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Located squarely on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Rotorua’s field of geothermal activity is one of the most active in the world. Everywhere you look there’s evidence of these turbulent geothermal forces. Dormant Mount Tarawera towers above the lakeside town; a legacy to those who perished in its devastating 1886 eruption. Steam vents dotted around the city provide a reminder of the fiery forces beneath. A constant smell of sulphur hangs in the air – don’t worry, chances are you’ll get used to it like the locals have!
Visiting Rotorua is a uniquely New Zealand experience that’s a highlight of many of our small group tours at MoaTrek. Here’s a few of what we think are the top geothermal experiences in Rotorua – the places where the earth’s forces are most impressive.
An hour from Rotorua lies the silica terraces, geothermal cave and bubbling pools of Orakei Korako. Also known as the ‘Hidden Valley’, Orakei Korako is the country’s largest geyser field and a wonderland of fiery natural forces. Cross the geothermal lake by boat and explore. The Emerald, Rainbow, Cascade and Golden Fleece terraces are graced with small geysers that erupt intermittently, as well as black, green and yellow algae that grow in temperatures between 35 and 49 degrees. Here, the bright, vibrant colours of the terraces make for spectacular photos. Orakei Korako’s enchanting ‘Aladdin’s Cave’, also known as Ruatapu, is 35m deep and full of warm acid water – the only one of its kind in New Zealand.
One of the many lakes in and around Rotorua, Rotoiti stands out because of its abundance of beautiful bays as well as the natural hot springs found on its shores. Only accessible by boat, the Manupira Hot Pools are home to a number of naturally heated thermal pools, all sitting between 30 and 39 degrees. Enjoying a soak in one of these pools, metres from the refreshing waters of the lake itself, is a novel way to relax tired bodies.
At MoaTrek, we weave the very best experiences and places New Zealand has to offer into our small group tours. Many of our itineraries include the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua, visiting impressive Orakei Koraki as well as taking a luxury yacht cruise on Lake Rotoiti (with the chance to soak in those famous hot springs!). We’d love to have a chat about how we can make your dream New Zealand vacation a reality - learn more on our website, or contact us now.