Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland Tours

9 Reviews
Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland showcases New Zealand’s geothermal topography at its most dramatic and colorful. Located along the Reporoa Caldera within the Taupo Volcanic Zone, the park’s lava-sculpted landscapes are punctuated by hissing geysers, swirling sulfur lakes, and bubbling mud pools.

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 the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit 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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.
Location
Address: 201 Waiotapu Loop Road, Rotorua 3073, New Zealand
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Hours: Apr - Oct: 8:30am - 5pm (last admission 3:45pm), Nov - Mar: 8:30am - 6pm (last admission 4:45pm)
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Admission: Adults NZ$32.50, children (5-15 yrs): NZ$11
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11 Tours & Activities to Experience

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Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland Admission

Explore the well-marked paths of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and witness Lady Knox Geyser erupt. Your admission ticket grants you all-day access to one of New Zealand’s most popular geothermal parks, located just outside of Rotorua. Stroll past gurgling mud pools, volcanic craters and steaming lakes at your own pace. Consult your complimentary guidebook to learn about the area’s volcanic activity, and view informative displays along the trails and at the visitor center.
  • Duration: 2 hours
From
US$22,86
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  • Duration: 2 hours
From
US$22,86

Rotorua Eco Thermal Small Group Morning Tour

See the awe-inspiring Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland on a half-day tour, led by a knowledgeable guide. Follow a well-marked path alongside bubbling hot springs and volcanic craters at Rotorua’s most comprehensive geothermal site. Hear a morning presentation about the Lady Knox Geyser and observe the daily eruption before a short drive through the Waimangu Volcanic Valley. Numbers are limited to 12 people, providing a more personalized experience with a small group.
  • Duration: 5 hours
From
US$109,02
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  • Duration: 5 hours
From
US$109,02

Wai-O-Tapu : Lady Knox Geyser : Champagne Lake : Agrodome Farm Show : Day Tour Around Rotorua

See more of New Zealand's top attractions with a small group on this full-day tour from Rotorua. Take a scenic drive to Lady Knox Geyser in time to see it erupt mid-morning, then spend time at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland—one of the North Island’s largest geothermal systems. Continue to the Agrodome for the farm show, and top off your day with a city tour of Rotorua.
  • Duration: 7 hours
From
US$122,39
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  • Duration: 7 hours
From
US$122,39

Waimangu Volcanic Valley with Option to add Wai-O-Tapu, Hobbiton or Whakarewarea

With spectacular natural beauty and rich traditional culture, New Zealand’s North Island features on many travellers’ must-visit lists. On this flexible tour, delve into the volcanic Waimangu Valley with your guide, and choose from a diverse range of adventures including Huka Falls, geothermal Wai-O-Tapu, or the Whakarewarewa Living Maori Village. With round-trip travel from central Rotorua included, see the best of New Zealand’s Rotorua region in one day.
  • Duration: 3.5 to 9 hrs
From
US$57,68
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  • Duration: 3.5 to 9 hrs
From
US$57,68

Rotorua Eco Thermal Small Group Full-Day Tour

Tour Wai-O-Tapu with a naturalist guide and discover the bubbling mud pools and hot springs of Rotorua’s most popular geothermal park. This full-day tour with a small group delivers you to the shores of several volcanic lakes and includes a bush walk to a waterfall and the Lake Tarawera lookout. Learn about Maori history, volcanology and New Zealand’s native flora and fauna along the way. Numbers are limited to a maximum 12 people to ensure an intimate experience.
  • Duration: 8 hours
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US$207,50
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  • Duration: 8 hours
From
US$207,50

Rotorua Geothermal Wonders and Waikato River Jet Boat Ride

Marvel at the volcanic wonders of Rotorua on a 6-hour tour that spins you out on the Waikato River with a thrilling jet-boat ride. Start with a guided walk past the Crater Lakes of Rainbow Mountain and check out the mud pools near Wai-O-Tapu. Your jet boat zips through Tutukau Gorge, dropping you off to explore the steaming cliffs and gushing geysers of Orakei Korako Geothermal Park on foot before completing your high-speed ride with fishtails and tight turns. Hotel pickup and drop-off included.
  • Duration: 6 hours
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US$139,97
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  • Duration: 6 hours
From
US$139,97

Wai-O-Tapu and Hobbiton Movie Set Tour including Lady Knox Geyser, Day Tour From Rotorua

Take in two of the North Island's top attractions in one day on a combination tour that visits Wai-o-tapu and the Hobbiton Movie Set. Booking this package ensures your admission to these popular attractions, and the full-day tour includes all entrance fees, hotel pickup and drop-off, and insightful commentary from your driver-guide.
  • Duration: 9 hours
From
US$158,26
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  • Duration: 9 hours
From
US$158,26

Wai-O-Tapu : Lady Knox Geyser : Champagne Lake : Polynesian Spa Resort: Combo Day Tour Rotorua

Some of New Zealand’s most impressive natural sights are just a short drive out of Rotorua, but navigating the back-roads of the Bay of Plenty can be difficult for the unfamiliar. On this day trip to the Lady Knox Geyser and Wai-O-Tapu, two of the most popular and active geothermal zones in New Zealand, your guide will drive you. Visit Lady Knox, Wai-O-Tapu, and the relaxing Polynesian Spa hot pools all in one day.
  • Duration: 7 hours
From
US$122,39
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  • Duration: 7 hours
From
US$122,39

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, Te Puia, Geysers, Kiwis: Rotorua Small-Group

Discover Rotorua’s geothermal sites and Maori traditions on a full-day tour to Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and Te Puia, where you’ll see geysers, mud pools, kiwi birds, and Maori crafts. Combining the two destinations adds a fascinating cultural twist to exploring Rotorua's simmering volcanic landscape, and free time at lunch means you’ll have the flexibility to bring a picnic or choose a restaurant that suits you.
  • Duration: 7 hours
From
US$126,61
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  • Duration: 7 hours
From
US$126,61

Rotorua Eco Thermal Wonderland Small Group Morning Tour Wai O Tapu Lady Knox Geyser Hot Mud

See the geothermal attractions of Rotorua on a half-day morning tour that fits into most travel schedules. Your guide takes you to Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland, which is famous for bubbling hot springs, the largest mud pool in New Zealand, and Lady Knox Geyser. Have time to explore the site at your own pace, then have the option to purchase lunch before your guide returns you to Rotorua.
  • Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes
From
US$70,34
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  • Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes
From
US$70,34

Wai-O-Tapu : Lady Knox Geyser : Champagne Lake and The Living Maori Village Small Group Tour

With geothermal landscapes and rich Maori heritage, Rotorua ranks among New Zealand’s must-see destinations. On this tour, hit top attractions including Champagne Lake, Lady Knox geyser, and Wai-O-Tapu with your guide and see the best of Rotorua in one day. Explore Maori history, customs, and craft traditions at the Living Maori Village, and enjoy personal attention from your guide on this small-group tour—limited to 15 people.
  • Duration: 7 hours
From
US$125,20
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  • Duration: 7 hours
From
US$125,20

Wai-O-Tapu : Lady Knox Geyser : Champagne Lake And Rainbow Springs : Small Group Tour Rotorua

Combine two of New Zealand's most popular attractions—Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland and Rainbow Springs—in a single tour, with all details arranged for you. Take the stress out of planning and ensure you hit these two highlights during your time in New Zealand with this combo tour. With a guide providing engaging commentary, visit the Lady Knox Geyser, ride the Big Splash log flume, and see the local wildlife.
  • Duration: 7 hours
From
US$125,20
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  • Duration: 7 hours
From
US$125,20


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