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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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  • 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
  • Attractions

    Mt Ruapehu Crater Lake Guided Walk From Taupo

    Our guides are personable, qualified and ready to guide you to the top of Mt Ruapehu, the largest of the three volcanoes in Tongariro National Park. This is a great hike and does require a good level of fitness.

    $585 Book now
  • 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
  • Boat cruises

    Cruise Kakariki to the Maori Rock Carvings

    This all-year-round activity offers relaxation, fun and adventure on the water. Get right up close to this culturally significant 46 foot (14m) high rock art. Enjoy amusing and current commentary on Lake Taupo, the volcanoes and the carvings.

    $40 - $45 Book now
  • 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.

  • Climbing

    Premium Tongariro Crossing Guided Walk From Taupo

    Our guides are personable, qualified and ready to guide you on one of New Zealand’s best 1-day walks. Adrift provides instruction, transport, equipment and gear hire. We guide every day and guarantee trip departures with wind, rain, snow and shine.

    $545 Book now
  • Geothermal walkways

    Spa Thermal Park to Huka Falls walk

    Walk along the banks of the Waikato River from the hot springs in Spa Thermal Park to the spectacular Huka Falls.

  • Museums

    Volcanic Activity Centre

    Turangi’s Volcanic Activity Centre is a hands-on interactive educational tourist visitor attraction that makes understanding the earths volcanic forces easy and fun through a wide range of informative visual, electronic and interactive displays.

    $10 - $12
  • Maori Cultural Attractions

    Backyard Tours

    Nau mai Hāere mai - Greetings and Welcome. Backyard Tours transport services customers to and from having fun in the snow at Ruapehu Whakapapa Ski fields and hiking the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Ask us if booking groups or other need of transport.

    $30 - $50 Book now
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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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