Travel tips you can trust
Rotorua Thermal Area
The area has over a thousand geothermal features - gushy geysers, bubbling mud baths, boiling hot springs, and more.
Best individual site
It's Wai-O-Tapu. Top highlight is Lady Knox Geyser, which erupts like clockwork at 10:15 am each day and sometimes soars up to 30 meters (90 feet), Champagne Pool is also a must-see.
Other popular sites include:
Waimangu Volcanic Valley
Science in brief
Rotorua city and environs sit on a volcanic hot spot. Geothermal activity on the surface is created when water deep underground is heated by volcanic heat. As in a tea kettle, some of the water turns to steam. It then forcibly jets to the surface via subterranean cracks.
The "rotten egg" smell is created by chemical reaction when the hydrogen sulfide in the steam contacts oxygen in the air.
The Rotorua area was a bustling Maori village five centuries ago. These indigenous people still are well-represented here and put on worthwhile traditional cultural performances, living villages, and dinners.
Location in New Zealand
Top 2 New Zealand Wonders