Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
201 Waiotapu Loop Road, Rotorua, New Zealand
www.waiotapu.co.nz - 07-366 6333
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland Rotorua Reviews
Impressive geothermal activities Feb 05, 2011
Wai-o-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, located at the Thermal Explorer Highway and an about 40 minute drive from Rotorua, is part of the Taupo Volcanic Zone and known for its high surface thermal activities.
You'll be amazed by all those rather unnatural looking ranges of colours in the craters, bizarre rock formations and steaming pools at the Thermal Area. Truly impressive what spectacular colours mineral elements such as sulphur, iron oxide and manganese oxide can cause. Take your time and make sure you don't miss the Artist's Palette or the Devil's Bath, sensational play of colours.
You can choose between three different walking tracks in form of loops (1.5 to 3.0km long). There are seats and shelters along the way but ensure to bring sun screen and a hat on sunny days since some paths aren't covered with any trees at all.
Another highlight is the daily eruption of the Lady Knox Geyser at 10.15am. It surely is a show you don't witness everyday. And the explanation 'show' is no understatement. Actually, it was a tiny bit strange to watch such a beautiful natural spectacle surrounded by hundreds of people sitting on tribunes next to you. The eruption itself is caused by soup put into the geyser by a staff members, who also gives comprehensive explanations and information.
The Lady Know Geyser would erupt itself every 24 to 72 hours but since Thermal Wonderland is a tourist destination this kind of spectacle has to be scheduled somehow. Understandable, just don't be disappointed in case you're expecting a completely not man-made scenario.
A third attraction you shouldn't miss out on is the Mud Pool, an extensive pool of thick, grey, bubbly mud actively erupting around the clock.
Wai-o-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, a park where smoking is prohibited given the high (geo)thermal activities, is open from 8.30am to 5.00pm (last admission at 3.45pm).
You can either purchase a ticket just for the Thermal Area/Mud Pool or buy a ticket that also includes the Lady Knox Geyser, which makes the entry fee about twice as expensive (single ticket for adults).
Wai-o-Tapu Thermal Wonderland is definitely worth a closer look! It's a magnificent area full of surprising and fascinating discoveries – it almost seems to be a little part of a different world.
Part of the New Zealand 2010/11 travel blog
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