Pokémon masters have been battling it out to catch 'em all among the shooting geysers and bubbling mud pools of Te Whakarewarewa Valley, earning Te Puia a reputation as the ultimate battlefield.
The Pokémon Go app allows players to find Pokémon using a GPS signal. When the player closes in on one, the device's camera turns on, showing the Pokémon in ‘real life’.
“Te Puia has evolved into a massive hunting ground for the iconic Pokémon creatures where visitors can check-in to the three Pokémon Gyms and nine PokéStops on site,” says Te Puia online market manager, Eruera West.
“Pokémon Gyms are where trainers can train their Pokémon and battle other teams, while PokéStops allow players to stock up on free accessories and items like PokéBalls.
Manuhiri (visitors) to Te Puia are to thank for the three Gyms in Te Whakarewarewa Valley, as Gym locations were selected based on the volume of geo-tagged images.
“The unique landscape of our valley, with over 500 geothermal features including Pohutu Geyser, world famous for its 30-metre-high eruptions, means manuhiri are always sharing their images on social media,” says Mr West.
“Pokémon Go app designers have recognized this and awarded us with the ultimate battlefield for Pokémon players – and people are loving it.
“We’re seeing a lot of school groups heading back into the valley after their tour to battle it out against each other – it’s awesome to see.
“Te Puia is a natural haven and the ideal environment to go after these critters on your way to becoming a Pokémon master, with 60 hectares of geothermal wonderland to explore and a couple Pokémon already calling Te Puia home.
“We’re not just a geothermal hot spot, we’re a Pokémon hot spot too where you can boost your collection and train them up – so have you got what it takes to catch ‘em all?”