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Craters of the Moon, Wairakei
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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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  • Scenic Attractions

    Wairakei Thermal Loop

    An eighteen-kilometer loop joins together some of the favorite bike trails near the Wairakei Tourist Park, from Huka Falls to Aratiatia Dam as well as the Wairakei Resort Track. Ride through a geothermal wonderland in the Taupo region.

  • Volcanic/Geothermal

    Taupo Tours and Charters

    Taupo Tours and Charters offer tours and transport in the Taupo and Rotorua plus Hawkes Bay region. We will custom fit the tour or transport to your needs so that your stay in the area is maximised. We have comfortable buses with tinted windows.

    $20 - $100
  • Sports

    Turtle Pools - Turangi

    Turtle Pools is located in the centre of Turangi and offers entertainment for all ages. A fully enclosed swimming pool facility with an air temperature of 24 degrees and is Poolsafe accredited.

    $5
  • Adventure Travel

    Wairakei Tourist Park

    Wairakei Tourist Park is riverside and rural, thermal and thoughtful with something for adrenaline junkies, quiet plodders and most things in between.

  • Activities & teambuilding

    Taupo Kayaking Adventures Geothermal Tours

  • Volcanic/Geothermal

    AC Baths Hot Pools

    AC Baths is an all-weather, family-friendly, thermally heated pool complex that offers entertainment for visitors and the community.

    $9.50
  • Geothermal

    Tokaanu Thermal Walk

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

  • Heritage attractions

    Geothermal Segway Safari

    Off-road Thermal Safari. 1.5hrs - 2hrs. Off-road segway Training and trails followed by a historic and geothermal journey through Wairakei Resort & neighbouring forest.

    $125
  • Scenic attractions

    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.

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Discover more highlights...

  • Scenic attractions

    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 
  • Scenic attractions

    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 
  • Scenic attractions

    Lake Taupo

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

    More info 
  • Scenic attractions

    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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