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Rotorua has one of the most concentrated and dramatic geothermal areas in the world - multi-storey high geysers, crazy coloured mineral pools and steam wafting over cauldrons of boiling mud.
Here are our top five geothermal experiences to check out during your stay in Rotorua.
For raw power, get up close and personal with the famously huge Pohutu geyser, regularly erupting to 30m! You can walk through yourself or take a guided tour and get that sense of connection with the land and the people. Also the place to come to watch master carvers and weavers at work.
References to the underworld are everywhere in Rotorua and at Hells Gate you can see why - sulphur and heat combine to form a landscape that is definitely out of this world! Hot waterfalls, steaming craters and seething fumaroles. Have a soak in a mud bath spa - a truly surreal way to unkink your muscles after a hard day's sightseeing.
Waimangu Volcanic Valley has won numerous well deserved awards for eco-tourism in New Zealand. It's really unspoilt nature at its best. You can take a short walk or spend the day, either on your own or hire a guide. You can also arrange a boat cruise on beautiful Lake Rotomahana past bizarre steaming cliffs!
Kuirau Park Geothermal Reserve is free. Like most parks it has beautiful gardens, a duck pond and a playground. An added bonus are the boiling pools of mud, sputtering vents, huffing steam and even a crater lake. Kick off your shoes and soak your feet in one of the hot mineral footpools.
Wai-O-Tapu is an area of extreme geothermal activity. The walks offer startling views of a whole host of colorful, bubbling, steaming, and stinky attractions. The Champagne Pool is the crown jewel - 260 degrees Celsius (500 F), with shocking oranges and emerald greens, it's a photographer’s dream!
Find out more about what to do and see in Rotorua.