to spend as much time there as possible, and with Paul, we spent 7 hours doing all of the activities! Yes, SEVEN HOURS!!! It was so much fun, and Paul paced the excursion perfectly, nothing was rushed, things were allowed to be appreciated, and different locations were photographed perfectly with all of the flash and gear he provides.

We found that abseiling (rappelling) down over 100ft into a small river was amazing, seeing the cave formations from the beginning was awesome, and eating lunch while looking up at the glow worms was definitely one of the more memorable things I've done on a trip. There's so many things that will be unique with this trip, you will go away with memories as if it were 3 excursions thrown into one. Book Paul if you can, he only takes one party per day, so if you're lucky enough, you won't be disappointed :)

Thank callmehere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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