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Take time to visit Rotorua's prime geothermal attraction, Waimangu Volcanic Valley and the beautiful Lake Rotomahana, situated just 20 minutes south of the Rotorua township, or 45 minutes north of Taupo, in the North Island of New Zealand.
You'll be thrilled at what you find in this Rotorua thermal park set in serene New Zealand bush. Walk through its craters and take a boat cruise on crater Lake Rotomahana to see amazing geothermal activity, panoramic views of the surrounding area and scientifically important botany, all created out of the devastation of a volcanic eruption.
In 1886, the volcano, Mount Tarawera, in Rotorua erupted, and destroyed the surrounding area. The eruption opened the earth along a 17-kilometre line, splitting Mount Tarawera in two, exploding Lake Rotomahana to 20 times its original size, and forming the seven craters that today make up the Waimangu Volcanic Valley Rotorua attraction.
Today, internationally significant features at this Rotorua thermal park include the world's largest hot water spring, silica terraces and the unique inter-relationship between two huge hot springs in Inferno Crater and Echo Crater.
Several endangered plants exist beside the geothermal activity together with a host of thermally adapted plants. The Waimangu Volcanic Valley is the youngest geothermal system in the world and is protected today as a scenic reserve and wildlife refuge.
Our on-site services at this stunning Rotorua thermal park attraction include parking for all types of vehicles and bicycles, easily understood interpretation in a wide variety of languages, full café food service, an excellent range of locally made gifts and an internal shuttle bus which returns you from the end of your walk and boat cruise to the valley entrance.
At Waimangu there is something for everyone to enjoy. Our easy, self-guided walking tours, mainly downhill and flat provide ecology-focused experiences through the craters of the beautiful Waimangu Volcanic Valley.
Our advanced, self-guided hiking tours offer a wide range of volcanic activity, native plants and birdlife, but with steep hills with some rough ground underfoot, they do require good fitness.
Arrive at the Waimangu Volcanic Valley Visitors' Centre where we will give you options for your walk time and shuttle bus pick up, together with a guide sheet available in many languages. Allow from one hour to two hours for the walk and shuttle option.
Lake Rotomahana covers 15 craters formed on June 10 1886, during the Tarawera Eruption. It has developed since then with little interference from man and combines history, volcanic scenery and natural beauty into a safe and tranquil, undercover, non-physical tour.
Lake Rotomahana is the newest of all New Zealand's larger, naturally formed lakes – protected as a wildlife refuge, large numbers of birds live here all year round.
The lake cruise can be enjoyed either on its own, or combined with a walk in the Waimangu Experience tour.
Should you wish to join a guided tour at Waimangu Volcanic Valley you can choose from three different tours ranging from two hours to a full day:
The Waimangu Experience tour will give you the complete story of Waimangu Volcanic Valley. As you wander through the valley's glorious bush, you'll pass fascinating craters, newly forming silica terraces and other geothermal features such as Frying Pan Lake, the world's largest hot water spring, and its mysterious companion, Inferno Crater. To complete your day at this Rotorua geothermal attraction, you'll enjoy a cruise on beautiful Lake Rotomahana and enjoy a full commentary from your skipper.
Our Volcanoes and Rainforest tour through the Whirinaki Rainforest and Waimangu Volcanic Valley will take you beneath the canopy of an ancient rainforest, through a stunning volcanic landscape of steaming craters, hot springs and colourful silica terraces, and on to a serene cruise over Lake Rotomahana where you'll discover geothermal sights that can only be seen from your boat.
Our Geothermal Wonderland tour will introduce you to the world's youngest geothermal system, Waimangu Volcanic Valley, created only 'yesterday' as a direct result of the 1886 Tarawera Volcanic Eruption, and to ancient Waiotapu where mineral deposits accumulated over more than 70,000 years, mud pools, collapsed craters and large beautiful terraces arising from Champagne Pool hot water spring are on display.
The guided tours of Waimangu Volcanic Valley include transfers to/from your Rotorua accommodation.
Rotorua is one of the original tourist destinations in New Zealand—it has been welcoming visitors for more than 200 years.
From the moment people arrive in Rotorua they know they're somewhere quite different. There is a scent of sulphur in the air. At nearby geothermal hotspots, there are spouting geysers, boiling mud pools and warm geothermal springs. Silica terraces are naturally decorated with a kaleidoscope of colours.
Rotorua is fast becoming known as Nature's Spa of the South Pacific. After a hard day's sightseeing or strenuous activity, visitors can relax with a soak in the healing waters of the geothermal hot springs, or totally unwind by choosing from a selection of therapeutic spa and massage therapies.