I did question my sanity at times. The 12.1 mile (19.4km) hike turned out to be quite the test of endurance, but the hike turns into a story of triumph once you're standing at 6,000+ ft with 360 degree views of Northern New Zealand.
Lights out. Our senses raced to process while our eyes recover. We inhaled the dampness of the air as its coolness tightened our skin, while the roar of a distant waterfall grew closer. One-by-one, then cluster-by-cluster, the watery corridor was illuminated by tiny blue lights. We'd entered a literal wormhole to a galaxy inside the earth.