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Mount Tarawera - a Sacred Volcano and a Landmark

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand (newzealand.com). Mount Tarawera, Rotorua, New Zealand
Mount Tarawera, Rotorua
Photographer: Hiroshi Nameda
(hnamechan@hotmail.com)

Mount Tarawera plays an important role in the history of New Zealand and the Rotorua region. It is sacred and under the guardianship of the Ngati Rangitihi Maori tribe.

In the 1800s, the Tarawera region was the centre of tourism in New Zealand. People travelled from all over the world to view the famous Pink and White Silica Terraces, which were quickly becoming known as the 'Eighth Wonder of the World'. The Terraces were destroyed on the 10th June 1886, in an eruption which killed over 150 people and devastated much of the surrounding landscape. Violent explosions excavated huge craters, one of which is now filled by Lake Rotomahana.

The volcano's component domes include Ruawahia Dome (the highest at 1,111 metres), Tarawera Dome and Wahanga Dome.

Lakes surrounding Mt Tarawera include:

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand (newzealand.com). Lake Rotomahana, Rotorua, New Zealand
Lake Rotomahana, Rotorua
Photographer: Waimangu Volcanic
Valley (www.waimangu.com)
  • Lake Tarawera
  • Lake Rotomahana
  • Lake Rerewhakaaitu
  • Lake Okataina
  • Lake Okareka
  • Lake Tikitapu (Blue Lake)
  • Lake Rotokakahi (Green Lake)

The Tarawera River runs from Lake Tarawera across the northern flank of Mt Tarawera.

Mt Tarawera Activities

Today Mount Tarawera lies dormant. The mount offers a wide range of activities for tourists.

  • Hike to the summit
  • Helicopter flights
  • Four-wheel driving tours
  • Scree run down into the crater
  • Volcano tours

A sense of magnitude still exists when one stands on the summit peaks and peers into the crater of this sleeping giant. The natural landscape today is testimony to the incredible earth forces of the region.

» Rotorua Regional Information

» Rotorua Travel Directory

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