Rotorua’s Most Unique Geothermal Experiences

Set in such a unique geographic location, there are so many geothermal wonders to explore all around the Rotorua region, some more hidden than others.

Rotorua is widely known as the geothermal capital of New Zealand. Set in such a unique geographic location, there are so many geothermal wonders to explore all around the Rotorua region, some more hidden than others. Here are some of the most unique geothermal treasures that make this part of the world so special.

Waimangu Volcanic Valley

Formed as a result of the 1886 Mt Tarawera eruption, Waimangu Volcanic Valley is the world’s only geothermal system created within written history. It contains a myriad of unique geothermal features, hot springs & steaming vents throughout. Highlights include the Inferno Crater (the world’s largest geyser-like feature), as well as one of the largest hot springs on Earth. Spend the day exploring the geothermal valley through the many self-guided walking tracks, encountering magnificent views and native wildlife along the way. You can even take a Boat Cruise across Lake Rotomahana and discover the site of the former 8th Wonder of the World, the Pink & White Terraces. The real beauty of Waimangu is that everything you’ll see is completely natural. It has not been altered by man and is protected from any exploitation or development.

Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley

This natural thermal valley is one of Rotorua’s most rich geothermal areas, at the heart of which you’ll find Whakarewarewa, The Living Māori Village. The area is unique in that Māori people have been living here for centuries, harnessing the power of the geothermal forces beneath their feet. When you visit the village, you’ll encounter geothermal activity at every turn, including bubbling hot springs, geysers & mud pools. While you can enjoy walking the nature trails at your own pace, Whakarewarewa also offers guided tours, so you can learn more about the thermal activity and history of the area. You can even try a traditional Hangi meal, cooked in geothermal hot springs & steam vents! You won’t have to travel far either, as Whakarewarewa is one of the few geothermal areas located in central Rotorua.

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

Located just out of Rotorua, you’ll find a spectacular showcase of colourful and unique geothermal elements at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. Sculpted by thousands of years of volcanic activity, Wai-O-Tapu is considered to be one of New Zealand’s most diverse geothermal parks. At Wai-O-Tapu you will find the largest mud pool in New Zealand, though the highlight has got to be the beautiful Lady Knox Geyser, which erupts every day around 10:15am to heights of up to 20 metres!

Hell's Gate

Hell’s Gate Geothermal Reserve is set across 50 acres, with a large variety of geothermal features. It is most well-known for its therapeutic mud bath & spa experience, where you can immerse yourself in the special geothermal mud and harness the raw power of the earth. It’s the perfect way to relax & rejuvenate, all while overlooking Rotorua’s spectacular geothermal scenery. You can also take the geothermal walk through the reserve past steaming fumaroles, boiling mud pools & New Zealand’s largest mud volcano!

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