A visit of Wai-O-Tapu thermal wonderland and Lady Knox geyser

Wai-O-Tapu thermal wonderland

One of the nicest things to do in Rotorua is to visit the park of Wai-O-Tapu, also called a thermal wonderland, as it results directly from the exceptional geothermic and volcanic activity in the area, which is pretty unique in the world.

Wai-O-Tapu is basically a huge park, and not far from it it is possible to see once per day the eruption of a geyser, called Lady Knox Geyser, at 10am.

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, Rotorua, New Zealand

Wai-O-Tapu tour from Rotorua

The best way to visit Wai-O-Tapu is to book a tour from Rotorua, if possible on Bookme.co.nz which will offer discounts from 20% to 50%, as a one person tour with transport included normally costs NZ$99, but can be as low as NZ$59 using the great Bookme.co.nz discounts.

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The tour starts with a pickup in Rotorua vinicity, around 8am depending on the people that are joining the tour and their locations - in my case, the pickup was at 8.30am.

After a short drive of less than half an hour, the real activity starts with the visit of the Wai-O-Tapu mud pools.

Wai-O-Tapu mud pools

The mud pools of Wai-O-Tapu, which are reaching a temperature above 100°C, are a marvel!

They simply look alive. Our driver dropped us next to the entrance of the location, and told us to take about 10 minutes to see the Wai-O-Tapu mud pools by going all around.

The spectacle is incredible, with bubbles bursting all the time from the mud pools, making it look like a huge boiling pond of mud.

Wai-O-Tapu thermal wonderland short tour

After having looked at the Wai-O-Tapu mud pools, we go to the next destination, the Wai-O-Tapu thermal wonderland.

Our driver tells us to start with a short tour of the area, as we have to be on time for Lady Knox geyser eruption, and will come back later to the park for the longer tour.

Right after having entered the park, we directly feel like in another world.

Steam is coming out from the ground all around us, and the first part of the park features huge sink holes due to the thermal activity.

All the scenery around looks like nothing we have seen before.

We pass next to a lot of these holes. Some of them have a strong smell of sulfur.

After a short walk, we arrive to the next surprise, a huge pond of liquid, which is not only water - the beggining of the champagne pool.

We go all around the champagne pool, which is huge and amazing.

It is called like that because of the liquid that looks like champagne with lot of small bubbles.

The pool is huge and makes a lot of steam.

After the champagne pool, we keep seeing beautiful scenery, until the next surprise...

A green pool - so green, that it again looks like from another planet.

However, the time of the next attraction is approaching, and we head back to the car, where our driver is waiting for us to drive us to the next location.

Lady Knox geyser

Everyday at the same time, 10.15am the Lady Knox geyser erupts.

We all sit around the geyser, which is not moving when we arrive, and wait for an employee of the park to give a small presentation on the geyser history, as the chamber was man made, before starting the reaction that will lead the geyser to erupt.

After a few seconds, the geyser slowly starts erupting, and what a spectacle it is!

It very quickly reached its maximum height, somewhere between 10 and 20 metres high.

The spectacle is amazing, and we all enjoy it - unfortunately, it ends too fast!

After the eruption ends, we head back to the car, as our driver will take us back to the thermal wonderland park to finish the tour.

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland long tour

This time, we will go around the whole park, as we are not limited by the time anymore.

We walk on a passage from which we can have a better view over the whole park.

After another short walk, we reach the end of the park, where we can see a sulfur waterfall.

This sulfur waterfall ends its course in the sulfur lake, which is beautiful to see in its entirety.

After having reached the end of the park, we start walking back to the car, and pass next to sulfur termite mounds - mounds of sulfur that actually look like termite mounds.

And that's it, our tour of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland park is now over. It took in total less than 4 hours to drive there from Rotorua, see the Wai-O-Tapu mud pools, the Lady Knox geyser eruption, and walk through the whole Wai-O-Tapu thermal wonderland park, and come back to Rotorua.

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, Rotorua, New Zealand
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland - Entry and Return Hotel
Cheap accommodation in Rotorua, New Zealand on Booking.com
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