Geothermic wonderland, Wai-O-Tapu, entertains Rotorua Locals and Tourists

Geothermic wonderland, Wai-O-Tapu, entertains Rotorua Locals and Tourists

wai imageBy Phillip Quay (MediaPA) and Mike Gallagher (Arista Of Rotorua)

Geothermic attraction Wai-O-Tapu,  is thousands of years in the making and fortunately we recently had the chance to share in this colourful, historical  and diverse sight-seeing wonderland .

When it is translated Wai-O-Tapu means ‘Sacred Water’ and its various hot pools are certainly an amazing spectacle for all to see.

They boast a remarkable array of colours from turquoise blue, rich green and gold to an almost olive/yellow.

Easy to walk tracks provide the visitor with the opportunity to encapulate the diversity of this area through a series of different walks taking from 30 to 75 minutes or more, each with their own unique volcanic vistas to fascinate all ages. There is never a dull moment at Wai-O-Tapu which is one of the most extensive geothermal systems in New Zealand.

Set an alarm for 10:15am to see the amazing Lady Knox geyser erupting with 20 metres of hot boiling water bursting from its white, conical mound of silica. Lady Knox’s incredible trick was discovered by a gang of prisoners washing their clothes in the early 1900s after they had unwittingly poured soap into the spout.  Now all it takes to get Lady Knox firing is a bit of soap for her to put on a spectacular show.

You can’t visit Rotorua without seeing the world famous Champagne Pool at Wai-O-Tapu.  The Champagne Pool was formed more than 900 years ago by a hydrothermal eruption. The name Champagne Pool is derived from the constant efflux of carbon dioxide gas, similar to a glass of bubbling champagne. The vibrant colours come from a rich deposition of minerals and silicate.


A trip to Wai-O-Tapu would not be complete without taking the opportunity to visit what is locally known as the Mud Pool. The Mud Pool is the result of a large mud volcano which was destroyed through erosion in the 1920s.


Here are some key points about Wai-O-Tapu which is truly a great experience and a must-do when visiting Rotorua.



  • Named one of  the 20 most surreal places you need to see to believe” by the world’s largest travel site, Trip Advisor.
  • Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland is a geothermal sightseeing area located 27km (20 minutes drive) south of Rotorua on SH5-Rotorua/Taupo Highway.
  • Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland was awarded Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence for overall visitor satisfaction and experience.
  • Sculptured by volcanic activity, the area was discovered after the destruction of the Pink and White Terraces in the Tarawera eruption of 1886.
  • People visiting Wai-O-Tapu can walk at their own pace through New Zealand’s most colourful volcanic area and see such features as the world-famous Champagne Pool, steaming ground, bubbling mud, naturally coloured hot and cold water pools, expansive vistas, huge volcanic craters and unique sinter terrace formations.
  • Facilities include a large modern Visitor Centre incorporating a souvenir retailing area, ‘Geyser Cafe' and ‘Sky Deck’ with parking for 200 vehicles, picnic areas and a lookout. The retail and café facilities at the visitor centre are considered to be of an international standard.


For more information on this exciting area, Arista of Rotorua can expand on this knowledge by unlocking some local knowledge to make this a truly memorable trip.


Where ever you choose to stay in Rotorua use the local knowledge and book direct.


Contact Arista Of Rotorua

Address: 296 Fenton Street, Rotorua, New Zealand

Phone: +64(7)349 0300

0800 114 562 (NZ only)

Mobile: 0275 901 799




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Phone: 0274 587 724