The most famous geyser, of the 65 geysers found in the Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley in Rotorua, is the awe-inspiring Pohutu Geyser, meaning big splash or explosion. Pohutu erupts up to 30 metres (100 foot) high, depending on her mood,and is the largest active geyser in New Zealand and the southern hemisphere. There are few places in the world where geothermal phenomena such as geysers are as extensive and accessible as in Rotorua, New Zealand.
The magnificent Pohutu geyser erupts up to 20 times each day, a sight well worth waiting for. Guided tours at Te Puia leave on the hour and are approximately 90 minutes long. You will be given plenty of time to marvel at our explosive geyser, but feel free to join up with a later tour if you wish to spend more time at the site of the geyser.
Where Gods Breathed Fire
In the past, Māori regarded geysers and thermal activitiy as gifts from the gods. According to local Māori, the Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley was one of the sites where Te Pupu and Te Hoata, the Goddesses of Fire, emerged from the earth’s core while trying to find their brother Ngatoroirangi, who was stranded on Mount Tongariro. As they rose to the surface looking for their brother, they left part of the fire they carried, creating geysers, hot springs and mud pools, leaving our Te Whakarewarewa valley with the geothermal activity that remains today.
Guided by stories
Since the late 1800's the enjoyment of the Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley and the Pohutu geyser has been heightened by the activities of a remarkable group of women, the official tour guides who have conducted millions of visitors through the valley. Affection for these women carried to every corner of the globe. Their knowledge and immaculate presentation of their culture was a result of a long apprenticeship under the guidance of the older, more experienced women. Their legacy carries on today, with many of today’s guides at Te Puia descending directly from these world-renowned figures.