The Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley is located 14 kilometres south of Rotorua on New Zealand’s North Island. The volcanic eruption of Mount Tarawena on the 10th June 1886 resulted in the creation of this 17 kilometre long valley.
Until 1903 there was an active geyser caller the Waimangu Geyser, which gave its name to the valley. Waimangu means “black water” in Maori and refers to the colour of the water that the Waimangu Geyser spurted. There are still many other smaller active hot springs in the valley, which makes this the world’s youngest geothermal eco-system.
Within the valley there is Lake Rotomahana, which has a population of Black Swans and the surrounding land is home to wallabies. Both of these species are native to Australia and are believed to have been introduced into the area in the 19th century.
Visitors to the Waimangu Volcanic Valley can explore it on foot, by car or by organised excursion. Further information regarding visiting is available on the website.
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
The Wai-O-Tapu Wonderland can be found near Rotura on New Zealand’s North Island. It is the name of a tourist operation within the Wai-O-Wapu region, which has been a protected scenic area since 1931. It lies 27 kilometres south of Rotura, which is about a 20 minute drive by car.
Wai-O-Tapu is a geothermal area that lies on the edge of the Okataina volcano. The name translates from Maori as “Sacred Waters” and there are many different hot springs in this area, which are especially noted for their vivid colours.
The most famous hot spring is arguably the Lady Knox Geyser, which erupts every day at 10.15 am and this is the most visited attraction in the area by tourists. In addition to this there is Champagne Pool, Primrose Terrace and the Artist’s Palette. There are also numerous bubbling mud pools.
Entry prices into the Wai-O-Tapu Wonderland and other information for visitors can be found on the website.
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