Sheila & Terry's New Zealand special holiday travel blog

steaming cliffs viewed from the Lake Rotomanhana which filled the crater left...

Silica and sulphur terraces formed from the mineral water

Relaxing swim/soaking away the travelling


Awoke to bright sun and quite warm so set off to Waimangu volcanic valley about 25km south of Rotorua. Arrived thinking we had loads of time and not knowing what to expect but it had looked good on the internet www.waimangu.com. There were surprisingly few people about and the lady behind the kiosk devised a trip to suit us.....apart from a mad dash to get packed lunch etc organised in 5mins!

We headed off on a coach ... just the two of us and the driver... down a stony bumpy track past steaming hills of tree ferns and pines. They looked as if they were on fire but it was just steam from boiling springs.

Waimangu valley formed in 1886 when the earth split open along a fault line and the magma from the local volcano Tarawera caused a series or eruptions that blew up the two little lakes and alot of the hillside. It has left lots of spings of bubbling water 95C popping out of nowhere running into a hot stream. There is algae of blues, greens and browns where the water has cooled below 75C ...all specially adapted to the hot steamy environment.

We started with an informative boat trip and then walked up the fantastic valley with a "wanderer's Guide" with over 40 view points....which took nearly all day as you can imagine!

Close to the valley was Waikite thermal pools which also had a small campsite.... so we drove to this and stayed the night. The main swimming pool was 38C and hot soaking pools 41C. We spent 1.5 hours in the pools ... just what my old body needed after all the travelling



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