Don’t miss experiencing the incredible Rotorua geothermal parks, one of the most unique things to do in Rotorua. The city’s unique location means that it’s perched on the Pacific Rim of Fire, making the city and the region a wonderland of geothermal activity. From bubbling mud pools and clouds of steam, to shooting geysers and natural hot springs, the thermal parks in Rotorua give you the opportunity to see these other-worldly geothermal attractions. Below, we’ve put together a list of what we think are the best thermal parks in Rotorua. Go get exploring!
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Waimangu Volcanic Valley
1. Hell’s Gate
Photo: The well known geyser erupting Hell's Gate, one of the Rotorua geothermal parks
Our first of the Rotorua geothermal parks is home to New Zealand’s most active geothermal field. A visit to Hell’s Gate offers one of the most full-on geothermal experiences in Rotorua. Admire erupting water, steaming fumaroles, giant pools of boiling mud and the largest hot waterfall in the Southern Hemisphere - you won’t want to miss the Hell's Gate geothermal walk. Soak up the 700 years of history of this unique place – both Maori then European settlers used the sulphorous waters and geothermal mud as part of their day-to-day living.
2. Te Puia
Photo: Te Puia is loved by many visitors as an awesome way to experience Maori Culture & Rotorua Geothermal activity
The iconic Te Puia combines impressive geothermal sites with elements of rich Maori culture, located within the Whakarewarewa geothermal valley Rotorua. View the world famous Pohutu Geyser, erupting up to twenty times a day and often reaching heights of up to 30 metres! Explore the boardwalks of this Rotorua geothermal park as it winds through the valley, spotting boiling mud pools and huge, sulphur-coated rocks. There’s also lush native bush walks and regular Maori cultural performances.
3. Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Photo: The photo opportunities at are endless when these colours are in the background at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, one of the Rotorua geothermal parks.
The most colourful of our thermal parks in Rotorua, Wai-O-Tapu is a truly surreal place to visit. From the bright orange of the Champagne Pool to the eye catching silica terraces, the Lady Knox Geyser, bubbling pools and huge volcanic craters. Wai-O-Tapu offers some of Rotorua’s best Geothermal wonders. Located amongst natural bush, the boardwalks and well-formed trails make it easy to explore. Make sure your camera batteries are charged!
4. Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Photo: Waimanugu is one the youngest thermal parks in Rotorua.
Labeled the ‘world’s youngest geothermal system’, walk past steaming cliffs, volcanic craters, silica terraces and lush bush. Combine your visit to Waimangu Volcanic Valley with a boat cruise on Lake Rotomahana to experience the valley’s geothermal wonders from a whole different angle.
So there you have our best thermal parks in Rotorua - now the hard part is deciding which one! We hope you enjoy experiencing all the Rotorua geothermal attractions. If you're looking for other Rotroua attractions, check out our list below for the top things to do in this geothermal city.