Approximately 20 minutes south of Rotorua, Waiotapu is the region's most colourful thermal park, shimmering in the different colors, the smells of the pools it could be worst especially when the weather is hot
The geothermal areas around Rotorua belong to the Taupo Volcanic Zone. Wai-O-Tapu is an active geothermal area just south of Rotorua on the road to Taupo. The name is Maori for 'Sacred Waters'.
It has been a tourist attraction for many years and, since the area was made a scenic reserve in 1931, operates under a concession.
The area is well laid out with up to 3km of clearly defined tracks. The shortest track is 1.5km.
The notable sights are, the Champagne Pool, the Artist's Palette (both on the short track) and Lake Ngakoro Waterfall on the long track.
The visitor centre has good public amentiies, a cafe/bistro and the usual tourist shop.
Named after Lady Constance Knox who was the 2nd daughter of the 15th Governor of New Zealand, this geyser is the only one in New Zealand not to have a Maori name. It was discovered in the early 1900's when prisoners from a newly established open prison added soap to a hot spring for washing causing the geyser to erupt.
There are two undergroud bodies of water with the cold one overlying the hot. The addition of soap acts as a surfactant and alters the surface tension of the cold water allowing the hot to erupt through it. The geyser can and will erupt without the addition of the soap.
For the benefit of visitors the Lady Knoz Geyser is primed to erupt daily at 10:15am after a short information session. Bricks arranged around the spring to direct and enhance the eruption have been coated with silica resulting in an obvious cone. The water plume can reach up to 20 metres and plays for up to one hour.
Wai-O-Tapu is one of my fondest memories of Rotorua, you get to see an assortment of Thermal wonders all around the same area, if you do not do anything else make sure you check this place out! Bring you walking legs and make sure your out there early enough in the morning for the Lady Knox Geyser! If your lucky enough you will be greeted with the ever so playful Welcome Swallow. Family pass NZ $80.00
Wai-O-Tapu (en Maorí Agua Sagrada) es una zona activa geotermal situada en la zona volcánica de Taupo , en la cual se pueden ver gran variedad de fenómenos geotermales .Es una ruta fácil que se puede hacer en 2 o 3 horas y con el olor a azufre constante vas viendo cráteres , lagunas de todos los colores , restos de azufre y otros minerales , fumarolas ... rodeado de un bosque y de ríos
Al entrar al parque te dan un mapa con las posibles rutas que puedes seguir y hay que mencionar los nombres tan sugestivos que tienen las distintas partes del parque : Baño del Diablo , Cráter del infierno , Catarátas del Velo Nupcial , Tinteros del Diablo , Géiser de Wai-O-Tapu ....
Wai-O-Tapu (Sacred Water in Maori) is a geothermal hotspot located in the Taupo volcanic zone, where can be viewed wide variety of geothermal events. It's an easy route that can be done in 2 or 3 hours and with the constant smell of sulfur you will see craters, lakes of all colours, traces of sulphur and other minerals, fumaroles ...all the time surrounded by forest and rivers with great views
When you enter the park you are given a map showing the possible routes you can follow and we must mention the names that are so suggestive for the different parts of the park as : the Devil's Bath, Crater of Hell, Bridal Veil Falls, Devil´s ink Pots , Geyser Wai-O-Tapu ....
La piscina de lodo está en el lugar de un gran volcán de barro que se destruyó por la erosión en 1920.
Es una de las mejores oportunidades para experimentar un crater único y los sonidos de la erupción del barro en Nueva Zelanda donde está asegurada siempre la actividad
Esperas a que se inicie la burbuja , la ves como va creciendo hasta que hace : "buuurp" y explota dejando unas manchas concéntricas y a continuación a buscar otra burbuja
The Mud Pool it is in the site of a large mud volcano which was destroyed through erosion in the 1920’s.
It is one of the best opportunities to experience the unique crater and sounds of erupting mud in New Zealand where the activity is always guaranteed.
You wait to see how the bubble starts , you see how it grows until it makes "buuurp" and explodes leaving a concentric spots and then look to see for another bubble
La Piscina del Champagne es el lago más grande de la zona, tiene un diámetro de 60 metros, 60 metros de profundidad y el agua está a una temperatura de 70 º. El nombre de la piscina viene de las burbujas que se forman en la orilla y de la vistosa mezcla de colores vivos naranjas , verdes , blancos...
Estos colores se deben principalmente a la gran cantidad de minerales que se encuentran en el agua , entre ellos arsénico, antimonio y mercurio principaalmente aunque también tiene oro, plata, talio, azufre...
Los colores de los depósitos indican los metales que están en el proceso . Como ejemplo se encuentran los siguientes ( Minerales ) colores : verde ( azufre colloidal / sales de hierro) , naranja ( antimonio ) , púrpura (oxido de manganeso ) , balnco ( calcio ) , amarillo ( azufre ) , rojo ( oxido de hierro ) y negro (azufre /carbón )
The Champagne Pool is the largest lake in the area, it has a diameter of 60 meters, 60 meters deep and the water is at a temperature of 70 º.
