Explore places that have been shaped and coloured by volcanic and geothermal forces for thousands of years.

Watch boiling mud pools and geysers while feeling the heat underfoot from landscapes that hiss with steam.

This activity centres around the Rotorua areas and stretches south to the mountains of Tongariro National Park.

In and around Rotorua's geothermal areas, sneaky threads of steam drift upward from parks, river banks and drains. The unmistakable scent of sulphur wafts through the air. Minutes from the city centre, geysers of boiling water roar from the ground and pools of bubbling mud gurgle and belch.

There are several walkways around Taupo and Rotorua's geothermal areas that offer easy access and good views.

Popular geothermal areas in Taupo and Rotorua

Hell’s Gate (Tikitere)

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

Wai-O-Tapu

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

Craters of the Moon

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

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.

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 ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’, the Pink and White Terraces. Waimangu is located about 20 minutes south of Rotorua.

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