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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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  • 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
  • Scenic flights

    Taupo's Floatplane

    Flightseeing at its best! Discover NZ’s most scenic & spectacular vistas. Enjoy a unique flightseeing experience over Tongariro National Park, the Bay of Plenty and, of course, Great Lake Taupo! Scenic flights by seaplane are a magical way of gaining

    $109 - $870
  • 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
  • Scenic flights

    Heli Hiking

    Helisika Helicopters are based in the foothill of the Kaimanawa Ranges offering itself to many scenic walks only accessible by helicopter, from open exposed mountain tops to dense bush valleys, there is a different hike for all abilities.

    $600 - $2,000
  • Volcanic/Geothermal

    Craters of the Moon Geothermal Walk

    Craters of the Moon 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.

    $8
  • 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
  • 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
  • Bird watching

    Adrift Tongariro Guided Whanganui Canoe Trips

    Our guides are personable, qualified and ready to guide you on the Whanganui River. Adrift provides instruction, transport, equipment and gear hire. We guide every day. Explore rugged terrain and lush native forrest.

    $600 - $1,800 Book now
  • Boat cruises

    Sail Barbary - eco sailing Lake Taupo

    Explore Lake Taupō on an eco-friendly scenic cruise with Sail Barbary. Enjoy stunning views as you set sail to explore the Māori Rock Carvings at Mine Bay. Book and enjoy a must-do experience on New Zealand's only commercial electric sail boat.

    $49 - $59 Book now
  • Walking & hiking

    2 Hour Sunset Guided Walk Meet at Adrift Tongariro Base

    Maximise your travel day to or from Tongariro National Park. 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.

    $130 Book now

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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  1. Home
  2. Discover
  3. Highlights
  4. Geothermal