Thermal Area

Travel tips you can trust


Why the
Rotorua Thermal Area
is special

The area has over a thousand geothermal features - gushy geysers, bubbling mud baths, boiling hot springs, and more.

Rotorua Thermal Area
tips and insights

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:

Hells Gate
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.

Maori culture

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

Know these New Zealand tips and insights

Fiordland National Park
Poor Knights Islands
Rotorua Geothermal Area
Waitomo Caves

Top 2 New Zealand Wonders


Alan Vernan - CC BY 3.0


Tourism New Zealand


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