The Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley was created in 1886 by the eruption of Mount Tarawera on the North Island of New Zealand. The devastating explosion ripped the mountain in two and gouged a 17-kilometer rift across the landscape. Lake Rotomahana expanded to 20 times its former size in the wake of the cataclysm, and the seven craters that comprise the Waimangu geothermal utopia were created.
Waimangu is one of New Zealand’s premier tourist attractions and a must-do for any traveler interested in ecology and the environment. A visit to Waimangu is to see first-hand the raw and primeval beauty of Nature in all its glory. The rare botany and abundant fauna and fascinating geothermal features of these crater lakes offer a rare glimpse into the synergy created by the forces of geology and biology. Steaming fissures dot the fern-covered hillsides and the multi-colored waters of the crater lakes are shrouded in hot mists.
The Warbrick Terrace is a stunning formation of what looks like liquid multicolored rock. The Emerald pools are a lush green so vivid it’s a wonder that nature could produce it. Frying Pan Lake is the world’s largest hot spring and makes a constant popping that sounds like bacon frying in a pan. Echo Crater is true to its name as well, and strange and mournful sounds emanate from the springs and vents in the area.
Perhaps the highlight of Waimangu is the bold and vivid turquoise of Inferno Crater. The peaceful serenity of the sight is at odds with the fact that Inferno Lake is the world’s largest geyser, with intense geothermal activity brewing just beneath its placid surface.
The Waimangu Volcanic Valley is located just twenty minutes from Rotorua, New Zealand, where there are many accommodation venues that offer discounted eco-tours of this famous thermal wonderland. Don’t forget to inquire about low cost New Zealand travel insurance.
+64 (7) 366 6137
587 Waimangu Rd, Waimangu 3073, New Zealand