Located in the middle of the North Island of New Zealand, Rotorua is renowned for its geothermal activity and stunning natural landscapes. The city sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a geological hot spot that creates numerous geothermal attractions for visitors to enjoy. From bubbling mud pools to colourful hot springs, Rotorua’s geothermal features offer a unique and fascinating experience. In this blog, we will explore the top geothermal attractions in Rotorua and highlight what makes each one a must-see destination. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or simply looking for a relaxing getaway, Rotorua’s geothermal wonders are sure to impress.
Come and explore the world’s youngest geothermal system at Waimangu Volcanic Valley, just 20 kilometres from Rotorua. Be transported back to when the world began, at one of New Zealand’s most spectacular geothermal wonders. Take a tour to learn more about the Valley’s history and the devastation caused by the Mt Tarawera volcanic eruption. Enjoy rare plant life, stunning pink and white terraces, and bubbling mud pools. Visit the steaming volcanic crater lakes – Frying Pan Lake Crater and Inferno Crater. Head off on a self-guided tour along the scenic hiking trails or go kayaking on beautiful Lake Rotomahana. If you’re after something more leisurely, you can take a scenic boat cruise.
The geothermal park of Te Puia spreads across 70 hectares and is home to the famous Pōhutu Geyser. As the largest active geyser in the southern hemisphere, Pōhutu erupts up to twenty times a day and thirty metres high into the air. Visit the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, where you can observe mesmerising cultural performances and learn about Māori culture. Stay until nightfall for an interactive journey through the geothermal valley along the Te Puia Light Trails.
Just 45 minutes south of the city centre lies one of New Zealand’s awe-inspiring hidden treasures – Orakei Korako. Wander through a valley of natural hot springs, mineral-rich mud pools, silica terraces, and exploding geysers. Ensure you visit the thermal areas inside the 36-metre deep Ruatapu Cave that lead to the ‘Pool of Mirrors.’
Located next to Rotorua’s city centre is a geothermal park shrouded in legend and mystery. Follow the walking tracks to uncover the steaming, bubbling, and gurgling geothermal wonders at Kuirau Park. These boiling hot springs are too hot for bathing, but you can soak your feet in the free foot bath. Keep an eye out for minor eruptions from the geyser!
This easy walk begins at Rotorua Lakefront. Follow the track through this sulfurous area, lying on top of an active geothermal field. You’ll find the path peppered with small mud pools – and will be able to watch the spellbinding thermal activity and the steam coming up through sulphur vents. Continue your walk to Sulphur Bay, which is also a bird sanctuary for rare New Zealand gulls and dotterels.
Delight in relaxing geothermal experiences at one of New Zealand’s most iconic thermal parks, Polynesian Spa. Slide into the rejuvenating waters of one of the 28 hot mineral pools. Relieve tired muscles in the acidic waters of Priest Spring – or revitalise your skin in the alkaline waters of Rachel Spring.
The Distinction Hotel in Rotorua is a few minutes drive from the Rotorua city centre. Stay in the family-friendly accommodation, equipped with a heated outdoor swimming pool and spa with a toddler bathing area at the shallow end of the pool. Hidden away underground are four private grotto spas and sauna.
Want to experience more geothermal attractions, native bush, and indigenous wildlife?
Check out the following amazing activities:
- Lady Knox Geyser is one of the largest geothermal systems in New Zealand, extending over 18 square kilometres underground.
- Take a short walk around the sparkling waters of Blue Lake, where you’ll discover picturesque beaches and native forests.
- Discover incredible geothermal activity bubbling right before your eyes, or take a revitalising mud bath at Hell’s Gate. Stroll around the park to uncover land coral, a steaming hot waterfall, and the largest mud volcano in the country. Take the geothermal park’s free shuttle bus from Rotorua there and back.
- Want to see kiwi birds in the wild? Cross Lake Rotorua to Mokoia Island or visit Otorohanga Kiwi House to see rare and unique flora and fauna.
Are you ready to discover the best geothermal park experience in Rotorua? Come to discover her miraculous, healing geothermal wonders. Enjoy powerful geysers, gurgling mud pools, steaming lakes, and colourful sinter terraces. Here at Skyline, we’re here to make your trip an extraordinary one. Visit our blog page for more ideas to add to your itinerary here in New Zealand – and be sure to check out our amazing recommendations for Rotorua cafes, restaurants, and family activities.
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