Waimangu Volcanic Valley is definitely a dramatic destination that positively sizzles with the power of nature. The geothermal features alone include the world’s largest hot water springs, colourful geothermal sinter terraces, electric blue thermal lakes, rare and unusual plans and regenerating native forest. It’s a scenic reserve and wildlife refuge.
Located just 20 kms from downtown Rotorua, it’s convenient location is perfect for visitors travelling between Rotorua and Taupo. Allow a half day to relax and enjoy the outstanding scenery. From the visitor centre take the easy trail along the Crater walkway which is mainly downhill or flat. It will take about 1.5 hours to walk the 4km past tall the hot springs to Lake Rotomahana. Once at the lake a shuttle bus takes the hard work out of the return uphill by taking you back up to the visitor centre.
If you have time, take the 45 minute cruise around Lake Rotomahana and hear all about the 1886 Tarawera Eruption.
The walking trails are well maintained, with interpretive sign boards explaining the geographic and thermal features, such as Frying Pan Lake, Inferno Crater, Marble Terrace and the steaming Waimangu Stream. Comfortable walking shoes are essential. Take a small backpack with snacks and water which can be purchased from the visitor centre. It’s a world within a world, totally fascinating and a photographer’s dream.