OK, while squirming through muddy crevices like giant earthworms, hundreds of metres below the earth's surface, isn't necessarily everyone's definition of a fun weekend, for friends Mike and Dave, it takes them straight to their happy place: "It's a phenomenal feeling that you can't really get anywhere else... underground, you don't know what's going to be there." To adventurous spirits, caving is one of the last bastions of real exploration – at least to those who can't fund trips into space or plummet themselves down to the depths of the ocean. It makes sense that the underground fixates, in a world where every inch of the earth's surface has already been traipsed over and mapped and carved up.
These two caving buddies are currently on a mission to connect a cave system in the Waikato region of the North Island of New Zealand. How do they describe being hundreds of feet under? "Like kneeling in a bath of porridge with a rainstorm coming down on your head."
Thanks to this short film, you can live vicariously through Mike and Dave, and get an incredible, rare glimpse underground – minus the slick mud, oppressive claustrophobia and threat of imminent death.
Read more about the making of Luckie Strike here. It was produced through the Loading Docs initiative, which is funded by NZ On Air’s Digital Media Fund with the support of the NZ Film Commission and Te Māngai Pāho.
Images: Loading Docs