Rotorua & geothermal activity

Around Rotorua

Rotorua (  is on a lake on New Zealand's North Island. It is an area renowned for its geothermal activity as well as its Maori culture. In Jan 2016, we stayed in a hotel in Rotorua right beside the lake, which is very sulphurous at the end near the hotel, although beautifully clear elsewhere. From it you could walk part way round the lake to watch the bird life or drive round the lake to get a feel of the countryside. From the hotel there was an easy walk in to the town centre, passed the Polynesian Spa and boiling water vents beside the road welling out of the geo-thermal activity. 


Te Puia - Geothermal activity



Just outside Rotorua lies the Whakarewarewa Valley (

 As well as being the site of Maori settlement and cultural rejuvenation it is also the site of a geothermal park with bubbling mud pools and the 30m-tall Pohutu Geyser.The last erupts many times daily (see photos below). The area has carefully grade walks that wheel-chair users could use, and a house for kiwi birds.  

Wai o Tapu


Just up the hill from Rotorua on the road to Taupo lies an awesome geo- thermal landscape (  It is said to have replaced Mount Tarawera, a volcano with amazing natural stone terraces, as a visitor attraction after that mountain's explosion in the late nineteenth century.   Wai o Tapu is a weird landscape of boiling mud pools, steaming vents with sulphurous yellow stains, a vast lake of beautiful colours and a gently sloping ground that looks like white scales. You can walk all round this on specially built paths and not only find these sites but also the flora and fauna that live there - we found some black-winged stilts with their chicks near one of the pools in Jan 2016