The valley has many stories just waiting to be shared with you. Walk upon the earth where goddesses breathed fire and come face to face with the awesome power and majesty of the world’s most accessible geothermal site.
Sitting atop the sinter terraces known as Geyser Flat is the largest active geyser in the southern hemisphere – or as we call it, Pohutu. This world-famous celebrity with an explosive personality is one of the most photographed attractions in all of Rotorua.
As well as encountering celebrities on Geyser Flat, you will also come face to face with royalty. It turns out Pohutu’s neighbour, Te Tohu, has a unique history and special connection to some influential visitors.
On the Geyser Flat near Pohutu, sits Kereru. Named after New Zealand’s native wood pigeon due to its fan-shaped 15m plume resembling the tail of a bird – this active geyser is distinctive by the black sinter it sits upon.
This historic geyser, which last erupted in 1967, was once the most commanding sight in the valley, able to be seen from far away – hence the name Waikite (water seen from afar). Such was its fame, that the main street of Rotorua was designed to provide visitors with a better view of the geyser, which sits at the apex of a prominent sinter mound a few hundred metres from Pohutu.
Important enough to have people name themselves after it, inspire a bore closure programme, and get scientists around the world extremely excited as it wakes from its slumber –Papakura Geyser has a fascinating story to share.
Te Horu Geyser used to erupt on a regular basis to a height of 2-7 metres, until all activity stopped into 1972. ‘The Cauldron’ is closely linked to Pohutu, as air-cooled water from the famous geyser sometimes lands in Te Horu’s vent and is believed to delay the next eruption. There were signs of life in 1998 as water in Te Horu’s vent began overflowing, but it seems we will have to wait a little longer to see a return to former glory.
Discover ancient Māori cooking techniques and witness geothermal cuisine up close and personal at Ngararatuatara – our natural cooking pool. The alkaline spring, which is constantly boiling and flowing, is used to cook a range of delicacies including seafood, eggs, sweetcorn, and watercress.
This playful mudpool is the largest and most impressive at Te Puia, with a depth of between 6-10 metres. Although activity is dependent on rainfall, the steaming bursts of mud reach temperatures of approximately 90- 95°C.
This pool takes its name from the small clusters of boiling mud resembling a pattern of stars like the Milky Way. Its thick mud, formed by the acidic breakdown of rocks and soil from steam and gas is largely kaolin or ‘china clay’ and contains small quantities of black sulphur.
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