We are travelling intensively in NZ for the last 10 month, enjoying the wonderful country the warm hospitality of the people.
In Kawiti cave we had the greatest disappointment; at the beginning our group was guided with 10-12 years old boy (is it legal ?) than it was replaced by older women. While watching the glow warms, the women ask to turn- off the lights. Our 3.5 years old boy, since it was completely dark, express his fear (he wasn’t crying or shouting) and we immediately were asked (in brutal way) by the women to leave the cage. We were accompanied by the boy that guided us at the beginning which have the torch and walk very fast, so we couldn’t see our way and fell down (me and my young kid in my arms) and wounded. We believe that this is not the appropriate way to treat visitors, and especially, families coming with kids. We strongly recommend family to avoid this un-friendly place and we hope that the owner of this site will re- arrange the guiding staff.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
April 18, 2012
Hi DAG4, I lead this tour on the 7th of April with the assistance of one of our junior guides. Our family have owned and operated the Kawiti Caves and Tours for the past 50 years, and I have been working here as a tour guide for over 20 years now. On each cave tour we stop around 4 times to look at the glow worms- with the lights turned down (approx 5 minutes each time). Our guides use this time to explain the life cycle of the glow worms, their feeding habits, and the chemicals they use to make the light. Every time the light was turned down your son became upset and started crying. The other families on the tour could not enjoy the glow worms and could not hear anything I was saying. We all really appreciated the efforts you made to try and calm him and to comfort him, but nothing seemed to work. When we reached the 3rd glow worm stop he became even more upset and cried non stop. As I mentioned to you on the day, we have to put the child's welfare first, so I asked our junior guide to escort you out into the daylight where your son would be happiest. On your way out of the caves our junior guide warned you several times to watch your step, to take it slowly, and to hold on to the boardwalk handrail, using verbal and visual signals(tapping the handrail and pointing to the step). You were angry and did not listen to his warnings and hurried down, sliding on the edge of a step causing you to stumble. There were no wounds or injuries reported by you at the time. After the tour, you came to the office to complain, and I saw no wounds or injuries. I tried to explain that I had made this decision based on how scared and upset your son was. I offered to answer any questions you had about the glow worm or the caves and its history, but you did not take me up on my offer and left abruptly. I spoke with the other families who were on the tour, and all of them thoroughly enjoyed the caves and were very happy with our guiding and with the way we handled the group. I am really sorry that you do not agree with the decision I made. I hope that you will understand that I was trying to find the best solution for your son and for the other families on the tour.
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