Explore the geysers of Rotorua's Te Whakarewarewa Valley

According to Māori legend, geysers are a gift from the gods and Te Whakarewarewa Valley is a region blessed with the geothermal activity to fuel these natu

According to Māori legend, geysers are a gift from the gods and Te Whakarewarewa Valley is a region blessed with the geothermal activity to fuel these natural wonders.

Boasting not one but eight geysers, geothermal activity comes to life at Te Puia and playful geysers put on a show for every visitor. In fact, Te Whakarewarewa Valley has the largest remaining concentration of geysers in New Zealand. 

Among the seven geysers, three are currently active, two play intermittently and three are dormant, but have shown promising signs of regeneration.

Pohutu Geyser is the star of them all, performing up to 20 eruptions a day and sending water almost 30 meters into the air. Pohutu’s eruptions can be expected when it’s neighbouring geyser, Te Tohu starts to play and for this reason, Te Tohu has earned the name ‘the indicator’.

Get to know the geysers of the valley with these quick facts:

Pohutu Geyser

• Status: Active
• How often: Pohutu can erupt up to 20 times a day, making it the most reliable geyser on earth
• How high: Up to 30 meters
• How long: Eruptions can last from a few minutes to several days. In a rare case between 2000 and 2001, Pohutu erupted for over 250 days

Te Tohu – ‘Prince of Wales Feathers’

• Status: Active
• How often: Te Tohu is known as ‘the indicator’ as it usually erupts just before its neighbour, Pohutu
• How high: Seven meters
• How it got its name: Te Tohu was renamed ‘Prince of Wales Feathers’ in honor of the 1901 royal visit, where guests noticed a resemblance between the geyser’s plume and the feathers on the Prince of Wales coat of arms

Kereru Geyser

• Status: Active
• How often: Every few days or weeks. Keruru did not erupt between 1972 and 1988, but has since recovered due to the reduction in bore use
• How it got its name: Kereru, named after the New Zealand native wood pigeon, is said to resemble a bird coming and going due to its irregular activity

Papakura Geyser

• Status: Dormant, but recently showing occasional small eruptions
• Dormancy Falling into a slumber in 1979, Papakura has recently burst into life after 30 years of inactivity – In 2013, it began to bubble and in 2015 it erupted continuously for 36 hours

Waikite Geyser

• Status: Dormant
• Dormancy: Waikite Geyser last erupted in 1967
• How it got its name: Waikite geyser was once the most commanding sight in the valley, able to be seen from far away – Waikite translated means ‘water seen from afar’

Te Horu Geyser

• Status: Dormant
• Dormancy: Te Horu has been dormant since 1972, but in 1998 began to bubble, indicating signs of life
• How it got its name: Te Horu is also known as ‘the cauldron’ as air-cooled water from Pohutu Geyser sometimes lands in Te Horu’s vent, which is believed to delay Pohutu’s next eruption

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