Just south of Auckland, the quaint town of Rotorua hosts one of New Zealand’s most unique natural destinations. The Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Park is the country’s most colorful volcanic area. It contains four beautiful hot springs (Lady Knox Geyser, Champagne Pool, Artist’s Palette, and Primrose Terrace) that are truly fascinating for any travel lover to see. Add this to your New Zealand travel list!

In the simplest of terms, these hot springs emerge from ground water being heated by geothermal energy, creating a large pool with a bright, colorful rim. The water is often times dangerously hot, so don’t think of Wai-O-Tapu as a spa.

Sculpted out of volcanic activity over thousands of years, Wai-O-Tapu is one of New Zealand’s most colourful and diverse geothermal sightseeing attraction. This is spectacular landscape that features one of the most extensive geothermal systems in the country.

Nevertheless, experiencing this park is certainly worth adding to your travel lisit. While there are many hot springs across the globe, what makes this location stand out is the amazing culture and lush landscape surrounding the park.   

Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Park New Zealand

Photo: Florian Bugiel via Flickr

The name “Wai-O-Tapu” comes from the Maori word for “sacred waters” The Maori are indigenous to New Zealand, which some groups arriving in the country as early as the 13th century. The Maori have a long and rich history that still lives on with modern descendants.

Rotorua itself has many opportunities for visitors to witness the Maori culture, and you can even take a tour of the surrounding area from locals.

New Zealand travel is often remembered for its dense green countryside that makes visitors feel as if they’ve been transported into another world. This is probably why many popular science fiction and fantasy films often choose the country as their primary film location. The untouched feel of the environment coupled with the vibrant hot springs creates a one-of-a-kind experience that’s almost surreal.

Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Park New Zealand

Photo: Roberto Saltori via Flickr

Other features of the Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Park include a picnic area and a café so that travel lovers can relax and enjoy the park for extended periods of time. One may also see school groups or other educators teaching students about the site’s fascinating geology.

When you travel here, don’t forget to visit the Mud Pool. This was the site of a large mud volcano which was destroyed through erosion in the 1920s.

Especially for travel lovers interested in the science behind earth’s most amazing natural parks, Wai-O-Tapu makes a great addition to any vacation here.

Love this New Zealand travel story? Why not share it on Facebook?

Also Read: 

New Zealand top spots in incredible photos

Travel like a hobbit in New Zealand: Celebrating 15 years of Middle Earth