The name of the pool comes from the bubbles that form in the shore and the colorful mixture of colors : bright orange (in the shore ) , green, white ...
The colours of the deposits indicates the minerals involved in the process . For example, the following colours (minerals) are found: green (colloidal sulphur / ferrous salts), orange (antimony), purple (manganese oxide), white (solica), yellow (sulphur), red (iron oxides) and black (sulphur / carbon).
Nuestra intriga era grande pues no llegábamos a comprender como era posible que un geyser , el Lady knox , se "despertara" todos los días a la misma hora 10h 45m.
Estuvimos puntuales y había mucha gente en una especie de grada y justo a la hora prevista salió un señor que nos contó una historia y después puso un poco de jabón en el Geyser , cosa que lo hizo activar y poco a poco llegó a alcanzar una altura de unos 20 metros
El método no es muy convencional , pero si es impresionante verlo salir , cogiendo altura poco a poco , echando agua y vapor
Our concern was great because we could not understand how a geyser, the Lady Knox, would "woke up" every day at the same time 10h 45m.
We were punctual and there were many people in a kind of step around the gersey and just at the scheduled time it came a gentleman who told us a story and then put some soap on the Geyser, which made it turn alive and gradually reached a height of about 20 meters
The method is not very conventional, but it is impressive to see it, picking up high gradually, pouring water and steam
When visiting this thermal area you will understand the name ‘sacred waters’. The several attractions are very impressive with a lot of different colours, caused by different minerals in the soil.
Walking along the track we passed several colourful places like the Opal Pool (soft green), the Champagne Pool (orange), Devil’s bath (fluorescent green), some sulphur craters (yellow) and mud pools (grey).
A very special feeling gives the walk over the boardwalk which crosses a huge sinter terrace (more or less white) with steaming water.
The three tracks (total about 3 km’s) did take along several thermal spots and lookouts till an almost 800 year old, green coloured, crater lake Ngakoro.
Wai-o-Tapu has also a famous geyser: Lady Knox Geyser. This geyser erupts every day (with some human help) at 10.15 am. For us too early, so we missed it.
The Lady Knox Geyser is a geyser in the Wai-O-Tapu area of the Taupo Volcanic Zone in New Zealand. It is named after Lady Constance Knox, the second daughter of Uchter Knox, 15th Governor of New Zealand. The geyser is made to erupt on a regular basis by dropping soap into the opening of the geyser. Eruptions produce a jet of water reaching up to 20m and can last for over an hour.
Prepare to get wet!
Another one of the geothermal areas in the Rotorua vicinity. THis is larger and more touristy than Hells Gate, so be prepared for crowds, especially around the geyser.
Champagne pools, Sulphur Lakes, all very interesting and gives you an insight into the Rotorua area.
This park was well worth the 20 minute drive south from Rotorua. I had visited the Te Puia thermal park previous to this one. Although I was blown away by the erupting geyser there and enjoyed the Maori Cultural show I preferred the more natural environment of Wai-o -tapu.
There are tracks to walk around a variety of thermal areas. This park features the largest silica terrace in the southern hemisphere and the famous Champagne Pool.
This area is associated with volcanic activity dating back 160,000 years and is located on the edge of a volcanic caldera.
When you visit this park you have the opportunity to do 3 different walks, each having a unique vista and providing a natural experience. There are many graphics along the way to help visitors understand the thermal acitivity and what has caused these incredible geothermal wonders. The colours seen in this area are vibrant and caused by different mineral elements. If you want a more natural experience I would recommend Wai-o-tapu
The Champagne Pool in Wai-o-Tapu is one of the main attractions of this thermal reserve. It is a huge hot spring in a 700 years old crater. The water has a temperature of 74ºC and is always steaming.
The steam around this pool and the orange colour of the water are responsible for a special atmosphere at this point of Wai-o-Tapu.
It was so nice to be here, for a short time just the two of us, enjoying this ‘sacred water’.
The Rotorua area is well known for its geothermal activity, and the best place to experience these natural wonders up close is at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. The park encompasses a large area of impresive geothermal pools, rivers, geysers, and mud pools. Even before you enter the park you can see the steam rising from the earth and smell the sulphur in the air.
Once inside, you are free to explore unguided at your own pace. The most impressive site is the large champagne pool, with billows of hot steam and dizzying array of bright colors. There is also the Lady Knox Geyser which erupts daily at 10.15am. Just a short drive outside the park are the bubbling mud pools, which are also well worth a visit.
Wai-O-Tapu means Sacred Water. This is New Zealand's most colourful natural volcanic environment. See the Champagne Pool, Artist's Palette, Lady Knox, Devil's Bath... Allow at least 2 hours to stroll & admire this magnificent park.
The trip won't be complete without the experiencing the eruption of Lady Knox Geyser @ 10:15am daily (guaruantee!! - you'll find out when you visit). Get there early to get yourself a good spot!! It's located off the main park (will be signposted).
Opens 8:30am - 5:00pm daily (last admission @ 3:45pm)
I've been there 3 times over the past 10 years. So, what do you think of it?!