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Geothermal

Lying on a volcanic plateau above a vast underground lake of magma, Taupo is alive with astonishing geothermal activity. 

From steaming vents and bubbling mud lagoons, to rainbow-coloured silica terraces and rejuvenating hot springs and mineral pools, the ever-changing landscape can be both entrancing and formidable.

From the warm water crater lake atop Mt Ruapehu, to the steaming cliffs at Hipaua, and the thermal areas along the Thermal Explorer Highway - geothermal activity is obvious.

Throughout Taupo you’ll also spot steaming geothermal power stations generating sustainable energy by capturing the power of scalding water from deep underground.

Orakei Korako is a hillside wonderland of active geysers, steaming terraces, gemstone-coloured pools, and New Zealand’s only geothermal cave.

Orakei Korako is a hillside wonderland of active geysers, steaming terraces, gemstone-coloured pools, and New Zealand’s only geothermal cave.

Orakei Korako is a hidden gem around 30 minutes drive north of Taupo town. Its candy-coloured landscape is the closest you’ll come to seeing the legendary lost Pink and White Terraces, which were destroyed in an eruption in 1886.

Closer to Taupo town, Craters of the Moon is an otherworldly moonscape.

Closer to Taupo town, Craters of the Moon is an otherworldly moonscape.

At Craters of the Moon you can expect burping fumaroles, steamfields that constantly shift, collapse and regenerate, bubbling craters, colourful soils and heat-loving plants. It’s an easy, wheelchair and buggy friendly boardwalk trail.

There are few things more relaxing than spending an afternoon soaking away aches and pains in a mineral-rich thermal hot pool.

There are few things more relaxing than spending an afternoon soaking away aches and pains in a mineral-rich thermal hot pool.

There are numerous hot pools around Taupo town and Turangi. Several have health spas and water playgrounds for children on site.

If you’re on a budget, there’s free access to the natural Otumuheke Stream at Spa Thermal Park, and locals can even point you to spots around the lakefront where warm water bubbles up naturally.

Geothermal activities & attractions in Taupo

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  • Walking & hiking

    2 Hour Pre Sunset Guided Group Walk Meet at Adrift Tongariro Base

    One of Tongariro National Park’s best short walks. Adrift provides professional guides and instruction, transport, equipment and gear hire. We guide every day and guarantee trip departures with wind rain snow and even shine.

    $175 Book now
  • Volcanic/Geothermal

    Craters of the Moon Taupō Geothermal Walk

    Craters of the Moon Taupō New Zealand is a geothermal walkway with Lunar Landscapes - Hence its name. Craters of the Moon showcase the natural thermal activity of Taupo including bubbling craters, steam vents and colourful soils. 45+ minutes walk.

    $10
  • Hot pools & health spas

    Wairakei Terraces & Thermal Health Spa - Guided Tour and Maori Experience

    Silcia terraces, thermal bathing pools, massage therapy, Maori cultural experiences, geothermal tours.

    $15
  • Volcanic/Geothermal

    Taupo Kayaking Adventures Geothermal Tours

    Kayaking through geothermal features along the Waikato River, bathing under a hot springs waterfall or wandering through Orakei Korako Geothermal Park is without a doubt one of the best ways to experience the geothermal wonders of NZ.

    $60 - $270 Book now
  • Geothermal

    Spa Thermal Park

    Spa Thermal Park is home of the famous Otumuheke Stream hot pools. From here, you can also explore the Huka scenic walking trails and the Rotary Ride mountain bike trail.

  • Cycling & Mountain Biking

    Huka River Trail Guided Geothermal E-bike Tour

    Enjoy a scenic e-bike tour and learn about our breathtaking Huka Falls, the mighty crystal clear Waikato River, Aratiatia Dam & Rapids. Finish with a ride past an incredible geothermal stream in Wairakei. (previous MTB experience is good).

    $299 - $399 Book now
  • Hot pools

    Otumuheke Stream

    Unwind following a day full of adventures by taking a dip in the thermally-heated Otumuheke Stream's mineral-laden waters while watching New Zealand's longest river flow by.

  • Geothermal

    Taharepa Baths

    Dip your toes in an area of natural geothermal activity at Taharepa Reserve or dig in the sand to create small hot pools.

  • Geothermal walks

    Tokaanu Thermal Walk

    See steaming hot mineral pools and spluttering mud pools on this short, easy walk.

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Discover more highlights...

  • Huka Falls

    At Huka Falls nearly a quarter of a million litres of water per second erupts from a natural gorge and thunders 11m into the Waikato River below.

    More info 
  • Waikato River

    Born on the eastern slopes of Mt Ruapehu, the longest river in New Zealand drains Lake Taupo through Taupo town, blasts through a narrow rock chasm to create the Huka Falls, then winds more peacefully northwards towards Port Waikato, south of Auckland.

    More info 
  • Lake Taupo

    At the heart of New Zealand’s central volcanic plateau sits the largest freshwater lake in Australasia, Lake Taupo.

    More info 
  • Pureora Forest Park

    The 78,000ha Pureora Forest Park is an ancient rainforest of giant native New Zealand trees, totara, rimu, matai, miro and kahikatea, and rich with rare native bird life.

    More info 

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