Top 5 geothermal wonders in Taupo & Rotorua

Discover the top 5 geothermal wonders in the Taupo and Rotorua regions.

With the recent discovery of parts of the famed Pink and White Terraces – lost to the world after the 1886 Tarawera Eruption – it’s never been a better time to rediscover some of the Taupo and Rotorua region’s most famed geothermal attractions.

1. Wai-O-Tapu

The Wai-O-Tapu thermal wonderland is located near Rotorua. This geothermal playground features a number of exhilarating mudpools, geysers and sulphur pools. View the stunning Champagne Pool (main image), or marvel at the force of the Lady Knox Geyser.

2. Hell’s Gate (Tikitere)

The ominous sounding Hell’s Gate is actually Rotorua's most famous thermal attraction. This sacred Maori site boasts 50 acres of mud pools, geysers, hot springs and the Southern Hemisphere’s largest hot-water waterfall.

3. Craters of the Moon

The Craters of the Moon is a geothermal walk located just north of Taupo. The walk features mud craters, steaming with geothermal activity.

4. Whakarewarewa

One of Rotorua's most popular geothermal sites, Whakarewarewa boasts some excellent geothermal activity and a traditional Maori village. With approximately 500 hot springs, the terraces and pools are known as a Living Thermal Village.

5. Waimangu

Meaning “black water” in Maori, Waimangu is a thermal area that was created after the devastating 1886 Tarawera Eruption – the same eruption that buried the then ‘8th Wonder of the World’, the Pink and White Terraces. Waimangu is located about 20 minutes South of Rotorua.

For more information visit:

  • Thermal Explorer Highway
  • Great Lake Taupo