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Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

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201 Waiotapu Loop Road, Rotorua, 3073

The Basics

Thanks to a guiding system of boardwalks Wai-O-Tapu geothermal park is easy to explore on your own. For the best value, visit as part of a full-day tour and also see popular North Island attractions such as the Hobbiton movie set from theLord of the Rings andHobbit trilogies, Waimangu Volcanic Valley, or the Waikato River. For a more personalized experience, small-group and private tours run from the Rotorua and Tauranga cruise ports, and include convenient extras such as hotel pickup and drop-off.

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Tauranga Shore Excursion: Private Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and Whakarewarewa Maori Cultural Village
Tauranga Shore Excursion: Private Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and Whakarewarewa Maori Cultural Village
star-5
US$325.01 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Since our visit to New Zealand...
Since our visit to New Zealand was Although our visit to New Zealand was mostly via cruise ship, we wanted to see as much as possible at each port of call. Our party of four was extremely fortunate to have Phillip as our guide. We had plenty of time to walk the paths at Wai-O-Tapu, marveling at the amazing colors. The second thermal region in Rotorua was not as large or dramatic but was interesting since it was in a small functioning Maori village. We saw several examples of thermal pools or heat being used for cooking. The Maori cultural performance was OK but not great. I think the usual performers were at a competition in Auckland so I commend those who stepped in. The best part of our tour was Phillip who is extremely knowledgeable and kept up educational commentary as we drove from place to place. He was able to answer all of our questions whether on vegetation, history or culture. I would definitely recommend this tour for those who want to see as much as possible in one day.
Aileen W, Mar 2017

Recent reviews from experiences in Rotorua

star-5
Amazing sights
Jennifer_W, Mar 2020
Wai-O-Tapu & Waimangu Full Day Tour
The tour was basically transfer to n from our hotel n between the sites, which was perfect for us as we like going at our own pace. Our driver Akira was very helpful n stopped at a couple spots of interest on the way for us to take pictures.
star-5
Hobbiton wonderland!
Lilius_C, Mar 2020
Hobbiton & Rotorua including Wai-O-Tapu - Small Group Tour from Auckland
We had a wonderful day out exploring Hobbiton and the geothermal hot springs with Grant our excellent guide.
star-5
AMAZING
Taylor_W, Feb 2020
Wai-O-Tapu & Waimangu Full Day Tour
This was a GREAT tour. Keith was more than amazing pointing out things on the drive, showing us cool places that weren’t exactly outlined in the tour as we had some extra time. You can tell he really loves his job and cares about the people he is carrying around. THANK YOU! This was probably one of the best tours I’ve done in NZ so far.
star-5
Tauranga Shore Excursion
TandV, Feb 2020
Tauranga Shore Excursion: Rotorua Wai-O-Tapu Plus Te Puia Geothermals
Alistair gave a great tour of Tauranga and Rotorua area. Stops at Kiwi farms, geysers, hot mud pools and other thermal activity. Spent time at an active Maori village and saw a great show there. Pick up and drop off right at the cruise ship dock.
star-5
Wai O Tapu
George, Feb 2020
Tauranga Shore Excursion: Rotorua Wai-O-Tapu Plus Te Puia Geothermals
Alastair was n exceptional host. Informative and friendly. Wai O Tapu extra long walk was worth the trip. Mauri village also a highlight.
star-5
A great day out.
touristgk2010, Feb 2020
Hobbiton & Rotorua including Wai-O-Tapu - Small Group Tour from Auckland
I really enjoyed this day tour. Hobbiton was even more lovely than I expected and that part of the trip was finished off nicely with a beer in the Green Dragon Inn. The thermal park was really interesting and the small group of ten people was perfect. The chosen lunch place was more than adequate and the scenery on the drive was very impressive.
star-5
Great tour
Guenter S, Nov 2019
Rotorua Highlights Small Group Tour including Wai-O-Tapu from Auckland
We had time enough to see all the attractions at Wai O Tapu. After this I decided to visit Paradise Wild Life Park, also a great experience. Melissa is an excellent tour guide and very helpfully.
star-5
Great
shawdim, Aug 2019
Rotorua Highlights Small Group Tour including Wai-O-Tapu from Auckland
Great tour! Long day. Mike was very knowledgeable and experienced. Would have liked to know beforehand that both tepuia and wai otapo were recommended, rather than told to buy the second attraction the day of the tour
star-5
Great day out at Wai O Tapu etc
Elizabeth_S, Feb 2020
Tauranga Shore Excursion: Rotorua Wai-O-Tapu Plus Te Puia Geothermals
Well organised schedule. Peter was most informative, happy to answer any questions about New Zealand. Ran to a tight schedule, no waiting about for long lunches, this maximised the itinerary. Meeting point easy to find.
star-5
Great thermal park day!
eftychiat, Feb 2020
Wai-O-Tapu & Waimangu Full Day Tour
Definitely recommend this tour with thermal land shuttle company. The driver Keith was amazing and very knowledgeable. Perfect tour if you want to combine these two parks in the same day.
star-5
Great views of Volcanic Valley
tmaurer, Feb 2020
Tauranga Shore Excursion: Rotorua Wai-O-Tapu Plus Te Puia Geothermals
Perfect organization. Best trip to visit volcanic valley, especially when doing as shore excursion coming from a cruise
star-5
Excellent tour
Queenslandertraveler, Jan 2020
Hobbiton & Rotorua including Wai-O-Tapu - Small Group Tour from Auckland
Our tour guides name was Grant. He is a very experience person. Very friendly and good photographer. Our pictures look great !

Things to Know Before You Go

  • The park’s visitor facilities include restrooms, lockers, a visitor center, a small café, and picnic areas.

  • This is an active geothermal area, meaning the ground and water often reach boiling temperatures. Don’t be tempted to break the rules or wander outside of designated areas.

  • Wear comfortable closed-toe shoes, bring sun protection, and drink plenty of water.

  • Of the three walking trails at Wai-O-Tapu, only one is accessible for wheelchair users and strollers.

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How to Get There

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland is located along Waiotapu Loop Road, 17 miles (27 kilometers) south of Rotorua, or 20 minutes by road. The closest international airport is in Rotorua.

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When to Get There

You can visit year-round, but summer (December through February) is the most popular. The park can become very crowded—to avoid large tour groups, visit early in the morning or just before closing.

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Geothermal Attractions of Wai-O-Tapu

Stand in awe before massive craters and the thundering Lake Ngakoro Waterfall, watch as the Lady Knox Geyser erupts, and marvel at multi-colored pools known as the

‘Artist's Palette” for their bright swirls of color—a result of the water’s sulfur content. Additional highlights include the bubbling “Champagne Pool,” a number of cold and hot springs, and elaborate sinter terrace formations.

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