New Zealand. The thermal area of ​​Wai-o-Tapu


Wai-o-Tapu It is the largest thermal area in the entire area that makes up the volcanic area of ​​Taupo. It contains one of the best known prints of the North Island of New Zealand, the Champagne pool, a bubbling lagoon at 74 degrees Celsius that emits large columns of water vapor.

New Zealand. The thermal area of ​​Wai-o-Tapu

The center of the North Island in New Zealand is full of surprises and one of them is a large thermal region with many places to visit among which is Wai-o-Tapu, Waikite, I could and Waimangu. Wai-o-Tapu may be the best known, but personally I recommend seeing the rest, especially Waimangu.

It is logical that almost all these places have very similar landscapes, but each of them has its own charm. Today we have to talk about Wai-o-Tapu but in the future we will publish more articles about the rest of the thermal areas.

Wai-o-Tapu It is an area of ​​8km, the majority of which is closed to the public located on the road that joins Taupo with Rotorua. It is currently divided into three different places, the central area where most attractions are located, the Geyser Lady Gnox and the mud pools. These last two are outside the complex and it is necessary to go by car to enjoy them.

Lady Knox Geyser

He Geyser Lady Know We must visit it at a specific time, exactly at 10:15, at which time it is forced to erupt. If you read correctly ... forced. Park staff fills the geyser's mouth with some kind of substance (maybe soap ...) that causes the inside of the Geyser to collapse and force it to spit large amounts of water.

Taking advantage of the fact that we had to take the car, we can move towards mud pools. A series of boiling mud pools that emit small bursts of mud.

Mud Pools

Back to the central area, we bought the entrance (It was not necessary before) and we entered the complex. Curiously, they gave us a brochure in a perfect Castilian which was appreciated. That if the map in the language of Shakespeare.

Wai-o-Tapu Map

As you can see the central area is divided into three zones. The first 1.5km in length is adapted to disabled and travel the most beautiful places. The second that adds half a kilometer more, simply gives us good views of the place, provided that the fumaroles allow us. The third area, add a few pools of boiling water and a large lake at the end. Personally, if your physical condition is not below "truly" unfortunate, make all three proposals.

Devil's Home

Once inside Wai-o-Tapu we find a cave called Devil's Home (Hogar del Diablo), a smoking crater full of sulfur crystals formed by the cooling of sulfur gases.

Later we find another crater, in this case the Rainbow crater (Rainbow Crater), named for the color of the crystals on the walls, although I personally did not see it ...

Rainbow crater

We follow the path and go through a boardwalk that crosses glued on white quartz terraces. These are today the largest in New Zealand, after the 1886 disaster of the mount Tarawera which destroyed those that at that time were the largest.

Road over the quartz terraces

After the boarding, we find the most emblematic point of the place, the Champagne Pool (Champagne Pool). A large lake of bubbling water composed of mineral numbers such as silver, mercury, arsenic and of course sulfur. It took us almost 10 minutes to get a picture due to the cold that made the water vapor more visible.

The Champagne Pool

We cross the yellow road to the easternmost area of ​​Wai-o-Tapu. This less traveled area is full of hot water pools, several inactive Geysers and a large Lake. An interesting place are the Alum Cliffs, a small canyon of Alumbre (mineral) formed after an eruption 700 years ago.


After the canyon we find a series of JacuzzisI say little hot water like the Oyster Pool. If someone falls inside, surely not even tell ...

Oyster Pool

At the end of the path we will reach the Ngakoro Lake, where all the sulfur water of the place flows. From here we have no choice but to return where we have come to the Champagne Pool.

Lake ngakoro

From the Champagne Pool we can observe a series of craters but the one that caught my attention was the Devil's Bath (Devil's Bath), a pool of water over a crater. Its color is due to the large amounts of arsenic it possesses.

Delvil's Bath

Well this is Wai-o-Tapu, a thermal area that has been forming for 15,000 years to the present day. Definitely a mandatory visit on our trip by New Zealand.


When to go to wai-o-tapu?

Being located on the north island, the weather is usually mild so we can visit it at any time of the year. In our case it was raining intermittently and there is nowhere to shelter.

How to get to wai-o-tapu?

It is located on the road that joins Taupo with Rotorua. There is no loss since it is signaled both ways.

What I need?

A vehicle of your own is necessary to travel to the Geyser Lady Knox and the mud pools.

The entrance fee is around 35$.

There is only drinking water at the entrance. It is advisable to carry a bottle if we are going to do the whole tour

Where to sleep?

We decided to sleep at the campsite Top 10 situated in Rotorua, with the surprise of having two thermal pools at no additional cost. A delight

Travel insurance

For a trip like this it is best to take out insurance. Iati offers us a offer for followers Travel for free. Traveling does not exempt you from having an accident, needing a doctor, a transfer or medication. Do not play it. Check the travel insurance by clicking on the banner and you will have a 5% in your insurance for being a reader of Travel for free. If you want more information click here.