The thermal riches of Wai-O-Tapu were discovered after the Tarawera Volcano eruption of 1886, which destroyed a natural landmark known as the Pink and White Terraces. Since that time, visitors have come to Wai-O-Tapu to marvel at the hot pools, volcanic craters and steaming fissures of this otherworldly area.
Explore the natural geothermal environment on your own, with several options for your visit. Walk along well-marked paths that take you to brilliantly colored steaming pools that bubble and hiss with thermal activity. Hear a presentation given daily at 10:15am when the Lady Knox Geyser erupts. Admire the native bush along your walk, adding another dimension to your experience.
Informative display panels posted along the trails explain the sights that you see. You also receive a complimentary full-color souvenir guide-map that provides detailed information about the site.
Expect to spend between 45-90 minutes at Wai-O Tapu with plenty of time to take great photos of the spectacular scenery.
If you want to rest or grab a bite to eat, there's a cafe, souvenir shop, picnic area and lookout point near the visitor center.
April to October: 8:30am to 5pm (last admission 3:45pm)
November to March: 8:30am to 6pm (last admission 4:45pm)
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
- Entrance fees
- Hotel pickup and drop-off
- Food and drinks
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- Please wear comfortable walking shoes
- Wheelchair accessible