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Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Well known as New Zealand’s most colourful and diverse geothermal area, Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland is located about 20 minutes drive south of Rotorua (North Island of New Zealand) on SH 5. Thousands of years in the making, this stunning landscape is nestled within a natural bush setting through which self guided walks take between 30 and 75 minutes. The range of geothermal activity is extensive and includes huge volcanic craters formed by collapsing ground, steaming vents, sinter terrace formations, coloured hot and cold water springs among which is the world famous Champagne Pool. Presented daily at 10.15am is the eruption of the Lady Knox Geyser and ever active is the nearby “Mud Pool” where bubbling mud is always evident. First class facilities include a large café and retail centre.
Waimangu Volcanic & Thermal Valley
The Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley is located 14 kilometres south of Rotorua on New Zealand’s North Island. The volcanic eruption of Mount Tarawera on the 10th June 1886 resulted in the creation of this 17 kilometre long valley. Until 1903 there was an active geyser caller the Waimangu Geyser, which gave its name to the valley. Waimangu means “black water” in Maori and refers to the colour of the water that the Waimangu Geyser spurted. There are still many other smaller active hot springs in the valley, which makes this the world’s youngest geothermal eco-system. Within the valley there is Lake Rotomahana, which has a population of Black Swans and the surrounding land is home to wallabies. Both of these species are native to Australia and are believed to have been introduced into the area in the 19th century. Visitors to the Waimangu Volcanic Valley can explore it on foot, by car or by organised excursion. Further information regarding visiting is available on the website.